Due to acute food shortages, one of Africa’s biggest wildlife rehabilitation centers faces closure. The shortages also threaten to wipe out the entire population of wild creatures that draw thousands of tourists to Chipangali every year.
The wildlife orphanage, which has been featured in several documentaries promoting tourism in Zimbabwe, relies on donations to provide sanctuary to the 300 animals from different species that have been orphaned, abandoned, injured, born in captivity or brought up unsuccessfully as pets.
Chipangali is home to lions, leopards, baboons, snakes, owls, and crocodiles, among other animal species.
Founded in 1973 by ex-game ranger Vivian Wilson and his wife Paddy, the sanctuary has also become a useful resource center to educate the Zimbabwean public with live viewings of many species not easily seen in the wild.
“We are facing serious problems,” said Nicky Wilson, who runs the orphanage, “Wild animals face starvation at the center due to food shortages.”
Wilson expressed concern the donations were drying up. She said they might be forced to close down if the situation does not improve soon. “The institution urgently requires donations to stop hunger from wiping out all the animals kept here.”
She warned the closure of Chipangali would have a negative impact on the country’s already ailing tourism sector. The tourism industry has been severely affected by the rampant killing of wild animals as some species are now on the verge of extinction.
To find out how you can help, visit the Chipangali Wildlife Orphange webpage.