At the end of September, WFN welcomed a visit from 2014 Whitley Award winner, Shivani Bhalla, who gave a compelling talk to the Friends of WFN during a special lunch hosted by the WFN Friends Committee.
During her presentation Shivani described her challenging and immensely rewarding work to enable the coexistence of people and lions in Samburu, northern Kenya, where lions now number less than 2,000. This decline is due to habitat loss and conflict with humans as lions predate local livestock and are often killed in retaliation.
Through her NGO, Ewaso Lions, Shivani is helping to reduce human-carnivore conflict by equipping people with the tools and knowledge to protect their livestock and decrease retaliatory killing. She is also training young Samburu Warriors to help monitor lion populations, and improve people’s tolerance towards predators through education.
The event gave those who attended a chance to talk to Shivani in person and discuss her work in more detail – creating a direct link between our supporters and the conservationists we fund.
After the lunch, Shivani was whisked off to give a talk at Garden House School, of which the Parents’ Association generously donated her Whitley Award back in May this year. During the school assembly, Shivani captivated the children with stories from the African bush, fascinating facts about lions and the reasons why we need to conserve them.