Two drilling attempts failed, but we didn’t give up!

Drought is putting one of Namibia’s last free-roaming elephant herds at risk of death. If they wander from their home on a 20,000-acre (8,000-hectare) farm, a family of 20 elephants with calves will face being shot at. Yet the elephants are caught between a rock and a hard place because the drought means that their water is almost gone. They have just over a week’s supply left. Once that is finished, their freedom and survival are in question.

Two drilling attempts failed, but we didn’t give up!
The dry and damaged dam on the farm

We had to act immediately, or this vulnerable family of elephants would be forced to search for water in areas away from the farm where they are not safe. Their present home is the only farm in the area that does not permit hunting – so the elephants would be in mortal danger.

We called on you and other animal lovers like you for help. Your swift response allowed us to hire a borehole drilling company and rush them to the remote site to start drilling.

Two drilling attempts failed, but we didn’t give up!
Drilling to find water for the elephant family

At first, the team struggled to find water. Tension grew after they drilled down 230-feet (70-meters) and found nothing but hard, dry granite. Quickly they found a new site and tried again. Still, no luck. But, they said, if we were prepared to pay, they would risk going to 425-feet (130-meters). We took a deep breath and raided our emergency piggy bank to pay for deeper drilling. Drilling started again. Then catastrophe struck. At 331-feet (101-meters), the drill bit broke. Operations had to be suspended and it will take two weeks to recover it. We ended the day in despair.

Two drilling attempts failed, but we didn’t give up!
We found water, but it sadly stopped flowing.

The next morning there was better news. Overnight, water had risen from the lowest point drilled. Then that water dried up and we are back to square one. Right now, we are investigating the possibility of bringing water in by truck as a temporary measure. We don’t yet know how much that will cost, but we do know that, now more than ever, your donation is urgently needed as we fight to save these elephants.

Your donations also helped us buy materials to rebuild a farm dam the elephants had damaged in a quest for a few drops of the life giving liquid. Work is nearly complete. Hopefully soon, the dam will be filled with cool, fresh borehole water which the elephants can drink to their heart’s content.

Two drilling attempts failed, but we didn’t give up!
The before and after of the dam

Wish us, and the elephants, luck because this is a watershed moment for one of Namibia’s most vulnerable elephant herds. We must get this right for them.

Again, we are deeply grateful to our caring supporters who have already donated. Not many people can boast that they helped save an elephant family! The elephants are not safe yet, and if you can donate today, please do because these creatures need every little bit of help we can give.

Over past decades, not only drought but hunting, ivory poaching and habitat loss have been rapidly pushing elephant species towards extinction. If the water flows – and we believe it will – there is one entire elephant family that will live to breed another day. Please, if you possibly can, make a generous donation we need to save these elephants.

Saving animals and the planet,

Chief Campaigner
Animal Survival International

Two drilling attempts failed, but we didn’t give up!

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