This immense operation was carried out with precision as teams moved swiftly in and out to deliver a single drop-out dart containing the pZP vaccine. Gerry McDonald brought his expertise as the pilot flying the operation, while Dr Johan Marais, from Saving the Survivors, administered the contraceptive darts from the air.
This efficient and non-invasive method means that the elephants are darted quickly and endure no lasting effects or discomfort. A small number of reproductively mature cows were left unvaccinated. According to Dr Johan Marais, allowing for some cows to remain fertile is important for the health of the herds.