WILDLIFE RESCUE GETS A MUCH NEEDED BOOST
as donor graciously MATCHES your support
Snaring is a growing conservation challenge in and around Victoria Falls. A still sluggish tourist industry means people are experiencing significant economic hardships and are hungry. To put food on the table for their families, they’re poaching bush meat.
Snares are a rudimentary wired noose placed on a wildlife trail or places of high activity. Once captured in a snare, the animal usually fights so ferociously that the snare slowly and fatally tightens. If not rescued, it’s a horribly painful and sorrowful death as the animals slowly dies of thirst or strangulation.
Ungulates, animals with hoofs, are the primary targets. Species like buffalo, kudu, zebra, impala, warthog, wildebeest are sources of protein for families struck hungry because of the pandemic. However, snaring is indiscriminate meaning that all sorts of wildlife are caught in the relentless traps. Rhino, lions, leopards, buffalo, baboons, painted dogs… nothing escapes them.
Snaring has become the greatest threat to our lion population, and the threat is four-fold: animals are mortally caught in snares, the absence of prey species can affect fitness and fecundity of resident lion populations, and when prey species are depleted, lion have to travel far and might encroach upon human settlements to feed on livestock or pets. Repeat offenders are then typically removed from the population by wildlife agencies.
Perhaps the biggest issue with snaring of lions occurs because of social behaviors within the species. When an adult male that is killed in a snare, the gap created by an absence of a dominant male can cause territories shift, new males competing for dominance disrupts the pride and the new pride males tend to kill any cubs so that the females come into estrous. If a pride is small and one of the females is removed, the pride may struggle to hunt effectively. A lactating female means the cubs are also certain to die. The damaging effects of snaring to lion populations extend beyond the individual being far reaching and potentially multi-generational.
It’s not only snares that we worry about, you’d be surprised by what wildlife rescue can entail here in Africa. Antelopes with steel pipes around their sparsely haired legs, tires that somehow find their way around an elephant’s neck, and warthogs with milk jug bonnets. We rescued, treated and rehabilitated 46 animals in 2020 alone, and could have done way more with additional resources.
Our 2021 expense for snare removals is $15,000. Fortunately, one of our donors has offered a 1:1 matching grant up to $7,500 to help us reach this goal by July1st. If you are able to help with this, please consider sending in a contribution today. This is a real opportunity for you to make twice the impact with your conservation investment. The stakes are high – you can help us save twice the wildlife in and around Victoria Falls with your donation today. #BeTheMatch!
Thank you for all that you continue to do.
Meet the amazing Barbara Murasiranwa. Barbara sits on the VFWT Board of Trustees. She's a Zimbabwean Chartered accountant, and the Business Development and Corporate Affairs Director for Wild Horizons – A leading Tour Operating and Ground Handling Company in Victoria Falls and the Region. As an active member of the Victoria Falls community, Barbara kindly volunteers her time with Rotary International where she has held various strategic posts and received numerous and significant awards in her roles in assisting humanity. She also owns and runs her own Company- Vimbiso Safaris and Tours. In addition to Rotary, Barbara kindly volunteers her time as a Board member with Victoria Falls Primary School (currently the Board Treasurer), and the Zimbabwe Council for Tourism (now Tourism Business Council of Zimbabwe) as a regional representative and Spokesperson. Barbara is a passionate minister of religion and a very active conservationist, supporting various anti-poaching initiatives. She has held positions and has been instrumental in the following organizations before: – Chairperson of Victoria Falls Women in Business; – Counselor and advisor of the Zimbabwe Parents of the Handicapped Children Association VF; – Sat on the Victoria Falls Mayor’s advisory Board; – Chairperson and Treasurer for Zimbabwe Women in Tourism; – Local Organising Committee for the 2013 UNWTO.