Tee off to Save Africa’s Wildlife

Africa Albida Tourism is calling on sponsors and participants to take part in theannual fundraising Golf Day, to ensure the survival of the Victoria Falls Anti Poaching Unit, tobe held on October 2 at Borrowdale Brooke GolfClub.

Africa Albida Tourism (AAT) chief executive Ross Kennedy said: “It is evident fromthe worldwide news coverage of Cecil the lion that wildlife conservation and dealingwith poaching remains critically important. It is a key aspect of our company’s philosophyand corporate social responsibilityprogram.

“Poaching comes in many forms and it is vital that resources are raised to ensure thatthe incredible work the Victoria Falls Anti Poaching Unit (VFAPU) does, which has seenan      increase in wildlife numbers in the Victoria Falls area, can continue,” Mr Kennedysaid.

“This includes giraffe, sable, zebra, all being seen back in and around the areabetween Victoria Falls Safari Lodge and the Zambezi National Park, and more and more guidesare now using the national park for game drives for clients,” hesaid.

“We understand the pressure and demands in this economy, but AAT covers the costsof the event, so every cent raised goes directly to VFAPU, and we urge individualsand corporatestosupportthedaybyparticipating,contributingordonatinginsomeway.”

Up to 144 players, making up 36 teams, will take part in VFAPU Golf Day, one of themost enjoyable and best organised events on the golf fundraising calendar, which will alsoinclude lunch, entertainment, prizes and a charityauction.

VFAPU has arrested nearly 700 hardened poachers since it was established in 1999 bylocal safari operator and conservationist Charles Brightman and the Victoria Falls SafariLodge, the flagship property of the Africa Albida Tourismgroup.

So far, the unit, which works closely with the Zimbabwe Parks and WildlifeManagement Authority and the Zimbabwe Republic Police, has also removed more than 22 000wire snares from its operationalarea.

In addition, 179 mammals, including buffalo, kudu, eland and impala, injured bysnares have been treated and released back into the wild, Mr Brightmansaid.

“The Cecil the lion incident was just one example of what VFAPU has been fightingagainstformanyyearsnow,andwewelcometheattentionthatthissingularincidenthasbrought to what has been going on for sometime.”

Two rhino a day, and one elephant every 15 minutes, are poached in Africa, with partsof Zimbabwe, such as Matusadona and Chizarira national parks, having lost more than 70per cent of their elephant population in the past ten years, Mr Brightmansaid.

The charity golf tournament, which raised a record $14,750 last year, is integral tothe survival of VFAPU, which relies on donations to cover its $6,000 a month operationalcosts,hesaid.

FAPU, which was established in an effort to fight the alarming levels of poaching,operates in a 50kmsq area around Victoria Falls, and has 17 scouts patrolling seven days a week.The unit tackles all forms of poaching, including wood, bush meat andivory.

For more information on VFAPU Golf Day please e mail:golf@africaalbida.co.zw