The Zimbabwe Elephant Welfare and Conservation Trust (ZEWACT) recently hosted the Victoria Falls Primary School Conservation Club at their Jafuta Reserve on the outskirts of Victoria Falls.
Renowned for its progressive learning curriculums and outstanding level of education, Victoria Falls Primary School seeks to provide a broad, modern and well balanced education, which aims to nurture each child to develop their full potential in a safe, stimulating and interesting environment. Through a variety of Clubs to enhance the social awareness, environmental education, confidence, responsibility, leadership skills, camaraderie and team work development of all children the School arranges regular field trips around the country to select programmes based on the interest and focus of their clubs.
ZEWACT on the Jafuta Reserve was a perfect location where the Conservation Club could experience the unique “Through The Eyes of an Elephant” awareness activity, learning about this incredible keystone species, their importance and role in effective biodiversity. The activity is both entertaining and immersive encouraging the children to become elephants themselves – learning about how elephants see, hear, smell and feel the world. In addition the Conservation Club were able learn about the challenges that elephants face in the wild as well as the ongoing research projects, elephant conflict mitigation, and community engagement.
The ZEWACT herd live on the Jafuta reserve on the outskirts of Victoria Falls within the last great elephant range known as the Kavango Zambezi Transfrontier Conservation Area spanning 5 countries with half a million km square of natural wildlife habitat. Almost 60% of all remaining African elephants have the freedom to roam here. The Jafuta reserve is at the epicentre of the KAZA area. It is surrounded by communal lands, and is located 15 km from the City of Victoria Falls where elephants and humans often come into close contact.
The Zambezi Elephant Welfare and Conservation Trust (ZEWACT) is a charity founded for the benefit of elephants in human care and they are pioneering methods in the humane treatment and conservation of the iconic African elephant by working with Conservationists, welfare scientists, animal psychologists, veterinarians and those with practical experience and skills from an evidence based approach. Their primary goal is to provide the best care possible for the elephants under their guardianship, in a natural elephant habitat; with a secondary goal to find how our elephant ambassadors can aid efforts to help conservation of their wild brethren. Wild elephant numbers are decreasing at an unsustainable rate due to habitat loss and fragmentation, poaching and legal killing due to human wildlife conflict.
During these uncertain times, understanding and protection of our wild habitats and the wildlife that lives within them is ever more important, and it is hugely positive to see organisations such as ZEWACT continuing to invest in education and awareness for our younger generations and future conservationists despite the ongoing challenges and impact of the pandemic.
To learn more about ZEWACT and their “Through The Eyes of an Elephant” interactive activity visit their website www.ZEWACT.org