Combating poaching in the wilderness of Zambia

Flying Mission Pilot, Timo Kehr, had an exhilarating experience recently. He describes it like this:

God doesn’t only care for his beloved human beings. He is also interested in the animals he created. I had the chance recently to meet people who are fighting the poaching of elephants, rhinos and other wild animals in Zambia. Their goal is to protect the animals by working together with the Wildlife Police and the local village to recreate and maintain space for the animals. (The elephants and rhinos are wanted for their tusks and horns; antelopes are poached for meat.)

The Luangwa National Park is located in the north east of Zambia, a beautiful park with wonderful wildlife. Within the park there is a wildlife camp supported by the Frankfurt Zoological Society. The programme has its own plane, a Cessna 206, which the owner asked FMZ to operate and maintain. It happened that I was given the chance to fly from Lusaka to North Luangwa. The camp is located in the middle of nowhere, right in the bush, surrounded by nothing more than pure nature. What an awesome experience!

One situation was funny and scary at the same time. I woke up one night, got out of my bed and realized something was very close to me; I mean, very close. At this point I couldn`t name it but I was about to figure it out very soon. I went to the small wall (1.80 metres) which surrounded my tent, looked over it and stared into the eyes of, not a scorpion but a huge elephant.  I don`t know who was more scared, but I am very thankful that the elephant took off in the opposite direction while I was running towards my bed….yep, that’s what really happened!  Like I said, what an experience.

I spent a couple of days with the guys in the bush and I am very amazed at the work they are are doing. I’m glad we at FMZ can help them.