Darting is carried out by the wildlife vet, with all doses measured, packed and sorted before the helicopter takes to the skies. It is critical to know exactly who the matriarch is when starting this part of the translocation. She must be darted first as the other animals will not move without her. Once she is encouraged into the open, the matriarch is darted and then the team comes closer. After the matriarch, the subadults follow, with calves darted last. The support vehicles will race in, with lots of hands available to support the falling animals. Because what happens when animals the size of an elephant start going down is a possibility of falling on its own or another animal’s trunk. As elephants can only breathe through their trunk, they are at risk of suffocation and even death if this happens. So, the vehicles close in as close as they dare and watch everything, ready and alert to zoom in when the animals go down. Some elephant that go down on their chests need to be pushed gently to lie down on their sides.
As can be clearly seen here, only experts in their field can manage successful translocations, which is who Peace Parks and partners choose to work with.