Conservation at every level!
What a month for the Black Mambas and Transfrontier Africa. We have been visited by the United Nations Executive Director of Environment, Eric Solheim as well as world famous elephant conservationist, Sir Iain Douglas-Hamilton. We are honoured to meet them as we can strengthen our bond on different levels to protect our natural world. The visit was connected to the well-known CITIES Cop17 conference where Craig and the Black Mambas were invited to speak. This international conference is of extreme important to make decisions on the protection of endangered wildlife. We are working hard to get the full protection and end the trade in wildlife products of some of our most iconic African animals. It will be a long week at CITIES discussing important matters that can be a big game changer for our rhinos, elephants and pangolins (and we just got the news that all pangolins are now protected under the Apendix 1, which means they will be under full protection!) We wish the Mambas and Craig lots of luck during the CITIES conference!
Not only is action taken at CITIES to demand the protection of elephants and rhinos but also at the local communities were the Bushbaby environmental students have marched during the Elephant and Rhino March. Around 800 students from different Bushbaby schools have participated during the march showing their love for the wildlife. Together with the Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit and Elephants Alive, the children marched through the communities singing and dancing for the rhinos and elephants whilst more and more children joined. Thanks to everyone involved setting the march up, it was a great success and a lot of fun!
And of course in Balule the conservation work continues as well. As our students are working hard on their projects. Line, our intern from Denmark/Aalborg Zoo is currently looking at the body condition of the herbivores in Balule. As we are still suffering due to the drought we need to make sure we make the right management decisions based on the health of the animals. Luckily we see that even though there seems to be very little food, the herbivores are still doing well with most of them not losing any body condition. We have experience a little more rain lately, so we hope that we will receive some good rainfall soon! Line and Madison, our intern from America are currently also working on the annual game counts. These game counts are conducted to see how the wildlife is doing, what the movement pattern of the animals is and of course how many of each species there are. This way we can make management strategies and decisions to keep all our wildlife safe and healthy. We currently also have Marlies from the Netherlands who is researching the Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit to evaluate its success. So at the moment we are a very international team! Especially because Shaya gets a lot of new friends who will throw his bucket out of it!