Research and Conservation Programmes
The Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust runs several programmes focusing on research and conservation in Zimbabwe. The Trust aims to assist with rhino conservation through anti-poaching measures such as de-horning and ear-notching as well as genetic analysis of the remaining rhino in Zimbabwe. This analysis will help to build a database of related animals in order to make recommendations about the management of rhino populations and to assist in the prosecution of poachers who can be tied back to an individual animal.
Reducing Human-Wildlife Conflict through Education
One of the most significant elements in the conservation of large predators is avoiding conflict with humans who often kill large predators that prey on livestock. The Victoria Falls Human-Wildlife Conflict Programme aims to investigate human-wildlife conflict incidents and implement sustainable solutions to reduce their occurrence such as using chili and bees as deterrents for elephant and predator-safe boma designs to protect livestock. The Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust hosts between 800 and 1000 children to a day of enjoyable education every year at Wild Horizons Wildlife Orphanage and Sanctuary. This facility cares for animals injured through human intervention, including wire snares, and injuries sustained from vehicle collisions always aiming to release them back into the wild and offers a wonderful opportunity to teach children about wildlife up close. Schools are given training manuals which focus on the importance of wildlife conservation, the economic benefits of wildlife and the dangers of poaching for the teachers to use back in the classroom.
A major consideration in conservation is disease in wild animals and there is a laboratory at Wild Horizons which works to screen both wild and domestic animals for disease in order to prevent outbreaks – an essential element in conservation management.
HOW YOU CAN HELP BY SUPPORTING SATIB CONSERVATION TRUST
In 2014 the Victoria Falls Wildlife Trust aims to continue their research and conservation efforts in assessing the regional lion and large carnivore population as well as the ongoing research focusing on rhinos. An important element of the Trust’s work is reducing conflict incidents, which are monitored through a hotline number, and working with the local communities to find solutions. The rescue and rehabilitation of injured animals will continue as will the children’s conservation program. The Trust aims to be able to host the children most interested in wildlife conservation for a week long programme this year. The SATIB Conservation Trust provides assistance to the Victoria Falls Human-Wildlife Conflict Programme, supporting community conservation education and providing PR support and business advice. In 2014, a human-wildlife conflict comic is being developed focusing on increasing awareness of the importance of the wildlife and solutions to human-wildlife conflicts amongst local children who are encouraged to take home the materials to share with their families.