February 2019 Newsletter: ‘Bush Talk’

 In News, Newsletter
Bush Talk February 2019

Hi Friends,

Because of your compassion and support, 2018 was a great year for wildlife and Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust. We had impressive organizational growth and, together, we saved a lot of animals. We’ve built a strong community across the globe that’s pulled together to elevate our conservation efforts and protect critically endangered species.

The new year began with tragedy when we lost our beloved cheetah ambassador Sylvester. The hole that remains is real and profound. He won’t easily be forgotten and our world will never be the same. The outpouring of love and support we have received from far and wide will ensure his work continues through a legacy fund – contact Tracey@vicfallswildlifetrust.org for more information.

We anticipate that 2019 will be a year of exciting milestones and extraordinary challenges for Zimbabwe and Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust. As Zimbabwe’s economy continues to weaken and high rates of unemployment persist, we expect increases in bush meat poaching, snaring and human-wildlife conflict. With you by our side, I have no doubt we can maintain our momentum and win the fight for wildlife. We get up every morning because you’re with us, making all this possible.
Thank you for your inspiring commitment to our work and to Africa’s iconic wildlife

Enjoy this issue of Bush Talk, and if you’re so inclined, we would love to hear from you.

For Wild Africa,

Jessica Dawson
Executive Director

IN THIS ISSUE…….

WILDLIFE REHABILITATION: Perhaps our most exciting highlight for 2018 was our new High Care Rehabilitation Center, which was at full capacity shortly after we opened its doors. Read More…

USING FORENSIC SCIENCE TO COMBAT WILDLIFE CRIME:  We also completed our first forensic species identification case using DNA analysis of confiscated poached bush meat. This capability is very important for a successful prosecution of poachers. Read More…

RHINO CONSERVATION: Thanks to increased anti-poaching measures, more research and better management in the past 10 years, Zimbabwe’s rhino population is one of the most secure in the world. Read More…

DISEASE PREVENTION: We vaccinated more than 1,000 dogs and cats to prevent the spread of zoonotic disease and trained 60 rangers in 4 countries in first responder actions for wildlife crime scenes and disease prevention.

CONSERVATION EDUCATION: We also hosted more than 1,000 rural school children and teachers in education programs focusing on the value of wildlife conservation and coexisting with wildlife.

WILDLIFE AMBASSADORS: We lost our beloved cheetah ambassador in January this year. Sylvester touched the hearts of thousands and thousands of school children and tourists, helping the trust champion a message that coexistence is possible. We mustn’t underestimate the… Read More…

WILDLIFE RESEARCH: Knowledge is power and each year our wildlife research projects provide us with valuable population and movement data of important wildlife species such as vulture, elephant, and lion, which is crucial to conservation management plans. Read More…

LOOKING FORWARD: We’re excited to be enlarging our laboratory to accommodate growing demands for forensics and toxicology sampling. Our “First Responder” training courses will improve conviction rates of commercial ivory poachers and combat other wildlife crimes. Read More…