years ago this April, Jill Robinson first walked onto a bear bile farm. On that day in April 1993, Jill could have walked away, but she chose to act and do what she could. Today, you also have a choice. If everyone reading this donated just US$20, it would pay for the care of over 150 bears at our China sanctuary for a full year. Please help us celebrate 20 years of progress. Donate US$20 today (or whatever you can afford).
Following the recent announcement by the Zimbabwe governmetn halting the shipment of wild animals to a zoo in North Korea, the animals are now being released into sanctuaries with possible release back into the wild. Please see the message below from ElephantsVoices and Born Free.
Thanks to concerted effort by many individuals and groups, both internationally and in Zimbabwe, we are sure many of you will have already heard the excellent news that the Zimbabwe / North Korea animal deal has been called off.
The deal involved capturing a number of wild animals in Zimbabwe, including two juvenile elephants, and shipping them to a zoo in North Korea.
Our sincere thanks goes out to all of you - organisations and individuals – for adding your names to the weight of opposition against what would have been a disastrous deal for Zimbabwe’s wildlife.
The Zimbabwean authorities have indicated to us that this deal was genuinely intended to raise urgently needed funds for habitat conservation, in particular cutting fire-breaks in Hwange National Park, where most of the animals have been captured from. Furthermore, they have told us that they do not intend to undertake another capture of this nature. However, we do not yet have this Statement of Reassurance in writing – it is something we are trying to secure.
However, in the meantime, we were faced with the urgent need to ensure that the majority of the captured animals were immediately released back into the wild. This operation began last week (the Tikki Hywood Trust, has been coordinating the release). The giraffe and zebra have been taken to a private Game Farm, within Zimbabwe.
The two juvenile elephants cannot be released immediately. Instead, they are going to be integrated into a herd of other rescued elephants of all ages, at Wild Horizons Wildlife Trust - with the intention of releasing them to the wild when they are fully integrated and ready to survive independently. This may take two years or more.
Releasing / caring for these animals obviously carries a significant cost and we are hoping you will all be able to help.
Furthermore, although the cancellation of this deal was in no way dependent upon us raising funds for the fire-breaks, we have also indicated our willingness, subject to the Statement of Reassurance mentioned above, to support National Parks on this specific issue – as many thousands of wild animals could be affected by devastating fires in Hwange if these fire-breaks are not maintained.
Our main fundraising priority is: US$27,000
This total is made up of:
Immediate release of most of the wild-caught animals: $3,000
Two years’ care for the 2 young elephants: $24,000
($6,000 per annum per elephant)
Our Second Priority for funds is subject to the Statement of Reassurance we hope very much to receive from National Parks. We would all then endeavour to raise funds towards the costs of the environmental management of Hwange which is fuel and other support for firebreaks –an additional $25,000.
We know in these difficult economic times every penny, cent and shilling is precious. However, we would appreciate you all digging deep to support us on this as much as possible.
One generous individual, in Zimbabwe, has already stepped in with $1,000 and Born Free have committed up to $2,000.These funds have covered the immediate release of those animals that have already gone back to the wild. If everyone we are writing to dug deep and was able to offer support of $250 or more then we would make huge progress (and the more the better)
Anyone who wishes to donate can do so by contacting Shelley, Andrina or Stephen at Born Free. Born Free has kindly agreed to process donations - without taking any deductions except for bank fees, etc and will keep an account, which you are at liberty to see upon request.