OTTAWA (February 8, 2021) –
CAZA is proud to highlight a significant animal conservation effort of one of its accredited zoos located in Hemmingford, Quebec. Parc Safari today made it official it has successfully rewilded two Canadian born cheetahs to the Imire Rhino and Wildlife Conservation in Zimbabwe.
“Canada’s 29 accredited zoos and aquariums have very active animal conservation programs, this is another example of how accredited facilities in Canada and non-domestic animals in human care in Canada contribute to species preservation”, said Jim Facette, Executive Director of CAZA.
This conservation effort began in 2016 when Parc Safari partnered with the Toronto Zoo leading to the 2019 birth of four healthy cubs; Asani, Dalia, Kumbe, and Jabari. Given the challenge of genetic matching of cheetahs, accredited zoos in Canada will collaborate to find a match. When Kumbe and Jabari were born their genetics were found to be strong enough to move ahead with the rewilding plan.
With the Aspinall Foundation as its’ partner, this program will be the first of its kind for Zimbabwe, it has never before received captive-bred cheetahs for rewilding. The objective of the project will be to establish a breeding population of cheetahs at Imire Rhino and Wildlife Conservation for contributing to the genetic diversity and assisting in repopulating other Zimbabwe reserves.
Conservation, education, and animal welfare are key elements of accreditation in Canada. This peer-review process sets standards in all aspects of animal care by which members are expected to adhere and are held to account. Mr. Facette added, “The Parc Safari Cheetah re-population project in Zimbabwe illustrates the cooperative nature of such projects amongst Canadian accredited facilities and their world partners”.
The cheetah population in Zimbabwe has drastically declined from a 1975 high of 1500 to a 2020 reported 170.
CAZA is the voice of zoos and aquariums in Canada. We are the leading organization in Canadian animal welfare standards development, our accreditation process includes expert standards set by leading researchers, biologists, and academia who ensure we reflect the latest in animal welfare research, organizational management, and public safety protocols. Through a science-based approach, CAZA’s accreditation bridges the ethical concerns with conservation and the public interest.
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