Oakland Zoo’s Conservation Speaker Series Presents Ewaso Lions

Oakland Zoo
February 8, 2017

On Wednesday, February 8 from 6:30pm – 9:30pm, Oakland Zoo’s ‘Conservation Speaker Series’ welcomes the public to attend a presentation by Ewaso Lions, an organization dedicated to promoting the coexistence between local people and lions in Northern Kenya through education, employment, and advocacy. Guest speaker, Paul Thomson, Co-Founder of Ewaso Lions will be presenting the lecture at 7PM, preceded by a reception at 6:30PM.

Lion numbers across Africa have declined significantly, a main cause being direct conflict with humans. Lions in Northern Kenya are especially vulnerable to conflict because they live near areas inhabited by nomadic pastoralists and come into regular conflict with local people over livestock depredation. Conflict occurs when lions attack livestock and herders retaliate by fatally shooting, spearing or poisoning lions.

“Ewaso has created life as it should be when it comes to living with wildlife. With power, connection and heart, Ewaso Lions illuminates a clear path to co-existence of humans and animals,” said Amy Gotliffe, Conservation Director at Oakland Zoo.

Ewaso Lions takes a unique approach to human-wildlife conflict that works. Employing local young men as warriors who respond to conflict and prevent loss of livestock to lions has had a profound impact on the local communities. Ewaso has also created the ‘Mama Sambas’, a powerful group of women stepping up for the cause. To inspire and connect children to their majestic natural heritage, local children attend a Lion Kids Camp. Ewaso also teaches herders how to build strong bomas and work in partnership with the conservationists.

“Not many people know that lions are in serious trouble across Africa. In Kenya, we are finding surprisingly simple solutions that help local people live alongside lions. We have hope for the future of Kenya’s lions," said Paul Thomson, Co-Founder of Ewaso Lions.

Take Action for Wildlife!

The evening will feature opportunities for the audience to Take Action for Wildlife at the event by bidding on a BEHIND THE SCENES EXPERIENCE with Oakland Zoo’s own lion coalition. This drawing will raise funds to send a child to Lion Kids Camp.

Oakland Zoo invites attendees to bring school supplies to the event to be donated to the Scouts, Warriors and Mama Simbas who are all studying to further their ability to create a sustainable livelihood for their own future and that of their lion neighbors.

The Conservation Speaker Series will take place in Oakland Zoo’s Zimmer Auditorium, located at the lower entrance of the Zoo. Attendees can enjoy light refreshments. Parking is free and the admission price for the evening’s speaker presentations is \$12.00 - \$20.00 per person (sliding scale). All proceeds from this event will be donated to Ewaso Lions.

For additional information about Oakland Zoo’s Conservation Speaker Series, please contact Amy Gotliffe, Conservation Director, at amy@oaklandzoo.org

About Paul Thomsen

CO-FOUNDER & DIRECTOR OF STRATEGY AND DEVELOPMENT, EWASO LIONS - Paul co-founded Ewaso Lions and provides program strategy and organizational development. He also serves on the board of the Kinship Conservation Fellows program. Paul cofounded Save Pangolins and was selected for the Emerging Wildlife Conservation Leaders program by U.S. Fish & Wildlife Services and Defenders of Wildlife. He studied Forestry and Environmental Studies at Yale.

About Oakland Zoo

The Bay Area's award-winning Oakland Zoo is home to more than 660 native and exotic animals. The Zoo offers many educational programs and kid's activities perfect for science field trips, family day trips and exciting birthday parties. Oakland Zoo is dedicated to the humane treatment of animals and wildlife conservation onsite and worldwide; with 25¢ from each ticket donated to support conservation partners and programs around the world. The California Trail, a transformational project that more than doubles our size, opens in 2018, and will further our commitment to animal care, education, and conservation with a focus on this state's remarkable native wildlife. Nestled in the Oakland Hills, in 500-acre Knowland Park, the Zoo is located at 9777 Golf Links Road, off Highway 580. The East Bay Zoological Society (Oakland Zoo) is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization supported in part by members, contributions, the City of Oakland and the East Bay Regional Parks.