Conservation & Wildlife

Dear Friends

Please could you circulate this widely. Voting closes on 31 October and the Chiredzi River Conservancy desperately needs to win the prize money:  5,000 Aussie dollars.

Thanks so much


Dear Friends


 A herd of 70 elephants is under threat in Zimbabwe’s Chiredzi River Conservancy (CRC) which is located in the south eastern lowveld close to Gona re Zhou National Park.

The Chiredzi River Conservancy is once again being over-run by invaders who are setting fires, clearing areas, chopping down trees and destroying riverine forests at an alarming rate. The elephants are also under threat from wildlife poaching, habitat destruction and encroachment.

The invaders are chasing the elephants away from dams and other water sources using hunting dogs, burning logs and anything else they can get their hands on. Recent reports have indicate that stress is taking the toll on the beautiful creatures and they are now exhibiting signs of being emanciated. Lack of water resources is a recurring problem which is resulting in a clash between the herd and the invaders.

The elephants are now in danger of being shot or posioned. For the full story, history and to view pictures you can click on this link.

If you have a Facebook account, you can also like the CRC page to get updates and generate much needed awareness.

The CRC stands a chance to win a grant by having the most number of votes.Voting will close on 31 October.  Please vote by clicking on this link.

You will then get an email to confirm the vote. This money will be used to employ more patrol staff, supplies and equipment to protect the elephants in the meantime while an urgent solution is found.

Your vote will only take five minutes but it will make a big difference in the lives of these peaceful elephants who have the right to exist without fear and harm in the land they belong to.

Please also forward this to friends.

A wounded buffalo, known as one of the most aggressive animals in the African bush, gored veteran Zimbabwean conservationist Steve Kok to death, ending his years of dedication to saving wild animals from poachers’ traps, colleagues said Tuesday. He was 71.

The buffalo had injured its leg, partially severing it, while tearing itself free from a poacher’s wire snare. Kok joined park rangers in a weeklong search for the wounded animal near the lakeside resort of Kariba in northern Zimbabwe. An alert was sent to scattered communities that the buffalo was highly dangerous and the search was on to track it down, said Johnny Rodrigues, head of the independent Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force.

Kok, seasoned in bushcraft and tracking, located the buffalo Thursday and it evidently charged him before he could call for help. His gored body was found Friday. Contrary to first reports from the remote district, it was not mutilated by jackals or other predators overnight.

The Charara state parkland is adjacent to lakeshore fishing communities and is no longer a suitable habitat for lions.

Park rangers closed in on the buffalo near the scene of Kok’s death and shot it dead Saturday.

Rodrigues said Kok, a longtime volunteer for conservation groups and an active anti-poaching campaigner, patrolled the bush at first light most mornings, unraveling snares and calling in veterinary assistance for animals caught and hurt in traps as impoverished human settlements encroached in adjacent areas and poaching grew.

“Thanks to him many hundreds of animals were saved from agonizing death,” said Rodrigues.

Kok had once told friends and family on his death his last wish was to be cremated on a pyre-like wood fire in the park he loved.

But fires are forbidden under National Parks regulations. Friends told The Associated Press on Tuesday that alternative cremation arrangements were being planned and his ashes would be sprinkled instead at a nearby river estuary he loved.

Rodrigues said Kok, a quiet and humble man, was “desperately concerned” by the dwindling number of animals on Lake Kariba’s shores.

“His death is a huge blow for the wildlife in Kariba,” Rodrigues said. “He is going to be very badly missed by humans and animals alike.”