Dama gazelle rescue mission
Back in January, MAF Chad was asked by the Sahara Conservation Fund to join them on a mission to track and capture some dama gazelle – a highly endangered species – and move them to a reserve; enabling them to breed safely.
The dama gazelle, one of the planet’s most endangered species, is a symbol of beauty and elegance in Chad. Because the use of guns and vehicles has increased in the , there are fewer than 100 animals still living in the wild in 4 very spread out and populations in Chad and Niger.
The Sahara Conservation Fund keeps track of these amazing animals and leads the efforts to protect them across both countries.
Using an MAF plane to cover an extensive area, MAF Pilot Phil Henderson and members of the conservation team successfully tracked and four gazelles; transporting them to Base Camp Oryx, a secure area where they can breed and prevent the species from becoming .
One of the animals, which had been named ‘Becki’ after MAF Chad Pilot and Operations Manager Becki Dillingham, was flown by Phil in our Cessna 182 aircraft. The gazelle was accompanied by a vet, and had tubing secured around its horns to protect the plane from damage.
It was a particularly exciting flight for Phil because, before that, the only live animals he’d ever carried had been two small rabbits!
Phil later said that, ‘Everyone was very happy to have the gazelles in their recovery enclosure, looking healthy.’