Born Free Foundation - Keep Wildlife in the Wild

Congratulations Cosmas

14 September 2015

Categories: Homepage News, Primates Campaign News, Rescue News

The Born Free Foundation is delighted to hear that Cosmas Mumba, Project Manager of the Born Free-funded GRI - Zambia Primate Project (ZPP), has been named as one of three finalists for the prestigious Tusk Conservation Award, founded by Tusk Trust in conjunction with HRH The Duke of Cambridge.

Born Free have been supporting Cosmas’s important work in Zambia for the past thirteen years and this well-deserved accolade is due recognition to a project that has developed into a world class conservation success story. Under Cosmas’s careful stewardship, over 500 yellow baboons and vervet monkeys have been successfully rehabilitated, having been rescued from the most harrowing conditions and given a second chance at life back in the wild.

President of the Born Free Foundation, Will Travers OBE said: “Cosmas is one of Africa’s unsung conservation heroes.  His extraordinary work in remote parts of the Zambian bush rescuing and returning primates to the wild is not a job for the faint-hearted and speaks volumes about his dedication and commitment to the cause.  I am delighted, on behalf of Born Free, which has supported him and Zambia Primate Project for some years, that he has now received due recognition for all his effort and I hope he will inspire others around the world.  We can all do something and Cosmas has shown us how.”  

Cosmas was born in Petuake to a rural family who respect nature and love wildlife.  In 2002 he was asked to help release rescued primates back into the wild as part of the pioneering welfare project ZPP, established by the Born Free Foundation.

He has worked for ZPP since leaving school, working his way up through the ranks to his current position of Project Manager having started with the project as a casual labourer and cook.

Since then, ZPP has grown to become one of Africa’s most established and successful primate release programmes. With Born Free’s ongoing support, its mission is to rescue and rehabilitate injured, orphaned and illegally held vervet monkeys and yellow baboons for release back to the wild in Zambia. Primate survival rate six months post release currently averages a remarkable 95%.

Dr.Cheryl Mvula, ZPP Senior Technical Advisor, who has worked closely with Cosmas for the last decade, was clearly elated, saying; “I never fail to be impressed by Cosmas’s passion and commitment to wildlife conservation in Zambia, particularly his work with primates. Confiscating illegally held primates and his anti-poaching work has placed him in some very dangerous situations, but his gentle, yet steady determination, to champion the cause of primates in Zambia has never wavered.

“I feel privileged to work with such a humble, unsung hero of the conservation world – singlehandedly saving the lives of hundreds of primates. Being recognised for his dedication through a Tusk Award would be so special for him and much deserved.”

The world-renowned Tusk Conservation Awards, developed by Tusk Trust, celebrate excellence in conservation and highlight inspirational conservation work in Africa - ranging from the protection of endangered species and threatened habitats, to the promotion of environmental education and the development of community driven conservation. The awards are sponsored by Investec Asset Management and Land Rover.

Cosmas will attend the glittering Tusk Conservation Awards ceremony at Claridge’s Hotel, London, on 24th November.

Read an interview with Cosmas here

Donate to GRI-Zambia Primate Project here

Born Free Foundation
Broadlands Business Campus, Langhurstwood Road
, Horsham, RH12 4QP, UK - Charity Reg. No. 1070906

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