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Introduction of elephants a step closer to the restoration of a wildlife haven
A small herd of elephants have been introduced to the Samara Private Game Reserve - one of the most significant conservation areas in the Karoo - marking a conservation milestone as these animals return to their historic range. Once the herd, comprising a small family group of six elephants, have settled, they will be joined by a mature bull. Another small family group may be introduced, in time.
Restoring a wildlife haven
Sarah and Mark Tompkins, owners of Samara Private Game Reserve, explain that when they first established the reserve in 1997, their aim was to restore the area to the wildlife haven it had been before species like cheetah, rhino, Cape lion, springbok and elephant were eradicated by early farmers and settlers.
“This is an extremely important area from an ecological point of view,” Sarah explains, adding that the Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany Thicket, where Samara’s 27,000 hectares of scenic wilderness is located, has been designated as one of the world’s 36 Global Biodiversity Hotspots.
Samara, the largest private game reserve in the Eastern Cape and comprising four vegetation biomes, acts as a crucial catalyst for protecting the delicate and diverse ecosystem of the Great Karoo, as the Tompkins work to create a system of corridors and partnerships that will result in the creation of the third largest protected area in South Africa.