The African Elephant Research Unit monitors and studies a herd of captive elephants living in a controlled free range environment within a tourism framework.
Established in 2009, AERU conducts non-harmful behavioural and physiological research on the elephants based at the park. This results of the research are used to feed information back to park management to make adjustments when needed to continually improve on animal welfare practices. Additionally, AERU collaborates with universities and international researchers to provide, facilitate and assist with research relevant to both captive and wild elephant populations.
The long term goal of AERU has always been to establish a refuge for elephants in need of a home, such as bulls emerging from a captive environment who are not well suited for life in a large game reserve. A foundation to build upon this goal has now been set in place and the 'feet for elephants' program has been launched. With this program, for every donation of ZAR 50, one foot of fenced land can be purchased for the elephants.
All funds donated to AERU will be deposited directly into an account set aside for this purpose.
Non-Profit Research Trust: # IT854/2013; PBO #9300 44259