Showcase of Bushmeat Education Projects

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Bushmeat Education Cart
at Lincoln Park Zoo

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Bushmeat Signage at Gorilla World
San Francisco Zoo

The following are examples of bushmeat education projects that have been designed and implemented with the assistance of the Bushmeat Education Resource Guide. For further information about each project, please contact the appropriate institution. To add your project to this list, please contact BCTF at: nbailey@bushmeat.org

AKRON ZOO

Wildlife Trade Play and Activities

Akron Zoo developed a series of programs and activities aimed at educating young people about the illegal wildlife trade and how they can get involved in solutions. Activities include researching species that are traded illegally, writing and performing a play about wildlife trade and solving The Mystery of the Missing Tigers. Extensions are provided for students in grades 6-12, for summer programs and spring break activities.

BRANDYWINE ZOO

There’s No Beating Around the Bush about the Bushmeat Crisis!

The Brandywine Zoo developed this discussion (open to ages 14+) to introduce people to the bushmeat crisis, educate them on how wildlife species are affected and to share information on how to get involved in solving the crisis.

BUSCH GARDENS TAMPA BAY

Conservation aCross Cultures: Busch Gardens and Limbe Wildlife Centre

Funded by the SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund, the new Conservation aCross Cultures (CCC) program connected Adventure Camps at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay to the Limbe Wildlife Centre (LWC) in Cameroon and the Mbeli Bai gorilla study in Congo to increase awareness regarding the bushmeat crisis.

Through CCC, Cameroonian students learned about the bushmeat crisis in Central Africa during educational workshops at LWC. These workshops included a two-hour on-line interaction with Busch Gardens’ students about conservation issues. In fact, students from both groups enjoyed the exercise so much, they requested more time!

Fulfilling one of BCTF’s Bushmeat Promises, both groups of students created educational posters to help spread the word about the bushmeat crisis. In Limbe, the posters will aid in educating family and friends in areas that are greatly affected by the bushmeat trade. Here in the U.S., students at Busch Gardens presented their posters to hundreds of visitors in front of the park’s Myombe Reserve chimpanzee habitat.

Students at Busch Gardens were able to speak to Mbeli Bai researcher Thomas Breuer of the Wildlife Conservation Society. Students learned about life in the field, as well as the role conservation organizations play in combating the bushmeat crisis in Congo.

The program has been a great success so far. More than 50 students have signed the Bushmeat Promise, and an American student already plans to hold an educational booth at her town fair to raise money. Personal connections developed during the on-line activity have continued outside of the program.

The SeaWorld & Busch Gardens Conservation Fund (SWBGCF) supports several conservation projects including support for the Pan African Sanctuary Alliance, as well as the Mbeli Bai gorilla study in Congo. We are already in the process of developing another program for next year, and with support from the SWBGCF, we hope to include more students and organizations for CCC ’06. If you would like more information regarding the program, please contact: Coffy Bennis, Zoological Department, Busch Gardens Tampa Bay, 3605 East Bougainvillea Avenue, Tampa, Fl., 33612

BUSHMEAT CRISIS DISCUSSION GROUP - BAFANG, CAMEROON

Wildlife Conservation Education Programme

The purpose of the Bushmeat Crisis Discussion group is to meet the challenge of wildlife conservation education by establishing informed, well-motivated future generations of Africans with a strong commitment to sustain management of biological diversity. This is done through the creation of wildlife clubs in secondary schools, thereafter train and guide the children with a view towards instilling an appreciation for wildlife conservation with emphasis on the bushmeat crisis. Activities include: training of club supervisors, fields trips, environmental quizzes, and an anti-poaching week of awareness activities.

We use the BERG to train club supervisors, since most of them were not aware of the bushmeat crisis. Photographs have been a powerful tool in the learning process. Every year, we train 25 students of the Bilingual secondary school in Bafang. We have no funding yet. For further information, please contact Samuel Fopa at samfopa@yahoo.com.

