A Conservation Effort to Maintain African Pride

For centuries, the Lozi people of Zambia’s Barotseland region have worn the skins of wild cats at special events and ceremonies. Now, in a bid to save the animals, they are switching to fake fur. According to Guy Balme, director of leopard programs for Panthera, the leopard’s beautiful spotted pelt has been its downfall. Although the big cats face a number of dangers including habitat loss and poorly-managed trophy hunting, “demand for leopard parts for ceremonial wear is the number one threat in southern Africa,” he says. In 2016, Yeta asked Panthera — an international organization dedicated to saving wild cats — for help. With support from non-profit group Peace Parks Foundation and jewelry-maker Cartier, Lozi representatives and Panthera collaborated to launch the Saving Spots campaign.

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