Assistant Manager, Alicia Wedel, initiated the Kansas City Zoo’s support of the Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Initiative. This all-female anti-poaching unit is based out of Balule Nature Reserve in the Greater Kruger National Park, South Africa. The Black Mamba anti-poaching unit conducts snare sweeps, road blocks and round the clock patrols, to help reduce poaching of rhinoceros as well as other species found within the reserve.
On their non-patrol days, the Black Mambas also conduct an educational program known as Bush Babies. The Bush Babies program is a community school based program that aims to teach the next generation of South Africans the importance of conservation and preservation of indigenous animals the environment they live in.
The Black Mamba Initiative empowers women in a male dominant culture by providing employment and financial resources to help them support their families and also instills within them a sense of pride. The Kansas City Zoo is proud to partner with this unique and impactful conservation initiative by supporting the construction of 2 much needed “pickits” or posts where the Black Mambas can seek refuge in the field while still monitoring activity on the reserve as well as, sending a staff member over to directly assist in the efforts to save rhinoceros by aiding in fence patrols and the Bush Babies program.