One of the biggest threats to animals worldwide comes as a byproduct of the desire to put food on the table for many impoverished families. Wire snares are set along animal paths in the hopes of trapping a meal or catching an animal to be sold in the black market. Unfortunately, these wire nooses are indiscriminate so any animal (wild or domesticated) is capable of getting caught in the trap. However, local residents in South Africa are now learning that snare wire can be used as an alternative source of income through the S.N.A.R.E Art Program.
Kailen Padayachee, co-founder of KaiNav Conservation Foundation in South Africa, is working to save animals and encourage and educate locals to use snare wire for good instead of illegal poaching and harvesting.
The S.N.A.R.E Art Program is one of many conservation projects being conducted by the KaiNav Conservation Foundation. This initiative focuses on conserving wildlife through art. It also aims to uplift local artists by assisting them to build a sustainable business so they do not have to rely on animal poaching as a means of survival.
Locals within the community, young researchers and volunteers join Kailen on routine Snare Expeditions in different areas of Southern Africa. Snare traps are collected from the wild and then given to local artisans to be transformed into unique pieces of art. Routine snare removals are intended to make snare poaching unsustainable and uneconomical for poachers. Since the project’s creation in 2015, hundreds of snares have been confiscated by the S.N.A.R.E team.
These colorful steel animal art keychains were once snare traps used to illegally harvest wildlife in Africa and are now used to spread awareness and increase the KaiNav Conservation Foundation’s ongoing conservation efforts.
The KaiNav Conservation Foundation is a non-profit environmental research and education organization founded by twin brothers, Kailen and Navelan Padayachee. The foundation focuses on biodiversity conservation, natural resource management and environmental education initiatives such as volunteer and student research programs. The KaiNav Conservation Foundation was formed as a way to promote environmental science and research as a fulfilling career path to young generations throughout Africa whilst providing practical field experience in the conservation of the unique natural heritage and sustainable utilization of natural resources in Africa.
You can join the fight by purchasing a Snare Art keychain at the Zoo’s gift shop and sharing the story. Learn more about the KaiNav Conservation Foundation and how you can volunteer for a Snare Expedition here: http://www.kainavconservation.org/s-n-a-r-e