The West Indian Ocean Cable Company (WIOCC), which operates the EASSy fibre cable, has Kshs 500,000 (US $4,860) worth of drugs and consumables to the Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS). The drugs are to be used in veterinary interventions, including the safe immobilisation of lions prior to medical examinations or surgical procedures, or when lions require relocation back to areas of safety.
For many years, African wildlife has been dear to the heart of Chris Wood, CEO of WIOCC, which has its main office in Nairobi, Kenya.
After the sad killing of Mohawk – the 13-year-old lion with a distinctive black mane that strayed away from the Nairobi National Park in late March 2016 and was shot dead before a suitably-equipped veterinary team could reach him – Wood began raising funds for the KWS through multiple activities and initiatives, starting at a global telecommunications industry event in Chicago that May.
Wood explains: “Following this initial support, I wanted to see how WIOCC could partner with KWS moving forward. Out of this came the donation of additional anaesthetic drugs and medical consumables for use by veterinarians during wildlife rescues. The hope is that this will help prevent similar tragedies from occurring in the future”.
In a joint statement, Dr Isaac Lekolool, Senior Veterinary Officer at KWS, and Idza Dzilla, from the KWS Resource Mobilization Office, explained the difference this partnership with WIOCC will make: “Lions are beautiful but vulnerable animals and we are committed to helping protect and conserve them. The anaesthetic drugs that WIOCC has so generously donated will help us carry out vital veterinary procedures on these wonderful and endangered animals“.