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What Can Zoos Do?

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Each year, about 600 million visitors visit zoos worldwide. This is a unique opportunity to explain the threat for animals by the bushmeat trade -
as this exhibition does!

But zoos can do even more:


1. Origin of zoo animals
Modern, scientifically led zoos assume responsibility for the protection and preservation of wild animal populations. In Europe, 133 species are managed in EEPs and over 90% of the animals are born in zoos. Animals from these breeding programs are available to be reintroduced to the wild when possible. Members of the European zoo association, EAZA, exchange their animals according to breeding loans between themselves. Only in exceptional circumstances, for instance in confiscated smuggled animals, do animals from the wild enter zoos. Current zoo management no longer considers taking animals from the wild, as noted in EAZA's code of ethics.

2. EAZA Bushmeat Campaign
At the EAZA Conference in 1999 at Basel, a working group was established and a year later, in September 2000, the official EAZA Bushmeat Campaign began with financial support from IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare). Zoos throughout Europe informed the public about the problem of bushmeat. Money raised during the campaign will be spent on supporting projects aimed at solving the bushmeat crisis (see 3. + 4.). EAZA is in close contact with other bushmeat working groups, such as the Ape Alliance and the Bushmeat Crisis Task Force (BCTF), where American zoos and conservation organisations are active.

On the 8th November 2001, the EAZA Bushmeat Campaign petitions with over 1.9 million signatures will be presented to the European Parliament. These petitions will then be presented to the African leaders of Central and West African countries where bushmeat trade is a problem. For latest news see the EAZA website.

3. If you would like to support the fight against illegal bushmeat trade, you can send a donation to the EAZA Bushmeat Campaign account:
Fortis Bank
Account No.

Donations will support projects chosen by the EAZA Bushmeat Working Group (see 4.).


4. Three projects with the topics research, conservation and environmental education have been chosen for support by EAZA:

Project 1: Pan African Sanctuary Alliance (PASA) (PDF file)
To date, 17 orphanages are run by different organisations in Africa united for mutual informal and financial support. Environmental education, research and conservation als their main working areas.

Project 2: Research close to the Dja Faunal Reserve, Cameroon (PDF file)
The researchers Phillipe Auzel and Jef Dupain are trying to establish a communal wildlife zone together with the community population. The area covers 70 km² and is situated outside the Dja Reserve. Data shall be collected on the gorillas and chimpanzees there and on human influences on the nature.

Project 3: Protecting great apes in the wild (PDF file)
The Berggorilla & Regenwald Direkthilfe (Mountain Gorilla & Rainforest Direct Aid) supports rangers in gorilla national parks with equipment. Land purchase for buffer zones, sensibilisation workshops and engagement of local initiatives get financial support. The activities run in collaboration with other international conservation organisations and local authorities.

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© Wilhelma 2000