Scouts from the Victoria Falls Anti-poaching Unit (VFAPU) will be donning their running shoes this Sunday to raise vital funds for the unit’s work towards the protection of flora and fauna in the Victoria Falls and Zambezi National Parks.
Kindly sponsored by Zambezi Traveller, the scouts will be tackling a 21.1 kilometre half-marathon as part of the annual Econet Victoria Falls Marathon. Brave runners can look down at the gorge below them as they cross the famous Victoria Falls Bridge. There’s a chance to encounter the wildlife they work so hard to protect too, as the run continues through the Zambezi National Park, before ending in the town of Victoria Falls.
The VFAPU was established in 1999, in an effort to fight a dramatic increase in poaching: Environmental Poaching; the illegal removal of plants, trees and soil, Subsistence Poaching; the bush meat trade which poses one of the greatest threats to Africa’s wildlife populations and Commercial Poaching; the sale of ivory, horns, feet, and skins. Having started off with only three scouts, the Unit has now grown in strength and has twelve full-time scouts actively patrolling an area of approximately fifty square kilometres surrounding Victoria Falls. Patrols operate seven days a week, day and night, as the team endeavours to combat poaching in all its various forms. The Unit’s work also involves rescuing and rehabilitating animals which have been injured in snares. Recognising that poverty is the often the driving force behind poaching, educating local communities in the need to conserve the environment, as well as to identify and encourage alternative means of making a living, is important.
The VFAPU cannot continue this work without funding. If you would like to show your support, you can sponsor the Victoria Falls Anti-poaching Unit here.