Just as it is important for young people to learn from their elders, so too do elephants pass on their wisdom to the next generation. As well as teaching young elephants basic manners and behaviour, bull elephants pass on information vital to their survival, such as the locations of water sources and migration routes. So, keeping family herds together and enabling them to move freely is vital to the continuation of the species.
Peace Parks Foundation is engaged in restoration and development projects that will ensure connectivity between key wildlife areas, and where necessary, join fragmented wildlife habitats, reinstating transboundary movement corridors for migratory wildlife such as these elephants and other species that require large ecosystems to thrive.
Elephant are vitally important to healthy ecosystems. They transport hundreds of tree seeds via their dung when they migrate which improves reforestation and vegetation efforts. They open up the landscape with their movements which allows access to softer grasses for animals that graze and browse. They also push down trees, making leaves available to other animals.
When it comes to tourism, elephants are an attractive species. Just as Gordon is keen to show his family these elephants, so others also want to experience the joy of seeing wildlife up close and elephants can play an important role in the future sustainability of the region through sensitive and low-impact tourism development that will bring jobs and a future for the communities here.
Elephants are extremely loyal, forming incredibly tight family bonds, just like humans, so elephants that have lived through conflict with humans remember and pass the fear of humans down through generations. It can take years before this fear is reduced. So, seeing these elephants here in Zambia looking so relaxed, is a great sign of just how safe they feel in the presence of humans.