Written by Lauren Caldwell, ’20
This post is written in response to Lauren’s fall 3-week trip in 2017 to Zambia, led by Professors Emily McClung and Amber Chenoweth.
Here in the United States we don’t appreciate animals that are native to our lands. We have common animals like deer, raccoons, and possums and no one cares if they are killed or hit by cars. Something I found very interesting while being in Zambia was their love for the animals that are native to their land. They want to keep all their animals alive and well and they want them to be treated with the best care. The only animals we really care about in the United States are our own pets. I was able to see this first hand in most of the places we visited by going on land safaris, river safaris, going to conservation sites, and just walking through their land. We went on safaris in both Botswana and Zambia. I mostly saw the care and love for animals while we were in Mfuwe, Zambia. We went on three separate safaris directed by Flatdogs Camp while in Mfuwe.
While staying at Flatdogs Camp in Mfuwe, we got to experience the people’s love for caring for the animals up close. Flatdogs is a conservation area. This means that all the animals and plants on their land are protected. Flatdogs Camp’s land backs up to South Luangwa National Park, which is also a conservation area. Everywhere we went there were signs talking about how this was the animal’s land and we were guests.
On our first safari in Mfuwe we saw amazingly breathtaking sites. Elephants walking fifteen feet from our Jeep. Giraffes drinking water as we drive by. A huge pride of lions with cubs playing with each other and zebras rolling in the dirt. South Luangwa National Park has their our Conservation group. This group has a task force of guards who go out and patrol the park to make sure no animals are being poached. They are also searching for injured animals so they can treat them and put them back into the wild good as new. Conservation South Luangwa also has a veterinarian on call and on site so if there is an injured animal out in the park, the veterinarian can be driven out there and treat the animal. It was very interesting to learn that the safari guides and volunteers at this conservation group are trained to look for suspicious behavior of both people and animals.
Another thing I thought was super cool was the sheer amount of stores that give a certain amount of their profits back to the conservation group to help protect the animals. One specific store that we got to visit was Mulberry Mongoose. This store gave $5 of every purchase to Conservation South Luangwa. All parts of Zambia work hard to keep their animals alive and well. They love all animals big and small and try to protect them all. It was a nice change to see love for wild animals compared to the United States where most people lack knowledge about wild animals and don’t really care about what happens to them.