Each year we let you know the impact you’ve made. Here’s what happened with your help to save African Wildlife in 2017.
What a year it’s been! There’s sad news and good news.
The Sad Realities
Rhino, elephant and the highly endangered pangolin continue to be lost to poachers. Just recently Moses hurried across the border from Uganda into the DRC. He’d been notified by an informant that a pangolin was being offered for sale. Sadly this time he was too late.
Some little orphans that arrive at Silke’s wildlife center don’t make it. Izak is heart broken when yet another desert lion is killed by a farmer. At times, not only one, but an entire pride wiped out for killing a few cows.
Nevertheless, amongst all the sad, there is much good being done by these tenacious wildlife heroes.
The Good News
Despite what seems to be insurmountable odds, people like Moses, Silke, Shannon, Izak and others just keep on going. Keep on saving one animal or bird at a time.
How you helped save African wildlife this year
Twice in the last few months Moses was successful in getting to the sellers before the pangolins were sold. He was able to convince them to give them up. The pangolins were safely transported and released in a safer place in a more secure wild area. Local farmers watch over them.
You’ve helped Moses in his work to stop the poaching. Not only does he rescue pangolin he actually reforms poachers by giving them alternative ways to earn a living. Namely, he helps them become bee-keepers and Talapia fish farmers. For the past three years Moses joins the Global initiative to march for elephants. He organizes marches in villages in Uganda. This year over 500 people attended the march and educational presentation following it. And another ex-poacher group was formed.
There’s no way of knowing how many elephants and other wildlife he kept safe from poaching this year. Our hat off to Moses! We look forward to offering even more support in the coming year.
From almost zero elephants a decade ago the Thuma Forest in Malawi is now home to over 140 elephants. Lynn and her team of ranger scouts have made it happen. The ranger scouts patrol the forest, deter poachers and assist local law enforcement to make arrests. Lynn is highly involved in assuring that apprehended poachers are prosecuted to the max. Besides protecting the elephants from being killed for their tusks Lynn and her team of ranger scouts protect the trees vital to the elephants. Trees are harvested illegally to make charcoal, which has become a huge industry in poor countries like Malawi.
For two years now, with your assistance, we’ve sponsored a ranger scout. What a cool thing to be part of… bringing elephants back to the Thuma forest and providing a local young man with a constructive livelihood. Can we sponsor two ranger scouts this coming year?
“Which one is Nikela?” I ask Dean. Among about 45 juvenile monkeys it takes him only seconds to pick her out. Guess when you work with these monkeys every day you begin to tell them apart. The rescue center is alive with activity. Two volunteers from Switzerland are with the pink faces (tiny newly arrived orphans.) One from the UK sits quietly in the Handicapped enclosure to keep an eye on the blind monkey. Others are preparing food, literally hordes of food for the 300 plus monkeys in rehabilitation. Food comes from a variety of places. Some donated from local grocers. However, much must be bought to the tune of around $1,000 per month!
So besides sponsoring Nikela for the second year we cover the food bill for the month of December. Thanks Silke and team. Keep up the good work. Maybe, with your help we can sponsor another troop release like we did in 2016… what do you say?
Ever imagine what it must be like having a lion come calling? Farmers tell us its frightening. Philipo a Maasai farmer himself works with Patti. She organizes hundreds of lights and Philipo talks to farmers. We spent a morning with him visiting a cattle post outside of Tarangire National Park. These farmers were so grateful for the lights.
In Tanzania it’s proven successful to place flashing lights around the cattle bomas (enclosures.) Lions simply stay away. That equals happy farmers, safe livestock and keeps lions alive.
This year we sponsored the lights for two bomas. It runs around $500 for the lights and solar equipment to adequately secure one cattle enclosure. Keep up the good work Philipo. We look forward to sponsoring another boma or two this coming year.
Tucked away in an undisclosed, tightly secured location Natalie and team care for orphaned rhino. These youngsters are in need of much care. From dealing with the trauma of seeing their mother killed to adapting to life without her. At the rhino orphanage they’ve got much figured out when it comes to feeding, vet care and socializing the babies. Most recently the first group of juvenile rhino were released into a reserve with other wildlife, but no rhino. How they will interact with adult rhino will wait until they are adults themselves. Raising orphaned rhino babies is no easy matter.
This year we made a donation to assist with the security necessary to keep these juveniles safe as they begin to taste freedom once again. Let’s see what we can assist with this coming year?
Probably the most good looking of the vultures is the Bearded. Sadly they are critically endangered in South Africa. After rescuing the Bearded Lady from a witch doctor it was time to do something. Today Shannon is pioneering a project to breed these birds for the wild. This is a huge task. From harvesting the second egg (which is typically lost) from crags high up in the Maloti-Drakensburg Mountains to raising them to sexual maturity (which takes seven years.) Then releasing the next generation at just the right time to optimize their survival in the wild. Yup, a long, costly and complex project.
This year our $2,500 contribution to Shannon all went to assist with saving the Bearded Vulture. This coming year we have big plans, with you help, to do much more.
Unlike the rest of the heroes we’ve not personally met Izak. In January 2018 we have plans to meet in the deserts of Namibia. Right in the heart of where Izak and Inki work hard to help save the last of the desert lions. With the rate of human wildlife conflict continually on the rise it is a huge challenge. Many irate farmers simply want the lions gone. They resort to shooting or poisoning entire prides.
This year we made a small donation to assist. We look forward to doing more after we’ve met up with Izak and Inki.
Together with his research student and in cooperation with wildlife authorities in Namibia Marnus conducted one of the first lion population surveys in north eastern Namibia. The objective being to identify the extent of the human wildlife conflict issue and what can be done to address the matter. We assisted the project with $3,000. The results are pending.
On his small piece of the mountain in Kenya Raphael protects birds, snakes, primates and their habitat. Raphael runs a well visited rustic resort in the Iten mountains where marathon runners from around the world come to train. Iten is also home to one of the planet’s best hang gliding areas. With his love for nature Raphael provides information and a lovely walk to educate his guests.
During our visit we found two unique rescued Azure Buzzards in a tiny cage. After some discussion we learned that Raphael had the design and poles ready to build them a larger enclosure. We provided the funding needed for the mesh. $100 goes a long way in Kenya. We look forward to stopping by late this coming year.
Daniel is a tenacious graduate student at the University of Eldoret in Kenya. He invited us to speak to the graduate students and faculty. Although we don’t typically assist students financially we made an exception with Daniel. He is researching a most important matter… human wildlife conflict in the Mara ecosystem. This ecosystem is one of the important systems for both wildlife and increasingly humans as well. Our hope is that Daniel’s research will not only identify the growing problems more accurately but uncover solutions to save the Maasai Mara.
Funds held in escrow
We planned to travel to Zimbabwe to visit Baye in Bulawayo and Lisa in Harare. However, right at that time the military had taken over the government and put then President Mugabe under house arrest.
Funds will be dispersed to assist Lisa with her pangolin rescue efforts and Baye with her rescue rehab center as soon as possible.
Looking Ahead at 2018
Because you keep giving we keep checking in with our wildlife heroes and finding new ones along the way!
The first half of the year we’ll be in Southern Africa. In early August the plan is to spend time at the African Raptor Center to physically help Shannon with the newest batch of Bearded Vulture chicks. That sounds so exciting! [Watch the blog for a more complete story of the Bred for the Wild project and Nikela’s involvement.]
Around late August the plans are to begin the journey north through Zimbabwe, Malawi and Tanzania up to Kenya and Uganda again.
Remember, we pay for all out travel expenses. Every penny of your donations go to help save wildlife.