Welcome to our first edition of BUSHLIFE NEWS, the official newsletter of Bushlife Conservancy, a US 501(c)(3) dedicated to protecting African wildlife.
It’s hard to believe that Bushlife Conservancy is almost one-year old! In honor of that milestone, we wanted to reach out directly to our supporters, to tell you what we’ve been doing, what we plan to do in the year ahead, and how you can help us do even more!
OUR ANTI-POACHING PATROLS ARE SAVING ELEPHANT LIVES
Our biggest success to date has been to reduce elephant poaching through our ANTI-POACHING PATROLS. During the 2016 rainy season, we were finding at least one elephant carcass per week. This year, we sent out daily patrols of 6 rangers each, with a driver and armed guard, covering 6 remote camps in and around the lower Zambezi Valley. As a result of these patrols, between November and March 2017, we did not find a single elephant carcass! A vivid demonstration that anti-poaching patrols do work!
Unfortunately, in May of this year, we had to suspend our patrols due to lack of funds. Immediately, elephant poaching started up again. Tragically, within 6 weeks there were reports of 8 elephants slain. Thanks to a generous donor, we were able to resume patrols in August (on a reduced basis), and fortunately that seems to have turned the tide for now.
But the fight is not over! We are in critical need of funds to continue these patrols. It costs us $2500 per month to support a single patrol — and $10,000 per month for the 4 patrols we believe are the minimum necessary to try to ensure elephant safety year-round. Our costs include food and supplies for rangers, repair and maintenance of vehicles, fuel, and driver salaries. Please DONATE GENEROUSLY to support these critically important and effective patrols!
Our Collaring Program Is Going Strong
Our program to place RADIO COLLARS on iconic bull elephants has also been a big success. At one time, there were dozens of large-tusked bulls in and around Mana Pools, but sadly, due to poaching and trophy hunting, very few remain. Just last year, we tragically lost Big Vic, a rare upright standing elephant, to hunters outside the park. In an effort to save the remaining bulls, ZimParks requested that collars be placed on 4 iconic elephants, in order to monitor and protect them if they should roam outside the park. Over the past few months, with the help of Aware Trust vets, we were able to put collars on the bulls known as Tusker, Boswell, Fred, and Gnarly. We are working closely with the Parks Ecologist to keep close track of these boys. As you can see from the photos below, as of October 2017, all are doing well! Can you recognize your favorite?*