Coronavirus has swept the planet and impacted nearly every human activity on Earth; conservation in general – and Lion Guardians specifically – is no exception. It is imperative that we continue our work, as communities and lions need our help more than ever, but it is also critical that we ensure the safety of our team and take the necessary precautions.
First and foremost, we have instituted a safety protocol that includes reinforcing hygienic practices, engaging in social distancing, restricting access to camp for visitors from hot-spot areas, and straightforward quarantine and self isolation procedures for team members and others that do need to come into camp. We are also working to ensure we have enough supplies in camp, including food and medicine, and that Guardians also have enough rations for the time being. This ensures that the immediate needs of our team are met.
As far as continuing our work, we have taken a keen look at our operations and aligned our health and safety protocol to ensure we can effectively continue our critical activities. Because Lion Guardians was named an “essential service”, we are allowed to continue our operations, despite country-wide restrictions. So we have focused our efforts on activities that are most critical and that we feel like we can do safely without putting ourselves or others at risk. This includes tracking lions, responding to conflict, stopping hunts, and coordinating Guardians’ daily activities.
Additionally, as improving local livelihoods has always been at the core of our model, we have worked extensively to assist communities during this difficult time. We have been distributing messaging about social distancing and proper hygiene, as well as information about how to build touchless hand washing stations. We have been able to solicit donations to properly equip communities, and have already distributed 3,000 bars of soap and more than a thousand masks. We are working to procure more supplies as the pandemic continues.
Most of all, we wanted to share that our entire team is doing well and managing these anxious and trying circumstances the best we can, and that we are continually evaluating our response based on changing circumstances and government directives. At this critical time, we are communicating with each other as candidly, clearly and compassionately as possible and have developed a collaborative and coordinated response to this pandemic that is spreading far and wide across the world. We will keep the updates coming as we continue to navigate these unprecedented times!
If you would like to contribute to help us conserve lions and preserve communities in this difficult time, please get started here. We thank you for your continued support!