American Association of Zoo Keepers

ACK Mary's picture
Mon, 2011-08-29 14:29 by ACK Mary · Forum/category:
AAZK2011 logo Truck breakdown Resim-Cosmas-Feb2011 (7)

Bowling for Rhino's supports more than just rhinos! Proceeds from the BFR fundraisers in 2009 and 2010 not only supported white, black, Indian, Javan and Simatran rhinos, but a portion of the funds also assists cheetah conservation in northern Kenya. The bulk of the funds raised by zoo keepers across the US and Canada is sent to Lewa Downs, a rhino sanctuary in the Laikipia/Meru district in Kenya. A percentage of the funds is also sent to the International Rhino Fund to support work in India, Java and Sumatra where the rarest of the rhinos are threatened by loss of habitat. I am honored that the AAZK board and members selected ACK to receive a percentage of these funds as well. This year at the San Diego hosted annual AAZK meeting I had the opportunity to update the delegates about the status of cheetahs in Kenya, the work that ACK is doing and the assistance that the BFR funds has given us in establishing research in the Meibae Conservancy. Updates on our research are available in the previous blogs and also in the conference proceeedings. Thank you AAZK for your support!

I made a plea to the delegates to consider additional fundraising efforts in 2012 to help ACK purchase a new truck. Our 1992 Toyota Hylux has served us well for over 300,000 kilometers. The truck was used when we purchased it in 2001, already having 84,000km. In 2008 we replaced the engine after the timing belt broke and damaged the old one. Currently we spend nearly as much time in the workshop as we do in the field. In the last two months both Cosmas and I broke down in the field while working in the Samburu study area. In both cases we needed to cut field work short to get the truck back to the mechanic. The current problems are serious ones with fuel injection, steering and suspention... not just your everyday issues. While I really love this truck, I have come to the realization that security risks associated with vehicle breakdown must take precidence over the field work efforts.

Additional work in the coming year will involve a lot of driving, especially in the Salama area where camera trapping and fecal studies will be the primary research efforts. Please feel free to contact us.

Action for Cheetahs in Kenya needs your help. To make a donation, please visit Project Survival – http://www.cathaven.com/Catalog.aspx?catid=3