HEC Mitigation Guidelines
To minimize the risks involved with HEC mitigation please always consider these details before taking action!
- Know the number of elephants involved
- Know the location of the elephants involved
- Know the area, use a map or draw one
- Make a plan; everybody needs to know his duty
- Remove all people that drank alcohol from the team
- Drive team should consist of at least 10 people
- Make sure that nobody is ahead of the elephants (between the elephants and their natural habitat)
- If the elephants need to cross a road to get back, assign a team to stop traffic if necessary
- Use walky-talkies to communicate if possible
- Use strategically placed vehicles to build a perimeter fence behind the elephants and as an emergency backup. Keep the engines running
- If there are more than 1 elephants, first drive them together. Never try to chase them individually!
- If you know the way the elephants took, try to drive them back the same way.
- Form a U behind and slightly to both sides of the elephants.
- Use voice and rattling noises etc. never use firecrackers or guns (except in cases of immediate danger)!
- Do not rush the elephants, let them walk back, not run if possible.
- Try to avoid human settlements and barriers (fences walls, trenches etc.).
- Always make sure that the elephants stay together.
- If elephants get agitated, pull back for a while
- Try to always keep the elephants calm
- No Rambo style action! Work as a team, remove team members that do not fully cooperate!
- If you are not sure where the elephants are, pull back, listen and try to locate them.
Angry, stressed elephants are very dangerous!
Alcohol: elephants smell the alcohol and are attracted to it!
70% of all human casualties involve alcohol!
Why no people in front? If elephant find people ahead they will turn back.
Why place the vehicles behind the elephants? Elephants mostly avoid vehicles.
Why drive the elephants together first? If the elephants are not together they will not go back and you might end up between them.
Why drive them back the same way? They already know this way, that reduces the stress.
Why a U shape, not single file? To make sure that they do not turn back.
Why no firecrackers or gun? The very loud sound is stressing the elephants unnecessarily.
Why not rush them? If they are pushed they get stressed.
Please note, these are guidelines and need to be adapted case by case! Always stay safe, take no unnecessary risks!
Andy Merk 12. October 2017