Community is our passion.
Since 2010, KACF has been taking our local community into the field to pursue a conservation connection. Our inaugural trip to Nepal began with a group of four travelers who initiated our Colorado-Nepal "Team Nepalorado" concept. It was a true fusion of cultures in the name of conservation and the best of both worlds!
Now, we are leading trips around the planet and empowering people to visit these places and step outside of their comfort zones to help both the animals we love, and the local communities that protect them.
Hospital in Chitwan National Park
In 2014 the KACF began raising funds to build a new, and badly needed veterinary hospital on the grounds of the NTNC (National Trust for Nature Conservation) in Chitwan National Park. As of February 2019, we have raised over fifty thousand dollars and the entire two-story structure has been completed.
Our next step is to outfit the hospital with examination equipment and veterinary assistance from the Uniited States to bring the local doctors up to speed.
We are actively sending vet techs and veterinarians to help fully equip and establish the new facility.
The Chepang Community lies on the outskirts of Chitwan National Park, Nepal. Their knowledge of wildlife led them to become main guides for rhino poachers in Nepal's darker past.
When KACF arrived in 2010, Chitwan National Park was losing 10 to 12 rhinos annually to poaching.
Now, they celebrate zero poaching years.
We have helped the Chepang fence in their lands and start a sustainable honey enterprise through the KACF Honey Bee Project which donated $5000 for the purchase and installation of honey bees.
Movers and Shakers
The Women of Nepal
Part of our success here has been establishing relationships with the local women. KACF has been involved with Ritika Prasai for several years when she first found our Nepal conservation work online. Ritika's activism and community engagement with her trash reclamation project led us to a partnership with her as she completed her undergraduate degree in forestry from Tribhuvan University.
Ritika's research ranged from a bird called Florican to the orchids of the region. Because of the importance of this, we developed a conservation class at her school and helped fund it by granting them $4000 to get seventeen students into the field.
Doma Paudel is one of the few female forest guides in Chitwan National Park. She started a street drama group for the youth of the area to perform and educate the local communities with wildlife skits about conservation and poaching. Ms. Paudel also created a fund to aid victims of human/wildlife conflict.
KACF will soon partner with a female bee keeper group in Bardia National Park and plans to send a contingency of female zookeepers from the United States to help them with their community work.
These exceptional women are the future of Nepal conservation.
Honey Bee Project
Bardia National Park
We first utilized bees for income sustainability with our Chepang community to help alleviate the pressure of rhino poaching in Chitwan National Park. Now, we are also using beehives to help mitigate human/elephant conflict by building fences of hives as elephant deterrents.
Elephants hate bees!
Pavan Kumar is our local partner working with us to create safe elephant-free zones. These will allow people to live and farm in peace without the fear of elephant incursions.
Nepal is a land of large animals like Greater One-horned Rhinos, and Asian Elephants. Leopards and Tigers roam throughout the land freely. Unfortunately, sometimes conflict between humans and wildlife occur and a child is left orphaned as a result.
KACF, with the assistance of the Craig family in Denver, Colorado, have initiated two humanitarian programs to assist orphaned children with funds for education, books, shelter and living expenses.
One orphanage is run by a wildlife veterinary technician from the NTNC and has ten children impacted by wildlife.
After climbing mountains in Costa Rica for conservation efforts, we donated $5000 to Panthera for jaguar corridor development. This amazing endangered cat is the focus of February in our Zoodiac Kids conservation book.
In 2018, eighteen conservation-minded individuals traveled with us and it has led to a wave of conservation work in the country. We now have partners that work not only with the jaguar corridor initiative, but also with collaring and camera trap work in Santa Rosa National Park, and feline fecal collection and DNA analysis with a sniffer dog team.
While jaguars are our main focus in Costa Rica, we also work with sea turtle and primate conservation teams as well, and moving into areas that include tapir and quetzal work.
In July of 2019, several KACF teams traveled to Costa Rica. Our teams included zookeepers, interns, explorers and zoo crew to also assist at the Sea Turtle Conservation Center. We solidified our partnership in jaguar conservation with collaboration and funding for the NAMA conservation organization headed by renowned researcher, Dr. Eduardo Carrillo.
Our next trip is in the planning stages for October 2020.
Turtle Conservation Center
Sea turtles, other species of turtles and tortoises are the KACF focus in Mexico. Our conservation liaisons transport much needed veterinary supplies to the Turtle Conservation Center there.
In the fall of 2019, two volunteer zookeepers will asess the site, work on networking opportunities and continue building relationships with the local community. Veterinary medications will be delivered at this time in addition to working at the center and assisting with the rebuild and repair of structures.
