Activities for the Aerial Unit throughout December were largely dominated by Human-Wildlife Conflict cases along with veterinary treatments. As is often the case in December and the green season, the focus shifts away from illegal activities and towards elephant activity outside of the Parks due to the planting season within the communities adjacent to National Parks and protected area boundaries.
With the onset of the rains, which are usually at the beginning of November, but were delayed this year, those that often are involved in illegal activities within the Park look to return home to plant crops on their small holdings.
Unfortunately, elephants sometimes also leave protected areas and can find themselves on farmland amidst human
settlements. They are not always after crops, but when they do wander onto farms, they can do huge amounts of
damage in a relatively short amount of time. For this reason, the Trust devotes a considerable amount of energy and
resources to pushing them back into the protected areas and out of danger. This serves to keep the elephant out of
danger, but also buys extensive goodwill from communities who suffer loss of crops on a yearly basis, and sometimes
even life when forced to protect their farms.