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The Game Warden's Editorial

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Notes from the Game Warden.


Game Warden

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This week has seen the addition of The Chipembele Wildlife Education Centre to Safaritalk's new section, Community initiatives. Chipembele is an excellent cross over between wildlife / habitat conservation and education and through a small number of sponsors and donors manages to provide important lessons to the young children of the Luangwa Valley in Zambia. By instilling the importance of their immediate surroundings one hopes that as they grow up, the respect they have learnt in the classroom for the animals of Zambia will stay with them and that they will make great efforts to help protect their valuable wildlife resource in the future. Anna Tolan, one of the trust directors in her interview here talks of the past nine years since emigrating from England in 1998, and how since 2001 the centre has made such a difference to so many young lives. The Community initiatives section will in future look to provide information on such projects as schools and orphanages, or indeed any community based project which brings about a positive change in its local area.

Possibly the worst task when preparing Safaritalk on a daily basis is the compiling of the Conservation News Headlines, with so many depressing reports about our treatment of African wildlife and one example is the recent estimate that in the last year, 23,000 elephants were slaughtered to satisfy the increasing demands for ivory from the Far East. Despite positive reports from South Africa, (so much so they are once again considering a cull) and Botswana, in other areas of the continent herds are being decimated. It seems that the 1989 ban on international sales of ivory is but a fading memory and unless something is done soon one of Africa's most enigmatic animals will be wiped out in certain regions. It is thanks to such entities as The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org that this situation is being brought to the media's attention and we can all help in some small way by making a donation to help. But alongside the sadness comes hope, and there was a very interesting article by the BBC regarding a project in Gabon to reintroduce orphaned gorillas into the wild and more details can be found here.

And perhaps the best news from the past couple of weeks is the announcement in Paulin's Gorilla blog of the birth of a baby gorilla in the Virunga National Park. This comes only months after at least 2 adults were killed and butchered by rebel groups. Named Ndeze (pronounced Deze), after a local tribal chief who died just two days before the birth, this gives the whole world hope that such an endangered species may just pull through with the dedicated help of Rangers like Paulin.

So, until next time, Safari njema!

The Game Warden

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