NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
It is just
before dawn, and Zhuo Qiang is already on the mission: to parol
with rangers at Ol Kinyei Conservancy in southwest Kenya.
has been a routine for the 43-year-old Chinese over the past
“That’s Saruni. One of three males of OL Kinyei Pride here in
the conservancy. He is eight years old now,” Zhuo said,
pointing to a lion in the bush.
Zhuo knows well about every adult lion in this 73 square
kilometer conservancy, an important part of Mara-Serengeti
“Currently, we have around 26 lions here in the conservancy,
and every adult has a name,” said Zhuo, who is also called
Simba, a Swahili word for lion.
According to him, there were around 200,000 lions in Africa a
century ago, and now the number stands at only 30,000. In Kenya,
there are less than 3,000 lions nowadays.
Zhuo’s childhood fascination with a lion-themed animation has
sown the seeds for his future adventure in Africa.
Harboring the love for lions from childhood, he first came to
Africa in 2004 and travelled 12 African countries to learn the
wildlife living condition. In 2011, he founded Mara Conservation
Fund, a nongovernmental organization dedicated to protecting
lions and other animals as well as saving their natural habitat.
Based in OL Kinyei Conservancy, it is also the first wildlife
conservation organization run by a Chinese in Africa.
Over the years, Zhuo and his foundation have been offering
helping hands to the conservancy as well as the local Maasai
people in a bid to save the wildlife.
Tuesday, the organization donated a vehicle to the conservancy
to facilitate anti-poaching efforts and study on the movements
of big cats. This follows its donation of a motorcycle, cameras
and mobile radios to the conservancy from 2012 to 2014.
also donated four vehicles and other equipment, like GPS and
spot lights, to Maasai Mara National Reserve and Kenya Wildlife
Service (KWS) in 2013.
reduce human-animal conflict, the foundation, together with the
conservancy managed by Gamewatchers, has built two lion-proof
bomas for Maasai families living around the conservancy.
“Maasai people may poison the lion as a revenge if it attacked
their livestock. So we built the bomas for those affected
families as a mean to reduce the conflict,” said the
conservationist, adding the money was all from Chinese donors.
The organization has also assisted in the rescue of other sick
and injured animals. In July last year, it provided vehicle for
rangers to track and save an elephant from the poacher’s spear
in the conservancy.
And Zhuo is not alone in helping save Africa’s wildlife.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang during his visit to Kenya in 2014
reiterated China’s commitment to the eradication of poaching in
the African wild, and announced a grant worth 500,000 U.S.
dollars for KWS to boost its anti-poaching gearing.
The Chinese Embassy in Nairobi also donated equipment worth 20,
000 dollars to aid Kenya’s war against wildlife crimes in August
Chinese celebrity, former NBA star Yao Ming had came to Kenya
twice in 2012 and 2013, and shot a documentary aimed at
combating poaching. And in 2013, Chinese actress and UNEP
Goodwill Ambassador, Li Bingbing, also in Kenya joined a
campaign to raise awareness on elephant protection.
Zhuo has also launched awareness campaigns in several cities in
China and toured in Britain and the United States, delivering
speeches on wildlife conservation. His foundation also plans to
translate the Swara, a quarterly magazine on wildlife
conservation, into Chinese to reach more people on wildlife
protection in Africa.
Moreover, some 100 Chinese volunteers came to Kenya to work with
Zhuo on conservation projects each year, and share their
experiences to more Chinese back home.
“There is no border for wildlife protection, and it doesn’t
matter where you contribute your share. I want to provide a
platform for Chinese to give their share on global wildlife
conservation,” said the conservationist.
NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Simba visits a camp of rangers in Ol Kinyei Conservancy
[left], Simba stands with his Masai guide on the peak of a
mountain in Ol Kinyei Conservancy, Kenya.
XINHUA PHOTO: PAN SIWEI