Fiona’s Bloat Buys a Boat for Ugandan Hippos in Disaster

Fiona and her bloat-mates have had a huge effect inside our Cincinnati and zoo group and on her wild hippo counterparts. Her affect as an envoy has raised consciousness for her species and helped us elevate funds to assist conservation efforts in Africa. 

Fifty p.c of all proceeds from the “Hanging with Hippos” behind-the-scenes excursions go to conservation tasks chosen by the hippo conservation crew, together with myself. The funds that we’ve raised are used to make a tangible distinction for hippos in Uganda. Our bloat is funding a ship for rangers making an attempt to guard hippos. 

These linked articles from Nationwide Geographic and The Guardian describe a few of the conservation effort challenges in Uganda. 

Our companions on the Uganda Conservation Basis (UCF) advised us that their greatest want was a patrol boat.   

In line with Michael Keigwin, founding father of UCF, the final 4 years have been more and more difficult. “A drought within the nation, subsequent flooding, and earlier pandemic lockdowns have all strained native farming economies and different companies, driving extra folks to poach…” with lethal penalties not solely to the wildlife, however to the rangers who try to guard it.

UCF has misplaced 2 rangers within the line of obligation simply up to now 12 months and paltry although it’s compared to the lack of human life, a $25,000 boat, probably the most important piece of apparatus of their arsenal, was destroyed as nicely. And out of doors of the losses skilled simply by UCF, hippo populations in Uganda have been decimated by as a lot as 70% within the final 4 years. In abstract, hippos and our conservation companions in Uganda want our assist now greater than ever. 

And we’re stepping up! We’re sending funds to purchase a ship, and the World Conservation Basis is matching our contribution!  

There has by no means been a time in my profession the place I’ve been capable of contribute to an actual conservation want in such an enormous and impactful means. I’m really so proud to say that I work on the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Backyard, a corporation that’s placing animal care and conservation on the forefront of their mission. It’s an honor and a privilege to not solely deal with superb animal ambassadors, however to see their lives have an precise affect on their wild counterparts (and the people who shield them, too!).  

So, at a time when a lot of the conservation story can really feel detrimental and foreboding, we wished to share this rainbow of hope made attainable by the efforts of many people and hippos right here on the Zoo!

As Margaret Mead mentioned, “By no means doubt {that a} small group of considerate, dedicated, residents can change the world. Certainly, it’s the solely factor that ever has.” 

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