Doncaster’s wild idea to save the lions

PIC Sharon Scott/Acquire Images 07973 340201  'Yorkshire Wildlife Park.  Safari Night Animals.
PIC Sharon Scott/Acquire Images 07973 340201 'Yorkshire Wildlife Park. Safari Night Animals.

It’s a really wild idea, but it could help protect the future of African lions.

A major programme to protect the carnivores was launched by Doncaster’s Yorkshire Wildlife Park this week.

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The charity is funding a three year £34,500 initiative at an African national reserve.

The landmark project – announced on World Lion Day – will pay for a whole range of new measures, including the recruitment of rangers to track and monitor the lions.

Much of the funds came from visitors to Yorkshire Wildlife Park making donations after enjoying its magical walk through experience coming close to some of the world’s most beautiful and rare species, including a magnificent pride of lions rescued from a Romanian zoo.

Now thanks to the fundraising the foundation has made the £11,500 a year grant to the acclaimed international conservation organization Fauna & Flora International.

The work will take place at the Niassa National Reserve in Mozambique and the partnership represents a major advance to combat poaching and disappearing habitat.

“We are delighted to partner with Fauna & Flora International which shares our determination to create effective conservation project,” said Cheryl Williams, the foundation’s CEO.

“It is fitting that it is officially launched on World Lion Day and we are confident it will make a real difference.”

During World Lion Day visitors enjoy educational talks, a special feed from the bridge in Lion Country and the chance to support the Niassa Project by donating to the foundation.

The new scheme will co-ordinate modern computer mapping, data sharing with the efforts of field scouts and rangers.

“We are thrilled to launch our new partnership with the Yorkshire Wildlife Park Foundation. Working together we can greatly improve the prospects for wild dogs and lions within the Reserve,” said Ros Aveling, of Fauna & Flora International.

“The lions and wild dogs roaming across Chuilexi Conservancy within Niassa will be better monitored and protected by field scouts and rangers trained in modern techniques of GIS mapping while data shared across the whole reserve will make coordination of anti-poaching efforts more effective.

“Niassa is beautiful, challenging, remote terrain. It has the space and habitat for wild predators to thrive despite the pressures that are reducing their numbers across the continent. This partnership is indeed good news to celebrate on World Lion Day.”

Fauna & Flora is working on more than 140 projects in more than 40 countries. The YWP Foundation has built and international reputation for bold and powerful conservation initiatives around the world.

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