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The Expedition

In December, the Zoo’s research team, including Chris Wemmer, Peter Leimgruber, Dan Kelly, and former Zoo Director Lucy Spelman, traveled to the Alaungdaw Kathapa National Park in Myanmar. They set out to capture and satellite-collar a wild elephant with the assistance of park warden U Ye Htut, Myanmar elephant veterinarian U Myo Than, and 15 park rangers.

scientists filling a collar on an Asian elephant
The satellite collar is adjusted to fit Silver Moon

The capture team conducted a strenuous search, found a herd of wild elephants, and started to follow them on foot. After six days of careful tracking they were able to dart the 20-year-old Silver Moon with anesthesia in order to capture her. A satellite collar was placed around her neck and adjusted to fit properly. Afterwards, Silver Moon awoke and continued on her way, now bearing the equipment necessary for researchers to follow her movements throughout the jungle.

The Technology