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Lottery ‘win’ for wildlife in the fight against illegal trade

Players of the People’s Postcode Lottery have helped raise funds totaling £250,000 which will be used to tackle illegal wildlife activity in some of the world’s most demanding environments.

The funding awarded by the Lottery will support an upgrade to a wildlife protection tool, Instant Detect, which has been pioneered by ZSL (Zoological Society of London).  The upgraded technology will begin its testing stages in Nepal, the native range of the greater-one horned rhinoceros, which is housed at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo.

As a thank you, keepers at Whipsnade stacked a six-foot-high wall of specially decorated boxes, for resident rhino Hugo, packed with his favourite treats. The greater one-horned rhino wasted no time toppling the boxes over, upon discovering they had apples, bananas and bamboo inside.

The funding will also help support ZSL conservation initiatives including community-based projects in Cameroon’s west coast Douala-Edea Wildlife Reserve and surrounding area. The reserve is home to the Vulnerable African manatee, wildly known as the sea cow, as well as a variety of sharks and rays. ZSL’s Net-Works programme, a community-based scheme that recycles fishing nets, which are a major source of plastic pollution that is hazardous to marine life, will also be expanding.

ZSL’s Fundraising Director, James Wren says; “We are incredibly grateful to the players at People’s Postcode Lottery. Without their support, this funding would not have become a reality. The donation has allowed us to update our technology to continue the fight against the illegal wildlife trade. We can also continue the expansion of our impactful conservation programmes in Cameroon allowing us to protect a greater number of wild animals.”

To learn more about ZSL’s conservation projects visit www.zsl.org or visit ZSL London Zoo or ZSL Whipsnade Zoo

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