Our zookeepers will stay with a local family to help establish a connection for sustainable and cost-effective ecotourism.
Alaska & Hawaii
In September 2019 a team of six will head to Kaktovik, Alaska to perform a site analysis and assist with the increasing rates of human/polar bear conflict in the area.
The local native cultures are permitted to hunt limited numbers of whale annually for sustinence; However, this creates a heated rivalry with the local polar bears as they await the sea ice to form.
KACF is exploring ways to help minimize this conflict by partnering with the local youth council to determine innovative ways to mitigate this problem.
In the spring of 2019, KACF will partner with the Pacific Rim Conservation Group in Hawaii. Volunteer zookeeper, Stacy Johnson, will assist the group with getting albatross and petrel chicks imprinted on predator-free islands for future breeding success.
KACF sent zookeeper, Abby Peterson, to Brazil to help with the translocation of two female wooly spider monkeys.
These primates were trapped in a protected area with no mates and no chance to reproduce. $1000 was sent to the project for darting and moving the female monkeys to an area with males of their species.
This critically endangered monkey, also called the Northern Muriqui, may have only 500 to 1000 individuals left.
In 2018, a group of eight KACF representatives visited the Pantanal with our partners at Panthera and Climb for Conservation to evaluate our corridor project with the jaguar team there.
This will continue to develop as a focal point of our endangered feline work in South and Central America.
In 2018, KACF sent researcher, Keith Erickson to Ecuacdor to begin work with the amphibian specialty group Wikiri. He assisted in the study of chytrid fungus and how it is impacting the fragile systems of frogs and toads worldwide.
Frogs are suffering from a very high extinction rate and it is imperitive that we understand why because amphibians are our planets first response to environmental changes.
Keith will return to Ecuador in the fall of 2019 with two primate zookeepers and a fabrication specialist.
Their work in Merazonia will include new world monkey rehabilitation and reintroduction to the wild.
In India, KACF has two main objectives.
After visiting the Assam area and Kaziranga National Park, we partnered with Bibhab Talukdar and his charitable trust, Aaranyak, the leading wildlife NGO based in Guwahati, India. Mr. Talukdar is a team member of the International Rhino Foundation and a leading conservationist in region. We support is anti-poaching dog team that help to track down and arrest poachers. His endeavors are helping to reduce rhino and tiger losses in the surrounding area. Additional support to Aaranyak and an ecotourist trip to Kaziranga is on our agenda.
KACF also supported Arzoo Malik with her Sloth Bear research by providing a travel grant for her to attend the International Bear Conference in 2018 to present her findings on the local sloth bear populations.
Synopsis coming soon.
Tsavo National Park in Kenya lies on the boundary with Mkomazi National Park, one of our home bases in Tanzania. The border park system provides an amazingly large protected area for animals to cross back and forth between countries.
KACF has supported black rhino conservation in Tanzania since 2016 and added Tsavo in 2019. We provided needed equipment to a field team working on the protection of rhino in this vast landscape. KACF also donated $800 to secure much need field research support.
Horris Wanyama is our primary contact in Tsavo and a key player in protecting the endangered black rhino species which numbers only 4700 animals left in the wild.
The KACF connection to South Africa began in 2015 when we sent a volunteer zookeeper, Stacy Johnson, to work at SANCCOB to bolster penguin chicks. Her work there involved nursing them back to health and reintroduction back to the wild.
Since then, we have sent liaisons to work at the Vulture Conservation Center of VulPro. Volunteer bird zookeeper, Anton Morrison, also followed up his vulture work with a visit to our partners at the Wildlife Protection Solutions camp where KACF donated $1000 to the anti-poaching dog training team there. A second donation of $500 was made to help boost the technology they use to protect rhinos from poachers.
In 2019, we will partner with the Zulu Nyala safari team and their rangers. South Africa is looking to be a hot bed of activity for KACF and our community in the years to come.
Synopsis coming soon.
Synopsis coming soon!
In honor of zookeeper Jordan Schimming, KACF provided assistance to the Painted Dog Conservation Center to educate and engage the local village communities in Zimbabwe. The center collars local packs of Painted Dogs and removes snares form the environment that injures all wildilfe in the area.
Tha Painted Dog Conservation Center engages with local schools and takes children into the national park to view wildlife and connect them with animal conservation.
Both Jordan Schimming and Katie Adamson were young zoo explorers aspiring to be zookeepers and conservationists and shared common passions. Jordan now works with the wild dog pack at the zoo in Denver, Colorado.