Lion Rehabilitation/Wildlife Rescue

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Dec 12th, 2005, 10:47 AM
  #1
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Lion Rehabilitation/Wildlife Rescue

I am trying to choose between two travel/volunteer projects in Zimbabwe. The problem is, only two other persons are registered for the one I initially chose, and I don't know if there will be any females, and, as a female, I would prefer to have someone else staying in my room with me on the reserve, from a safety standpoint.

So, I might have to do the other, which is a Lion Rehabilitation program in Zimbabwe (not the one in vic falls). It is supposedly sponsored by the WWF, but it sounds a little fishy. Does anyone know anything about this? Its called Antelope Park and is run by a group called African Impact.
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Dec 12th, 2005, 02:35 PM
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llbwolf: I hate to be the one to throw a wet blanket on this and I imagine you would have a great time feeding and walking with lion cubs so my point of view may not need to bother you as I am sure that is a very cool experience.

However, I cannot believe that a program claiming to reintroduce any wildlife, but especially apex predators, is based on activities that completely habituate the animals to people starting right after birth. Just where do they think they can reintroduce adult lions that are completely comfortable with people. It creates a situation that is terribly dangerous for both lions and humans. It appears irresponsible to be breeding lions into this situation at all. I went through the web site with curiosity to see if there was some kind of teaching and preparation for survival but all I see is lets take them out everyday with a bunch of paying volunteers so they can be used to the outdoors and let them use their cat like curiosity to stalk some small game. I agree with you that it sounds fishy and I don't believe they are doing anything that will allow these lions to ever live in the wild -- which begs the question what happens when they are 4 years old and its much too dangerous to have them walking around with people, yet they are not wild cats that can survive on their own?

I think I would express my concern to the other project and see if one of the other volunteers is a woman, or perhaps there is a woman staff member who could bunk with you.

If it doesn't have to be Zimbabwe you could look around for some other opportunities. I personally like this one on cheetah's in Namibia with Earthwatch, and they have quite a few other projects in Africa. What I like about this one is there is a clearly defined conservation mission and a prove track record of working toward it, and as a volunteer there is a wide array of activities that range from hands on care of cheetah that will never return to the wild, to radio collaring and tracking wild cats, to working with local ranchers and schools with conservation education.
http://www.earthwatch.org/expeditions/marker.html
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Dec 12th, 2005, 04:42 PM
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I agree about the Lion issue, and that is exactly what I was afriad of. My object is to participate in a program from which I benefit (exposure), and througho which I give something back to the wilflife (little though it may be). I certainly don't want to be exploitive.

As for Earthwatch, I looked into it intensely, and it was my plan for a long period of time. But, because the only reason I have time to go is because I am changing jobs, and my new employment begins on Feb. 1st, their programs didn't work. Big fan of the Namibia Cheetah project in particular. Wish it worked for me. I am open to other suggestions, but I only have from about December 30 until Jan. 26, at the latest. Thanks
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Dec 12th, 2005, 07:44 PM
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The Cheetah project does have a session for January 15-29 but that wouldn't leave much time before your job.

Take a look at this Earthwatch project in Kenya - they have an early January team but it does cost a little more.

http://www.earthwatch.org/expedition...u-datesoc.html

I have a couple of other ideas that I will post if they look like they could work.
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Dec 13th, 2005, 06:53 AM
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PredatorBiologist (and your instincts) are absolutely right. Earthwatch's programs are good and legit...sometimes they have late cancellations or openings, so call them to see if there is anything available, even if the program says "sold out". CCF's own programs (the cheetah programs in Namibia) --if they have openings--generally have some flexibility about start and end dates, IF you can arrange your own transport to their facility from Windhoek. Which is not so bad...I believe you can do this by bus, or hire a car and driver if you have the means.

Also check out Cheetah Conservation Botswana (www. cheetahbotswana.com). This program is excellent for field conservation, and it includes a visit to their unreleasable cheetahs at Mokolodi. NOt as much hands on...but actually the field work is much more valuable and interesting. (Cleaning out a cheetah pen really isn't all that pleasant...nor is cutting up raw meat to feed them.) Frankly arranging anything at this VERY late date is going to be tough. Good luck.
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Dec 13th, 2005, 07:32 AM
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Sincere thanks to those who answered. I know it sounds silly, but when you are going completely on internet and telephone conversations, forums like this are extremely helpful. I had my last conversation with the organization today, and I have elected to participate in the Hwange project. I am really more interested in field work (which this includes) and in improving conditions for actual wildlife. Hopefully we will be doing some work with water pumps, and disabling snares. Small measures, but one by one...

Also, I have found out what I can about the group, and I do hope that it is as conservation-oriented as it states, but, at this late date, I have to commit or miss out. If anyone knows something negative about the group or the Hwange project, or some other suggestions for this type of trip please speak now! Otherwise, please wish me luck. I will report extensively when I return.
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Dec 13th, 2005, 01:52 PM
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Glad you were able to go for your original option. Field work in Hwange should be a tremendous experience and there is no doubt that this great park really needs all the help it can get to survive under the current conditions of Zimbabwe. It sounds like you will be able to contribute at a very needed time.

Game viewing there should be amazing, enjoy your experience and please do report back upon your return.
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Dec 14th, 2005, 08:15 AM
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need more info on Antelope Park?
My friends visited this park in October.
Can tell you more if you still need info on this.
I haven't read all the other answers , so I don't know if you still need help on the Antelope park thing.
 
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Dec 15th, 2005, 10:04 AM
  #9
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Africa Lover:

I actually decided on the other option, three weeks on poaching patrol in Hwange National Park, but will be visiting Antelope Park for a day or two as a side excursion (about 2 days) so additional information would be great. Thanks
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