The Houston Zoo loves its elephants on-grounds and in the wild!

NIassa_elephant
Elephants live nearby the local villages of Niassa Reserve.

The Zoo loves its elephants and wants to do everything we can to protect them in the wild. Zoo staff work 7 days a week to take care of our elephants on-grounds, and our staff also helps to support partners in the field who are working to save wild elephants.

One of our amazing stories from the field is from our friend, Mbumba, who works with our partners at Niassa Carnivore Project. Mbumba is currently pursuing his education and his thesis project is the very definition of conservation: the Niassa Beehive Fence Project.

The Niassa Beehive Fence Project uses beehive fences (that’s right! A string of beehives about 10 m apart from each other surround crop land) to naturally deter elephants. You can imagine how unpleasant it is to have a swarm of bees chasing after you, and well, just because an elephant is big doesn’t mean it wants that kind of attention! When elephants get near cropland to have a snack, local villages can get pretty displeased that all their hard farm work has been destroyed! To help alleviate the tensions between people and elephants these fences will humanely keep elephants away, and they even provide some tasty honey to sell for profit!

Everyone working together to build a beehive fence. Once the beehive is jostled by an elephant, their buzz sounds as a warning!
Everyone working together to build a beehive fence. Once the beehive is jostled by an elephant, their buzz sounds as a warning!

 

Niassa_Mbamba Boy guarding Machamba - photo taken By Agostinho. Everyone spends a lot of time this season protecting there crops from baboons, elephants, warthogs and bushpigs.
Mbamba Boy guarding Machamba. Everyone spends a lot of time this season protecting there crops from baboons, elephants, warthogs and bushpigs.

Conservation is not just about helping animals and the environment…remember that people work with animals and live in that same environment! The healthier the land and animals are, the better off people will be, as we need both to continue our existence. The Niassa Beehive Fence Project helps both people and wildlife in a humane and positive manner that creates a better future for both elephants and people!

Honey from the first harvest!
Honey from the first harvest!

Want to help out with saving elephants in the wild? Check out our elephant page for more information or to donate!

Join us in September and October as we highlight elephants in various events. Check back here and on our Facebook page to get more information as the events come closer.

A Future for Elephants online auction : September 9 – October 1

Houston Zoo Elephant Open House : September 21

Conservation Gala featuring Dr. Iain Douglas-Hamilton of Save the Elephants : October 9

 



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