Sahara Conservation Fund Condemns Kouré Giraffe Reserve Deadly Attack

It is with great sadness that the Sahara Conservation Fund (SCF) mourns the deaths and remembers the lives of the eight victims of the mass shooting that took place on August 9, 2020 at the Kouré Giraffe Reserve, Niger. One of the victims of the attack was Kadri Abdou, President of l’Association des Guides de Girafes of Kouré, also known as the Association pour la Valorisation de l’Ecotourisme au Niger (AVEN). SCF often conducts fieldwork in the Kouré area in collaboration with Giraffe Conservation Foundation (GCF) to preserve the last West African giraffes. Both organizations have worked with Mr. Abdou as a guide and remember him fondly.

SCF has extended its condolences to Mr. Abdou’s family and has collaborated with GCF to provide support to them, including providing cattle and farm tools.

SCF and partners, despite the tragedy, remain unified by the collective desire to move forward and create a positive impact in terms of wildlife conservation and humanitarian assistance.

Abdoul Razack Moussa Zabeirou, a project officer working with both SCF and GCF, has recently met with local stakeholders and representatives from ACTED and the Association pour la sauvegarde de la girafe au Niger (ASGN) to discuss initiatives and needs of the local population.

Despite earlier plans to participate in the annual giraffe count, SCF has re-evaluated its plans in light of the new security circumstances and most likely will not participate in the census this year. As an alternative, a workshop involving the Government representatives and all stakeholders has been proposed in order to discuss the existing data and revise the Niger Giraffe Conservation Strategy. In addition, joint conservation work with AVEN is being shaped in order to provide income for the local guides and their families, as tourism revenue has been greatly impacted.

SCF condemns the senseless violence but refuses to be cowed by the attack. Now more than ever, we need to continue to collaborate with other conservation and humanitarian organizations to work towards a brighter future.