To support Tanzania National Parks (TANAPA), Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti has become a founding member of the Frankfurt Zoological Society's new Serengeti De-Snaring Program, with funds from the Lodge and a number of other Serengeti tour operators allowing the introduction of a new mobile de-snaring team to patrol areas of the Serengeti National Park.
As part of the Lodge's Discovery Centre Fund, Four Seasons has committed to annual donations to the project to ensure the removal of snares from the National Park to help protect and preserve the region's wildlife. With patrolling having officially begun in mid-April 2017, the first three months of operation have yielded significant results, including the collection and removal of 3,603 snares; discovery and reporting of 28 poacher camps; and the rescue of 21 live animals caught in snares.
General Manager of Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti Martin Cody comments: "Through our Discovery Centre Fund, we look to support both the local communities in the region and, of course, the Serengeti's wildlife. Poaching in the National Park is a serious issue, with many people looking to secure bush meat for food or money, yet not realising the impact that snares are having on dwindling animal populations, not to mention the harm this can cause the individual animals. With this in mind, we are so pleased to be a founding member of this new de-snaring program and will continue to work closely with Frankfurt Zoological Society and all other partners to help raise awareness and funds for this essential program."
This first mobile de-snaring team comprises an ex-TANAPA ranger, a current TANAPA ranger and four members from the local community, some of whom are ex-poachers able to provide key insights into the locations and activities of bush meat poachers.
Commenting on the Serengeti De-Snaring Program, Patrick Eickemeier, Africa Communications Manager at Frankfurt Zoological Society, says: "The starting phase is focusing on integration of the de-snaring program with the Park authority’s routine operations. Collaboration has been very successful and we hope to support more teams in the future to counter snaring as the most prevalent form of poaching in Serengeti. We’re building on the support from the tourism stakeholders. The program can really have a very positive and visible impact on the ecosystem."
The Discovery Centre Fund at Four Seasons Safari Lodge Serengeti is financed through contributions from Four Seasons operated game drives and walking safaris, select items sold in the onsite boutique, and guest donations.