Clem Coetzee in Zimbabwe

Clem Coetzee
First elephant0

Clem Coetzee (c. 1939 – 7 September 2006) was a Zimbabwean conservationist. He developed new methods of big game conservation.

Coetzee was at the forefront of the campaign to de-horn rhinos under sedation, to make them safe from poachers who kill for the horn.

He also pioneered the practice of managing elephant populations by sedating and moving entire family groups, from bulls and cows down to calves, in contrast to the practice of slaughtering the mature animals and relocating only youngsters. Moving family groups was seen as more successful in relocating the animals without ill effects, and has been repeated in several countries. In 1992 he had tracking microchips implanted under the skin of more than 40 elephants, which were being relocated from Zimbabwe's Gonarezhou National Park to South Africa because of drought. This was the first time an elephant relocation had used this technology for follow-up.

Clem Coetzee died of a heart attack on 7 September 2006, survived by his wife Em, daughter Beth and son Vicus. His brother Paul Coetze is elephant manager at Camp Jabulani in Kapama, South Africa.

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