First, may I say that I’m overwhelmed from the outpouring of support and engagement we received in 2018. Because of your selfless generosity and impassioned commitment to Africa’s iconic wildlife, it was an exceptional year for Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust.
Thank You from the bottom of my heart
Here in Zimbabwe we’re finally at the end of a dusty and desperate dry season. It’s not just wildlife that’s relentlessly tested during this time; rural communities struggle to grow crops in the arid soils and their hugely valuable cattle, goats and donkeys are often killed by lion, leopard and hyena. It’s out of pure despair that rural communities turn to subsistence poaching of wildlife to feed their families.
And over the last few months, wire snare poaching for bush meat has been significant and growing
But the first rains bring flushes of new leaves and green grass, and a much-needed reprieve from the heat. Young antelope calves, piglets and avian fledglings will be born in the hundreds during the green, wet season. With this burst of life comes new challenges.
We’ll see an increase in the number of orphans at the hand of all sorts of poaching, poisonings and wildlife-vehicle collisions
. And, because of Zimbabwe’s economic uncertainty,
illegal trade in pangolins and other wildlife, commercial poaching of elephants, and ensuing vulture exterminations will rise if we let our guard down
Because of these possibilities and our capacity to accommodate more animals, we’re anticipating even more rescue, rehabilitation, research and conservation needs in 2019
. Just 7-months old, our High Care Rehabilitation Centre is already at maximum capacity, full of wildlife cases that need urgent and prolonged care.
We’ll also be focusing on our forensic lab work that’s been fast-tracking investigation processes and training wildlife agencies throughout the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area.
This work is critical to improve conviction rates and secure meaningful jail sentences for poachers and wildlife traffickers, which is a huge deterrent for poachers
Our work comes with heavy costs and resource demands but we’re a lean, nimble organization and your dollars go a long way. You can
here about our urgent needs and, as the new year approaches,
I hope we can count on your year-end support so that we can hit the ground running in 2019
And if what I've seen so far this year is any indication, I shall rest well this New Year's eve knowing that our friends will be there for us, standing up for Africa's iconic wildlife. And, as always,
I promise to put your hard-earned support to great use, immediately producing real and life-saving results
From all of us here at the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust, we hope your Holidays are festive and safe, full of love, laughter and wildlife. We wish you success, good health, and all the very best in 2019.
Again, thank you for your support!