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Cleveland Zoological Society Provides Funds for Purchase of a Boat to Assist Partner in Africa

In continuing with its mission to “conserve the natural world,” the Cleveland Zoological Society recently provided funds for the purchase of a small fiberglass boat and engine for a conservation partner in the Sioma Ngwezi National Park in South Africa.

The KAZA Peace Park straddles the borders of five southern African countries: Angola, Botswana, Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Within the Zambian component of KAZA lies Sioma Ngwezi National Park, a vast area unobstructed by human encroachment and development. Sioma’s wilderness is an ideal refuge for many wildlife species, especially elephant, which need space to roam unhindered in order to limit human-wildlife conflict. Unfortunately, this refuge has become an ideal site for poachers to travel through undetected.

The purchase of a boat makes it possible for improved ranger patrols along the Kwando River in Zambia, limiting illegal access to the park, as well as curbing not only the ivory trade across the border, but also most importantly, limiting the number of poaching incidents which occur. This will directly contribute to the conservation and well-being of African elephant populations that use the river, as well as maintaining the integrity of the ecosystem and the safety of the existing wildlife corridors.

The Zoo Society’s conservation partner asked for help in naming the boat. During a two week poll online, voters were able to choose between four possible names in the Lozi language. With over 50% of the total votes, the boat was named Kantela (Kantezi), which means to guard/to watch.