Home / News / EleNotes / The Sanctuary Partners with AfricaASAP to Protect Wild Elephants from Poaching
By: The Elephant Sanctuary

The Sanctuary Partners with AfricaASAP to Protect Wild Elephants from Poaching

70-year-old Asian elephant Shirley has led a remarkable life—and continues to do so, as she contributes her part to help protect wild elephants from the threat of poaching.

Asian elephant Shirley, as seen from the FLIR aerial surveillance equipment — Photo by Mike Wicklein

This weekend The Sanctuary hosted AfricaASAP, a non-profit organization with a mission to stop the poaching of African elephants and other vulnerable species with near-continuous aerial surveillance of the protected areas where they live. The group flew an airplane 6,500 feet above The Elephant Sanctuary to test how FLIR Systems aerial surveillance equipment can track elephant herds over vast areas, patrol park boundaries, and locate and stop poaching incursions.

Photo by Mike Wicklein
Photo by Mike Wicklein

During the fly-over, the crew utilized FLIR equipment to track moving vehicles, spot a controlled campfire, and observe Shirley and the other elephants as they traveled through their Sanctuary habitats—simulating real-life scenarios AfricaASAP may encounter in Africa.

Photo by Mike Wicklein
Photo by Mike Wicklein
Photo by Mike Wicklein

Once the project is fully-funded, AfricaASAP will deploy the first airship-based wildlife surveillance system in a national park in Africa. For the first time, park rangers will have a near constant "eye in the sky" above the park they are charged with protecting. Patrolling tens of thousands of square miles every day, the airship will send real-time HD video data to a ground station for monitoring. Based on the information received, Rapid Response Teams can be deployed to protect elephants and other wildlife being hunted by poachers. 

The Sanctuary is thrilled to be able to contribute to the important work AfricaASAP is undertaking to protect dwindling wild elephant populations.

<  Previous Next  >

Current Residents

Learn More Donate

Sign up for EleNews!