It’s not always an easy task fitting a tracking collar on an elephant. Sometimes however, the wildlife vets get lucky.

Meet Becky. She’s been living at Tshukudu Game Lodge for 37 years since she arrived there as an orphan from Kruger. She’s become an ancestor in that time, adding her line to the herd that moves through the Tshukudu traverse. In fact, she’s considered to be their matriarch.

She has a habit of pushing the boundaries… Breaking fences to explore beyond the safe confines of the protected reserves. She can wander into farmland or onto the train tracks. Just last year, Becky’s daughter was killed doing just that.

To prevent Becky from making the same mistakes as her daughter, the Tshukudu team decided to fit her with a tracking collar to help them keep an eye on her movements. We joined wildlife vet Rita Piso and Chris Sussens from Tshukudu Game Lodge to document this operation.

There are a lot of risks that go with fitting a tracking collar on an elephant. Lucky for the team, things ran smoothly from start to finish – with the great matriarch elephant back on her feet in no time.

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