Africa receives 200 times more development aid than it does for its protected wildlife populations. Maintaining healthy ecosystems for animals also protects the watershed and promotes carbon storage too. All told, the ecotourism industry in Africa is worth $34 billion. But despite being the center of attention, native animal populations, like lions, aren’t growing. According to the experts, a lack of funding is at the center of the rewilding problem. As many as 94% of wildlife parks in Africa operate on budgets less than 20% “of that required to perform effective conservation.”
“The global community needs to recognize that there’s an imbalance here, and everyone needs to do their part to help fix it. We should not view protecting iconic species in Africa as someone else’s responsibility.”
Read more about the future of rewilding in Africa here.
- 🌱 General Mills led a $40 million funding round for plant-based cheese and yogurt maker Kite Hill. The company has seen demand soar in the past year, along with the rest of the plant-based yogurt (+54%) and cheese industries (+41%). As a result, Kite Hill products are currently stocked in Whole Foods Market, Sprouts, Kroger, Target, and Publix. [Business Wire]
- 🐔 Costco just announced plans to open a chicken processing plant in Nebraska, where they will process more than 2 million chickens per week. So, the state’s massive supply of corn for chicken feed will help keep rotisserie chicken prices fixed at $4.99. [NPR]
- 💸 Animal welfare group Watchdog Thailand alleges a female DJ recorded herself crushing a kitten. What’s worse? She allegedly shared the video on the dark web in return for bitcoin. Crush videos are not new to the animal welfare community. But their resurgence on sites like Cruel Onion Wiki in exchange for cryptocurrency is a cause for concern. It’s untraceable. [Bangkok Post]
- 💯 Elephants are better counters than we thought. Here’s why this is a big deal: This study could be the first evidence that nonhuman animals actually think like us when they count. [Journal of Ethology]
- 🍜 Looking for cheap, mostly plant-based recipes to cook in a flash? World-renowned chef Yotam Ottolenghi’s got you covered. [Guardian]