I am currently visiting Chipembele Educational Wildlife Trust located in the South Luangwa Valley.  I am staying with the founders of the charity Steve and Anna Tolan who are originally from the UK. They came to live in Zambia back in in 1998 to follow their lifetime dream which was to establish a conservation education programme for local children in a wildlife-community conflict area. They were fortunate enough to be given some land by the late Chief Kakumbi on which to build the Centre and used all their personal savings to finance it.312 copy
Chipembele Wildlife Education Centre opened in May 2001.  The charity encompasses a range of conservation and community projects but their key focus is their Conservation Education programme for children and the running of a small wildlife rehabilitation centre. Over the years they have rescued many orphaned and injured animals, including, primates, elephants, lions, and a hippo, nursed them back to health and then released them back into the wild.
OAT became involved with Chipembele after an initial visit a few years ago by my sister Sue, my brother in law Jonathan and their kids Jeff & Nicola.  
OAT has recently sponsored the  building extension of a primate rehabilitation facility and going forward we will be contributing generally to their amazing work. 321 copy
Please click on the website to read about this fantastic organisation. I have only been here a few days and I have loved every minute of it so far.

This is Douglas the resident Hippo, rescued as a tiny baby…
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He is free to return to the wild when ever he wants and does spend some of his time hanging out with a local pod of wild Hippos, but at this stage always returns to Mom & Dad. We are hopeful that one day he will stay with the wild Hippos as this is where he belongs. 320 copy
313 copyDouglas is gorgeous, and I am sure was as cute as hell when he was tiny but now he is a big Hippo!
He is definitely letting me know who is boss around here, he has stood on my toe, bumped me around a bit on a morning walk (much to Steve’s amusement) and regularly shows me his teeth and tonsils. Oh and by the way, HE STINKS!
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315 copy I have also been spending time with the baboons and vervet monkeys who are really cute but very cheeky! Antics so far have included stealing the lemon out of my Gin & Tonic, biting me on the back of my leg and general jumping all over me! 
Heading out with Anna today giving away donated shoes to school children ……. looks like about a thousand pairs of shoes. 👍😀

One final P.S. before I sign off … Here are some pics from earlier today  of Dougie saying thanks to us for fixing the water pump and giving him Fresh water to drink and Fresh water to swim in – You gotta love that hippo!  😀😀😀😀😀😀322 copy

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