News - 2010
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Down Syndrome Society adopts Unique ‘Zedonk’ at KWS
Date Published: 15 Nov, 2010
The Down Syndrome Society of Kenya today adopted a unique animal ‘the Zedonk’ whose parents are zebra and donkey, at the Nairobi Animal Orphanage. The 10-year-old zedonk was brought to the orphanage from Maralal on October 3, 2010 after being released by the local community to Kenya Wildlife Service. Prime Bank and Devki Steel Mills provided the sponsorship to the society for the adoption.
In Kenya, there are an estimated 45,000 people with Down Syndrome and the number is rising with the national average being oneto every 800 births. Down Syndrome is a genetic disorder caused that leads to developmental delays, learning disabilities and physical defects, including hearing disabilities, speech and heart conditions. Erik Madete, the Down Syndrome Society of Kenya chairman, said parents with children suffering from the condition suffer from rejection by the public, lack of specialised support and lack of appropriate curriculum in schools.
The Animal Adoption Programme gives individuals and corporates a chance to sponsor and consequently adopt an animal at the Nairobi Animal Orphanage with 50 per cent of the sponsorship going to the conservation fund and the rest catering for the animal’s yearly upkeep. Each animal is divided into shares based on the cost of its yearly upkeep.
The Animal Wildlife Adoption Programme is one of the activities KWS is rolling out in the build up to the launch of an endowment fund to support Kenya’s wildlife heritage.
The fund seeks to raise Sh7.5 billion (US$100 million) over 10 years to facilitate conservation of Kenya’s wildlife through challenges of climate change, drought, changing land use and high population growth. The fund is also meant to cushion wildlife conservation from over-reliance on volatile tourism trends. The kitty will support wildlife and community conservation efforts for generations to come, and will be used for security operations, research and monitoring, translocations, infrastructure, conservation education and other conservation requirements. So far Sh22, 000,000 (US$ 293,000) has been raised for the fund. This includes Sh20 million set aside by the Kenya Wildlife Service, Sh380,000 from KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Sh496,750 from the Cycle with the Rhino, Dr Scott Rogers Sh12,500. And 1,074,000 raised by KWS staff.