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AfriCat and Tusk Trust

"Tusk Trust celebrated its 25 year anniversary last week with a dinner hosted by its patron, The Duke of Cambridge, at Windsor Castle. Donna Hanssen was honoured to attend on behalf of AfriCat, one of only two projects that Tusk support in Namibia.

Tusk Trust play a hugely important role at the AfriCat Foundation. Long term supporter and veterinarian, Dr Mark Jago recently wrote, 'Over the years financial assistance has been provided from many quarters, but one of the most loyal and longest-standing partners, has been the Tusk Trust.

TUSK was one of AfriCat’s earliest supporters, whose assistance has included providing finance for an array of the Foundation’s projects including co-sponsoring the first electrified perimeter fence, which kick-started the Cheetah Rehabilitation Project in 1999/2000. TUSK was the first group outside of Okonjima that believed in the Foundation’s vision that an 'orphaned' cheetah might be able to learn how to hunt through trial and error, and then with support and time, hone the necessary skills to ultimately become independent. This programme began with an original 4500 hectares, an area which has subsequently been extended to around 20,000 hectares (200km²).

Since 2012, TUSK has been the main sponsor of AfriCat's Environmental Education Programme, The EEP is proving to be an enormous success exposing young people from all walks of life to some of the major environmental and conservation challenges facing their generation. The programme is set to expand so that it can increase the number of learners who pass through their doors.

The challenges to predator conservation in Africa are large indeed, for as human populations continue to grow the land left over for wildlife shrinks almost daily. Namibia is not immune from this phenomenon and the conflict between humans and wildlife requires continuous managing. The country is being highly creative in attempting, wherever possible, to give wildlife a value, and to ensure that the rural Namibian who bears the cost of predators taking his livestock will, at the same time, reap some of the benefits through tourism and the like.

The work of the AfriCat Foundation naturally requires considerable funds, something which is not easy to find in today’s cash-strapped world. However, the Foundation and the world – class tourism destination known as Okonjima are joined at the hip. This truly remarkable model benefits both parties, providing a strong backbone for both which is able to flex its muscles in a symbiotic and exponential fashion."
Ben Forbes

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Last week, The Duke of Cambridge attended a gala dinner at Windsor Castle to mark Tusk's 25th Anniversary. In a typically passionate speech to guests, Prince William said, "The plunder and destruction of Africa’s natural endowment remains one of the greatest challenges facing the world – and it is growing worse by the week". In a follow up to the key-note speech he gave during his recent tour of China, he told the audience, "With the illegal trade on the rise, our response to it must rapidly evolve. The time for words has long gone – we must see action, and we must do so with urgency. There is no doubt that strong political leadership and real, sustained commitment from the international community is the key."


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He added that he was "encouraged" by the steps being taken in consumer countries such as China and Vietnam, who have both pledged to do more. But he pointed out that the West was not immune to criticism, since the illegal wildlife trade continues here, too.

Prince William used the opportunity to congratulate Tusk on its remarkable achievements, saying how proud he was to have been its Royal Patron for the last ten years.

Charlie Mayhew, CEO and co-founder of Tusk, said, "Once again The Duke has shown his commitment and passion for our cause. The conservation world owes him a huge debt of gratitude for the work that he is doing to highlight the issue of illegal wildlife crime and in calling for Governments around the world to act now."


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The dinner was attended by a host of the charity’s patrons, celebrity supporters and major donors, including a number of guests from the USA. Among the well known names present were: Katherine Jenkins, Rory Bremner, Martin Clunes, John Challis, Ben Fogle, Deborah Meaden, Kate Silverton and explorer Lev Wood. Also present were representatives from twenty-three African conservation projects supported by Tusk, including AfriCat Namibia's Donna Hanssen and Simson Uri-Khob from Save The Rhino Trust - Namibia.

Following the dinner, impressionist Rory Bremner entertained the guests with a witty introduction to a live performance by the mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins.

The evening was generously underwritten with support from one of Tusk’s longstanding corporate donors, Artemis Investment Management. The wines were kindly provided by Justerini & Brooks.


tusk usa patron
Tusk USA Patron, Steve Tisch, and Katia Francesconi
tusk rory bremner
Comedian and Impressionist, Rory Bremner
tusk award winner
2013 Tusk Conservation Award winner Tom Lalampaa

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The Tusk team from UK, USA and Kenya with HRH The Duke of Cambridge


Tusk UK
Tusk Trust,
4 Cheapside House, High Street, Gillingham, Dorset SP8 4AA
Tel: +44 (0)1747 831 005


Tusk Talk 2015 PDF


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