Before our family left Chad in 2012, we thought that it would be a shame if we didn’t try to visit Zakouma, a game park almost the size of the state of Rhode Island and about a 7 hours drive South East of where we lived. After all, who would want to live in Africa for many years and pass up this great opportunity for their children to see big wildlife in their own habitat.
So when we approached the game park, we were excited (and also a bit terrified) to see a herd of elephants crossing our path. We saw a variety of animals including, lions, giraffe, wildebeests, monkeys, ostriches, etc, but the elephants were the funnest.
We had heard of poaching going on at the time and efforts to combat the killings, but we hadn’t realized how great the danger was for elephants in the area until now. An article we just came across in National Geographic reads, ” In 2002 the park was home to more than 4,000 elephants, but by 2010 that figure had plummeted to a mere 400—a 90 percent drop. Experts predicted that Zakouma’s remaining elephants would be gone within two or three years if the situation stayed unchanged.”
As we read in the article, it was only a year prior to our visit that a South African couple was asked to take over management of the park. They initially didn’t want to because of how bleak the situation looked, but they went ahead making several changes to combat the poachers. After several years, it looks like their efforts are finally paying off, and the elephants are finally starting to grow in numbers again. There is more on the elephants’ struggle and this couple’s efforts in Chad, Africa. see full article here