Tag Archives: Rwanda

Lions Return to Rwanda


african lion king

Seven lions in top breeding condition will be translocated this week from South Africa to Akagera National Park in Rwanda in a ground-breaking conservation initiative.

Lions became extinct in Akagera 15 years ago when the species was poisoned by cattle herders in the years following the 1994 genocide when the park was unmanaged. The lions destined for Akagera include five females donated by &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve, and two males that have been donated by Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife from Tembe Elephant Park.

The Rwanda-bound lions have been selected based on future reproductive potential and their ability to contribute to social cohesion. They are sub-adult females and young adult males from different genetic stock. They will be fitted with satellite collars which will enable the Akagera park management team to monitor their movements and reduce the risk of the lions breaking out into neighboring community areas.


“The return of lions to Akagera is a conservation milestone for the park and the country, says Peter Fearnhead, the CEO of African Parks, the organisation that has planned and is executing the translocation. “Restoring national parks to their former biodiversity state is a key deliverable of the African Parks conservation model and we, in conjunction with our Government partner, the Rwandan Development Board, are delighted to have been able to reintroduce one of the key species to this beautiful national park.”

Ambassador Yamina Karitanyi, the Chief Tourism Officer at the Rwanda Development Board says: “It is a breakthrough in the rehabilitation of the park under the public private partnership between the Rwanda Development Board and African Parks. Their return will encourage the natural balance of the ecosystem and enhance the tourism product to further contribute to Rwanda’s status as an all-in-one safari destination.”

Ambassador Yamina KaritanyiAmbassador Yamina Karitanyi

Wildlife Conservation Film Festival
& Biodiversity Conference

Christopher J. Gervais, FRGS
Founder & CEO

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Gorillas Dismantle Snares


Recently In Rwanda, four young mountain gorillas were seen disabling a poachers’ snare intended to kill gorillas and other animals. These gorillas sprung into action after the same snare killed an old gorilla from their troop.

Adult gorillas have been seen destroying snares and poaching traps in the past, but scientists have never seen this kind of activity in gorillas at such a young age. This sighting suggests not only unexpected cognitive skill but also a level of empathy for other animas. While the gorillas could choose to simply avoid the snare grounds, they instead decide to work together to disable them so that other gorillas and animals are not hurt and killed.

Within the world of primatologists and researchers, primate empathy has been a matter of discussion for years. These new findings suggest a level of empathy and social welfare amongst primates never before studied. The young gorillas dismantling the snares will most likely teach their offspring how to destroy traps as well. Primates, such as gorillas and chimpanzees, are known for teaching their young how to use different tools.



“It’s just amazing”, says Dr. Patricia Wright, a Primatologist at Stony Brook University in New York with over 27 years anthropological experience. “One of the most extraordinary things that has just happened is that very young gorillas, that are just four years old, have started to take apart traps and snares so that poachers can’t catch gorillas.”


Dr. Wright will be present at the 2014 Wildlife Conservation Film Festival (WCFF) in New York the week of October 13-19. There she will speak with the audience after the screening of the IMAX film Island of Lemurs: Madagascar. She will be joined by fellow primatologist Dr. Birute’ Galdikas, traveling all the way from Borneo who will also speak with the audience after the screening of Born to Be Wild. Both Dr. Wright and Galdikas will be presented with Lifetime Achievement Awards at the WCFF Gala on Friday, October 17. They will be joined by Dr. Sylvia Earle, Nan Hauser and HRH Prince Khaled bin Sultan, all of whom are receiving awards for their life’s dedication to the protection of global biodiversity.

Wildlife Conservation Film Festival, Inc.
Christopher J. Gervais, Founder & CEO
Twitter: @WCFF_org
Instagram: WCFF_org
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