Zoo Zürich will welcome visitors again on June 6 with the opening of a new Lewa Savanna exhibit after a twelve-week closure due to COVID-19. Modelled on the work of Lewa Wildlife Conservancy (www.lewa.org) in Kenya, Lewa Savanna at Zoo Zürich is home to endangered giraffes, rhinos and 13 other species of African wildlife. The new exhibit, now the Zoo’s largest, will help raise awareness of threats to these species in the wild, the role local communities play in their shared future, and raise support for in-situ conservation.
Conservation Partnership in Kenya Since 1998
The Lewa Savanna exhibit at Zürich Zoo was inspired by the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy located in northern Kenya. Since 1998, Zoo Zürich has proudly supported this UNESCO World Heritage Site and Man & Biosphere Reserve and is committed to its successful anti-poaching, wildlife conservation and community development projects. Lewa Wildlife Conservancy is home to 15% of Kenya’s rhino population and is recognized around the world as a leader in community-centric conservation and sustainable development, leading to its selection as a centerpiece exhibit at the zoo. A total of CHF 2,600,000 (USD $2,700,000) has been invested in Lewa programmes by Zoo Zürich over the past two decades.
“It is not often, that an organization gets to replicate itself 9,000kms away but our partners at Zoo Zürich have managed to help us make this a reality. The efforts and investments that they pour into this exhibit and into showing our work is outstanding. It’s impact is felt at Lewa and is evident in the growing populations of white and black rhino on the conservancy. A true exhibit of partnerships in nature,” said Geoffrey Chege, Head of Wildlife and Research at Lewa Wildlife Conservancy.
Through its connection with the wildlife conservancy in Kenya, the Lewa Savanna at Zoo Zürich will educate and encourage visitors to actively support in situ conservation. Already a longstanding partner, Zoo Zürich is now the official Swiss partner of Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, and assists the Conservancy via direct support and as a conduit for Swiss donors (foundations and individuals) to Kenya.
“Lewa and Zoo Zürich’s partnership is built on our shared commitment to conserving Africa’s iconic species like the black and white rhino. This exhibit will allow our visitors to not only understand but also see what a special ecosystem this is and why it needs to be protected. We are very excited about being part of such a powerful story” said Dr. Alex Rübel, Director, Zoo Zürich.
Spanning 5.6 hectares, Lewa Savanna is now the Zoo’s largest exhibit and is home to 15 species found in the African savanna, including Reticulated giraffes, White rhinoceros, Grévy’s zebras, antelopes, ostriches, meerkats and Spotted hyenas.
About Lewa Wildlife Conservancy
About Lewa Wildlife Conservancy Founded in 1995, the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy spans 61,000 acres and serves as a catalyst for conservation across northern Kenya. Lewa holds 13% of Kenya’s black rhino population and 12% of the world’s Grévy’s zebras. Lewa is dedicated to the protection and management of endangered species, via the creation and support of community-centric conservation and sustainable development programs. Lewa has become a model in Kenya for wildlife conservation on private land, a favored destination for low impact tourism, and a leading catalyst for sustainable development centered on wildlife conservation in northern Kenya.
For more information please contact Beatrice Karanja: email@example.com.
School in the Lewa village.
Copyright: Zurich Zoo, Marco Schaffner