How do you translocate a herd of elephants? You’ll need a crane, a truck and a whole lot of elbow grease. Photographer Pete Oxford recently captured these incredible photos of a conservation team in Zimbabwe capturing and relocating nearly 80 elephants that escaped from a wildlife sanctuary in Zimbabwe. Helicopters were used to divide the family groups into more manageable numbers so that a team of veterinarians could safely tranquillise each individual with the correct dosage of sedative. Once under, it’s a race against the clock to get the massive mammals loaded onto flatbed trucks to be transported back to the safety of the reserve.

Governments and conservation organisations are forced to go to great lengths to protect the world’s largest mammals as nearly 35,000 elephants are killed each year to fuel a rapidly expanding ivory industry. "Where we are today, where man [sic] has got to take extreme measures to save wildlife ... this is Africa's most iconic mammal and it's still under threat. It's a growing shame, really," Oxford told the Huffington Post.

2015 03 17 Operation Elephant Relocation Related Content