THE RACE TO SAVE KENYA’ S W I L D L I F E肯尼亞保育競賽
A former Cathay Pacific pilot is helping to save Africa’s black rhino through running
is known for two things: wildlife and long-distance runners. And while its athletes have flourished in competitions around the world, the situation at home for the animals is a precarious one.
The trouble is poaching. Between 1970 and 1992, 96 per cent of Africa’s black rhinos were wiped out by poachers. Statistics like these make places like the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy in Kenya crucial in protecting Africa’s remaining rhino and its other endangered species.
It’s an issue that’s close to home for Hongkongers – particularly for Paul McIntosh, a former 747 pilot for Cathay Pacific. McIntosh started visiting Lewa in the early 1980s, and quickly became involved in its wildlife conservation.
McIntosh is the executive producer of Running Wild, a documentary showing onboard this month, which looks at Lewa’s efforts to raise funds and awareness through its annual marathon.
The race began in 2000 with just 140 runners, each of whom pledged to raise money for the private wildlife reserve. The marathon has now grown into an annual event with 1,400 participants coming from all over the world, who come to conquer the 21 kilometres of dirt roads (the full marathon requires two rounds of the course) through the reserve, across savannah plains, along river banks and through acacia woodland. To date, the marathon has raised more than US$5.5 million (HK$43 million) – 40 per cent of which goes to Lewa, with the rest going to other charities. Last year, Cathay Pacific pilot Mike Migdoll ran the Lewa Marathon, raising almost HK$60,000 for the charity.
Lewa also supports 22 primary schools, funding education bursaries, and works with small businesses in the local community, making it one of the largest employers in Kenya’s Eastern Province.
That community also includes Cathay Pacific. Last year, the airline banned transport of all ivory and ivory-related products. And passengers that want to support Lewa Wildlife Conservancy can
donate their Asia Miles – 100 per cent of which go towards supporting Lewa’s efforts. For more information, visit redeem. asiamiles.com/default/social- goods.html.
禍根源自偷獵行為。1970至19 92年間，九成六的非洲黑犀牛被偷獵者殺光。這個數字令人震驚，令肯尼亞的Lewa Wildlife Conservancy野生動物保護區在保育非洲僅餘的犀牛及其他瀕危物種上更顯得任重道遠。
本月機上放映的紀錄片《Running Wild》其中一位監製就是Paul。影片帶你深入了解Lewa Wildlife Conservancy野生動物保護區如何透過舉辦年度馬拉松比賽籌募經費，以及推廣保護野生動物的意識。
前進並穿過相思樹林跑畢全程。馬拉松至今已籌得逾550萬美元﹙4,300萬港元﹚，四成贈予Lewa，其餘款項則捐予其他慈善團體。去年，國泰航空的機師Mike Migdoll亦親身上陣挑戰Lewa Marathon馬拉松，為機構籌得近60,000港元。
Lewa Wildlife Conservancy野生動物保護區亦參與辦學，支持22間小學的運作，提供教育獎學金，並與當地社區的小型企業緊密合作，使保護區成為肯尼亞東部省最大的僱主之一。
國泰航空也是這個社群的一份子。去年，國泰禁止運載所有象牙和與其相關產品。乘客如想支持Lewa Wildlife Conservancy野生動物保護區，可以捐出「亞洲萬里通」飛行里數，全數捐款會交予Lewa，支持他們盡力保護瀕危動物。詳情請瀏覽redeem. asiamiles.com/default/social-goods.html