CERCOPAN - NIGERIA

Education Rally

In June 2005, CERCOPAN held an education rally with 5000 students with the theme "Bushmeat is Dangerous Meat." The event included a traditional dance competition on the theme, a banner contest and a big procession through the streets of Calabar with a band, trailer and loads of dancing. For more information, contact Zena Tooze at cercopan@ compuserve.com.

CINCINNATI ZOO & BOTANICAL GARDEN

Hauntings in the Mist

Conservation, education and entertainment – these are the components of an innovative project undertaken by the Greater Cincinnati Chapter of the American Association of Zookeepers (AAZK). “Hauntings in the Mist” featured the bushmeat crisis during the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden’s annual HallZOOween event in October. In keeping with the institution’s mission statement “Creating Adventure; Conveying Knowledge; Conserving Nature,” the AAZK Chapter used the conservation legacy of Dian Fossey and the mountain gorillas of the Virungas to tell the story of poaching and the bushmeat crisis.

Visitors to “Hauntings in the Mist” were greeted by an interpreter who introduced the bushmeat crisis, then met an African storyteller who shared tales about spirits of the forest. Further down the trail, the ‘adventurers’ learned how Dian Fossey tried to stop the poaching of mountain gorillas for meat, trophies, or pets, especially after her gorilla friends Digit and Uncle Burt were killed. Next, representatives of the Efe culture showed how deforestation and poaching is threatening their way of life.

Surrounded by sounds of chain saws and visions of animal masks and (fake) carcasses, the adventurers encountered an active poaching camp and were chased through a haunted swamp filled with poachers trapped in their own snares. At the end of the haunted trail, mirrors revealed the most dangerous animal in the world – humans.

The Cincinnati Chapter of AAZK initiated this project in 2003 and plans to make it an annual event. With suggested donations of $1 per visitor, the chapter has raised more than $2000 for BCTF.

CINCINNATI ZOO & BOTANICAL GARDEN

Various Activities

Two sessions of a Bushmeat Education Training Workshop were held for Cincinnati Zoo staff and volunteers. Most of the activities for the workshop were included. We did modify one of the activities to be species specific to their habitat. The over-fishing tie in with the bushmeat trade was excellent. The “Species Affected by the Bushmeat Trade” was a popular handout.

The signage developed for the BERG was used at Gorilla World. Information on the bushmeat trade and its effect on primates is included in the daily summer keeper talks at the gorilla exhibit. This draws a large attentive audience in large part due to the keeper tossing fruit and vegetables to the gorillas while he/she is talking. Volunteers staffing the “Ask-Me” station at Gorilla World also share information on the bushmeat trade with the Zoo visitors. Though many visitors do not read zoo signage, they do gather round to hear the Keeper Talks.

A local reporter, Cindy Starr, wrote a story on the bushmeat trade. Much of her material came from BCTF documents. The story helped raised public awareness in the Cincinnati community.

A University of Cincinnati general biology class for non-majors titled “At the Zoo” and taught by Zoo staff person, Doug Feist, includes information on the bushmeat trade. In addition, the Junior Zoologist program taught by Sarah Navarro also includes a lesson on the bushmeat trade.

CLEVELAND METROPARKS ZOO

Bushmeat Signage and Education

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo has engaged in several types of bushmeat education. From lectures by Curator of Primates Kristen Lukas to bushmeat signage placed near primate habitat to conservation education in numerous ways, Cleveland Metroparks Zoo encourages its visitors to get involved in solving the bushmeat crisis and other conservation problems.

