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Not all Chinese are ivory buyers: Chinese community in Kenya volunteers for wildlife conservation

Not all Chinese are ivory buyers: Chinese community in Kenya volunteers for wildlife conservation

By China House Kenya

On the early morning of 1 June, ranches in Lake Naivasha area, Kenya was greeted by a group of special guests. About 30 volunteers joined the Africa Network for Animal Welfare (ANAW) in a de-snaring project that aims to remove snares that have been set, rescue trapped animals and report injured animals.

16 volunteers are from Chinese communities living in Kenya were organized by China House to take part in the event. This is probably the first time that the Chinese community in Africa has participated in such event with first-hand, up close experience of appreciating and protecting African wildlife. The innovative collaboration is part of Humane Society International’s project with the China House to raise awareness on wildlife poaching and reducing the Chinese nationals’ involvement in the illegal wildlife trade in Africa.

The snares are normally set on paths and bushes where wild animals are frequently seen. Once they are trapped, it only gets tighter when they struggle to get rid of.

As soon as the snares were located, the volunteers will cut them with wire cutters and remove them.

Soon, the team found a zebra that was brutally injured by snares. In order to check the injury, veterinarians from the Kenya Wildlife Service had to shoot it down with tranquilizer gun. Unfortunately the zebra was too far gone, so it had to be humanely put down. It was heart-breaking for many volunteers witnessing a zebra slowly die in front of team.

Liu Peng, a volunteer who witnessed the whole story, said,“ when the injured zebra was falling down, I saw three other zebras try their hardest to hold him up with their necks and bodies. That was the last time he ran.”

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At the end of the activity, 10 snares were successfully removed. 5 injured zebras were found, one of them didn’t make it.

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