More About The Tikki Hywood Trust3rd September 2015
Everyone knows of the work being done to save the larger mammals in Africa such as the rhino, elephants and lions, but what about the smaller, less enigmatic animals which few people get to see and perhaps don’t have the appeal of the better known species?
Some of these smaller mammals have a saviour in the form of Lisa Hywood in Zimbabwe. In memory of her late father, the Tikki Hywood Trust was formed in 1994 and , although having done work with the larger mammals they are committed to promoting awareness, research and conservation of some of these lesser known species. These include the Aardwolf, the Bat Eared Fox, the Cape Pangolin, Lichtenstein’s Hartebeest, the South African Hedgehog and the Civet. They are also working with the vulnerable smaller cats such as the African Wild Cat, the Serval and the Genet. These are all threatened species and face extinction. Human encroachment, poaching and the use of insecticides all play a part in their demise.
The Cape Pangolin is a remarkable animal – shy, toothless, nocturnal and solitary, it is covered in scales which give the appearance of armour. Unfortunately, the Far Eastern market for these fascinating animals is immense and their meat is considered a delicacy believed to improve the health of kidneys! It is also believed that their scales, which are made of keratin like our fingernails and rhino horn, hold curative powers. But they are also under threat in their own environment as it is traditionally accepted that if you come across a pangolin it must be captured and presented to a chief.
Little or no research has been done into these fascinating animals mainly due to the fact that they are very elusive. But the Tikki Hywood Trust, working with the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, have come to an arrangement to circumvent the death of these animals. So now all Pangolins brought to either The President or any person in authority are accepted so that cultural respect can be observed, but the animal is then relinquished to the Parks Authority who, in turn, hand it over to the Tikki Hywood Trust. The aim then is to assess each individual and create a programme for their rehabilitation and release.
This is but a small part of the remarkable and inspiring work the Trust is doing and conservation is not just about creating a safe haven for endangered species, but working closely with communities to provide the education needed that allows for humans to live in harmony with wildlife. Inspiring people like Lisa Hywood will ensure there is a future for these rare and often elusive animals and we are delighted to be able to bring the Tikki Hywood Trust to your attention.