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International Funds Help Zoological Society of Milwaukee Stop Elephant Poachers




International Funds Help Zoological Society of Milwaukee Stop Elephant Poachers

The Zoological Society of Milwaukee (ZSM) is doing its part to curtail elephant poaching, thanks to generous grants totaling $25,000 from The Mohammed bin Zayed Species Conservation Fund and the Felburn Foundation.  Zayed, a respected international conservation funder based in the United Arab Emirates, provides targeted grants to individual species conservation initiatives, recognizes leaders in the field of species conservation, and elevates the importance of animal and plant species in the broader conservation debate.  Felburn, of Ocala, Florida, supports a variety of nonprofit organizations and funds many conservation projects ranging from land preservation to wildlife protection.

The funds to ZSM will help establish and outfit a new ICCN (Congolese Institute for the Conservation of Nature) guard patrol post in Salonga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The post will be built on the Yenge River, a primary route used by highly organized poachers to access the park’s interior where elephants reside.

“A patrol post on the Yenge River is critical to stopping poachers and protecting elephants, bonobos and other wildlife in an area covering almost one-fifth of the park,” says Dr. Gay Reinartz, ZSM’s conservation coordinator and director of its Bonobo and Congo Biodiversity Initiative (BCBI).  “The Zayed and Felburn grants will help elephant conservation by providing food, fuel, transport, and basic field equipment to the ICCN guards stationed at the river patrol post.”

In some parts of Southeast Asia, ivory is more valuable than gold. The scale and scope of the ivory trade is pushing elephant populations to the brink of extinction. Forest elephants that live in Salonga National Park are particularly endangered, as are bonobos, rare great apes found only in the DRC. Reinartz, who has worked in this region of DRC for the past decade, says the new patrol station will soon be operational.


About the ZSM

The mission of the Zoological Society of Milwaukee, Wis., is to conserve wildlife and endangered species, educate people about the importance of wildlife and the environment, and support the Milwaukee County Zoo. For more information about the Bonobo & Congo Biodiversity Initiative, visit www.zoosociety.org/Conservation/Bonobo/BCBI/.  


For more information, call: Steve Seyfert at (414) 258-2333, ext. 307 - November 2, 2012