Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The First Re-Introduced Lion Cub in Kora (Kenya) in 24 years.

The following is adapted from the WildlifeNOW! newsletter:

Mugi, a 5-month-old cub, joins the ranks of Elsa and Christian, iconic lions 'reintroduced' to the wild. In the 1960's and 1970's, "Born Free" and "Christian the Lion" made the George Adamson and Tony Fitzjohn's successful lion reintroduction program world famous. Battling unfriendly headwinds and rampant poaching, the program was shut down in 1989 and Tony Fitzjohn moved to Tanzania to rehabilitate Mkomazi National Park. With Tony's departure and George Adamson's subsequent murder, the famed lion reintroduction program was shut down and the Kora lion population suffered a similar fate with lions all over Africa - making them yet another endangered species struggling for survival.

Tony Fitzjohn and Bugsy, ca. 1985.

Over 20 years later, very few lions reside in Kora National Park. In 2011, the Kenyan Wildlife Service asked Tony Fitzjohn and his team to come back to Kora to restore the natural habitat - additionally, he is restarting the famed lion program. Today, the Tony Fitzjohn-George Adamson African Wildlife Preservation Trust (WildlifeNOW) is back in Kora, working in partnership with the KWS to restore KORA National Park to its former glory!

Over the past 30 years, Tony Fitzjohn and his team have shown continued success in breeding and reintroducing endangered animals back into local African ecosystems. The highly successful Black Rhino Program and the African Wild Dog Program in Mkomazi National Park (Tanzania) exemplify this outstanding work.  In Kora, orphaned lion cubs will be rehabilitated and introduced back to the wild.  The rebirth of this program is exhilarating news for lion conservation in Kenya and for Kora in particular.

Your Donations Make Lion Rehabilitation Possible. We are thrilled to be working with lions in Kora again. But we need your help! This program cannot succeed without your financial support. Please give generously to WildlifeNOW and help us make the KORA lion program a cornerstone in lion conservation and preservation in Africa.

Tony Fitzjohn - Founder
The Tony Fitzjohn / George Adamson African Wildlife Preservation Trust, 'WildlifeNOW'