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Foals and Beads: Zebra Conservation Across Two Continents

February 2018 by Jess Whinfield

Considering the distances involved, it’s perhaps suprising there’s an intimate connection between a gift shop on the outskirts of Melbourne and communities 11,500 kilometers away in Northern Kenya. Another potentially unexpected aspect of this relationship is that it’s founded on beads.

Eight years after Zoos Victoria’s involvement with the Beads for Wildlife program began, over one million dollars’ worth of beaded jewellery, keyrings and Christmas decorations have been purchased by visitors to the zoo’s gift shops, to the benefit of communities and wildlife in Kenya. At the heart of this holistic approach to conservation is the world’s most endangered zebra species, the Grevy’s zebra.

A short history of zebras