DISNEY’s ANIMAL KINGDOM

Pangani Forest Conservation School

This exhibit is themed as an animal rehabilitation center located in the fictional Pangani Forest Conservation School, a training center for field biologists in an unspecified area of East Africa. The story and conservation message focus on the bushmeat crisis. The species, black and white colobus and yellow-backed duiker, were selected to represent some of those affected by the bushmeat trade. The exhibit is themed as a rehab center, focusing on the care of animals orphaned or made homeless by the bushmeat and logging trades. Visitors can watch caretakers working with the animals, providing food, enrichment and medical care. The interpretive materials were developed in consult with many resources including the BCTF. Visitors were surveyed to assess baseline knowledge about bushmeat to help direct our interpretive graphics and staff training. Visitors also learn what they can do to help make a difference in the mitigation of the bushmeat crisis. This exhibit represents one attempt at communicating this complex issue in a way that fosters care and concern and inspires conservation action among our many visitors.

FOREST PARTNERS INTERNATIONAL - LIBERIA, WEST AFRICA

Community Relations Officers

Forest Partners International’s (FPI’s) Community Relations Officers (3 persons) provide informal environmental education programming to communities adjacent to Sapo National Park. Awareness focuses on the reason and need for a protected area system, and the species protected by law and why they should not be hunted.

LEE RICHARDSON ZOO

Bushmeat Graphics

The Lee Richardson Zoo has installed the BERG signage graphics near their Africa exhibit and is currently preparing to install an interactive kiosk using these materials in conjunction with a local graphics group.

LINCOLN PARK ZOO

Bushmeat Education Cart

The Lincoln Park Zoo’s Bushmeat Cart is designed to address a very complex issue by giving flexibility and control to the facilitator to tailor the presentation for a variety of audiences. Primary take away messages include: People and animals that live in the African forest are being negatively impacted by the changes occurring throughout Africa; as humans struggle to adjust to these changes, gorilla and chimp populations are being devastated through hunting for profit and the impacts of industry on the African forest; and we can still reverse this trend, but time is running out.

Lincoln Park Zoo has developed for visitors a variety of ways to convey the information depending on the visitor’s prior knowledge and interest level. Every interaction will be different and we acknowledge that most visitors will be engaged for only a brief period of time, but this is the key information. The cart displays a pristine forest, a river, and an indigenous village. The story is told by adding overlay graphics, like pieces of a puzzle, that show the changes described.

OKLAHOMA CITY ZOO

Toucan Tycoon

The Oklahoma City Zoo held a summer camp in 2004 called “Toucan Tycoon” that led students through a week-long exploration of wildlife, conservation and the importance of personal action. The bushmeat crisis was incorporated into this program after students learned about tropical forests, wildlife species, African cultures and conservation threats. Students role played different participants in the bushmeat trade and discussed solutions to the problem. Signing the Bushmeat Promise and creating posters about the crisis rounded out the week.

SAN FRANCISCO ZOO

Bushmeat Signage at Gorilla World

San Francisco Zoo used the BERG and the BCTF website to get information and images for bushmeat graphics at their Gorilla World habitat. There are seven viewing areas around the gorilla habitat, and the bushmeat panel is used in two of them. In each place it is mounted on a wall and also on a bracket overhanging the habitat. The one overhanging the habitat is read most often, but when people are standing in front of it at the rail no one else can see it, so including one on a side wall ensures that it is always visible. The panels are 12" high x 30" wide. San Francisco Zoo is planning visitor studies on the graphics to gauge visitor learning.

TULSA ZOO

Conservation Kiosk

Tulsa Zoo developed a conservation kiosk that highlights the bushmeat trade, including several interactive kiosks in which visitors can learn more about bushmeat and other conservation issues. The design of the kiosk is based on shipping crates and a logging camp. Images are taken from the Bushmeat Education Resource Guide signage template.

ZOO ATLANTA

Bushmeat Signage

Signage at Zoo Atlanta alerts visitors to the bushmeat crisis and provides numerous recommendations for how individuals can get involved in solutions. Recommendations include learning about wildlife, buying only certified wood, and donating to Zoo Atlanta’s Willie B. Memorial Fund.

© 1999-2009 Bushmeat Crisis Task Force