A FUTURE FOR ALL LIFE ON EARTH?
Tragically, 2020 was a year like no other and, just like everyone else, we are fervently hoping 2021 heralds a gradual return to some kind of normality, but not ‘business as usual’. Here’s a taster of some of what you can expect from Born Free in the year ahead…
PLIGHT OF THE PANGOLIN
Pangolins are the world’s most trafficked mammal – brutally killed in their tens of thousands for their scales and meat. We’re doing everything we can to protect this lesser-known and fascinating creature. Look out for our brand new campaign launching very soon supporting our work conserving pangolins, rescuing and rehabilitating pangolins in need, and making sure they are given the greatest protection against illegal trade by governments worldwide.
A NEW HOME
Sadly, the health concerns and travel restrictions caused by COVID-19 meant some of our planned relocations for wild animals in need of lifetime care had to be put on hold in 2020.
This year, we hope to move ahead with as many planned rescues and relocations as we can, including introducing four former circus lions Angela, Bellone, Louga and Saïda, to their lifetime home at our big cat sanctuary in Shamwari Private Game Reserve, South Africa.
CONSERVATION IN KENYA
In Kenya, we will be scaling up our conservation efforts to help protect even more species and support more communities. We plan to add to the over 350 predator-proof bomas we have built in partnership with local communities across the Amboseli ecosystem in the south of the country.
This year, we expect to hit the milestone of assisting over 8,000 people protect their livestock from predators, and further reduce the impact of revenge attacks against lions resulting from predation on livestock. In Meru, to the north east, we’re developing new initiatives to reduce human conflict with lions and elephants, thereby creating a healthy, shared and sustainable landscape for wildlife and people.
GLOBAL WILDLIFE CRIME AGREEMENT
In 2020, we became a founder member of the new End Wildlife Crime initiative. In 2021, this important, new effort will be pushing for a global agreement on tackling wildlife crime under the auspices of both the United Nations Conventional on Transnational Organised Crime (UNTOC) and the UN Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
WATER FOR LIFE
This year, we’ll be working with a consultant hydrologist to undertake a baseline survey of the local river systems in Meru National Park, Kenya. This is the first step towards ensuring the long-term security and sustainability of the water supply which is so crucial for both the human communities and the wildlife living in and around Meru, the place where Elsa the lioness was released back to the wild and where she is buried.
PROTECT THEM, PROTECT US
COVID-19 has transformed our world. The lives lost or affected forever. The jobs that have evaporated and the impact on our economic, physical and social wellbeing. We’ve had to adapt and we will need to continue to change how we live to save lives. But this is just a short-term fix. Unless we change our ways, another pandemic will happen again – much sooner than we think. That’s why we’ve joined forces with a new film Protect Them, Protect Us, featuring our Founder Patron Joanna Lumley, set to launch in 2021. The film explains why we must take action now to close wildlife markets, reset our relationship with the natural world, and invest in nature for the sake of all life on Earth.
YOUNG FILMMAKER COMPETITION
Are you ready for a wild adventure? Enter Born Free’s first Youth Wildlife Filmmaker and Photographer of the Year competition! Isabelle Groc, award-winning environmental writer, conservation photographer and documentary filmmaker says: “I was nine years old when my parents gave me my first camera. I spent as much time as I could in nature, photographing every living creature I could find close to home in the South of France: ants, robins, frogs and plants. Now, it’s your turn to show us how you experience wildlife and conservation actions on your doorstep.” Keep an eye on our website between February and May 2021 for information on how to enter.