UNICEF goodwill ambassador Angelina Jolie last weekend visited N/a’an ku sê wildlife sanctuary to witness the results of her foundation’s partnership with the sanctuary and to discuss conservation in Namibia.
N/a’an ku sê rescues threatened wildlife, carries out research to prevent human wildlife conflict and provides education and healthcare to the San community. Jolie’s visit was also an opportunity to see fellow conservationists, Marlice van Vuuren and her husband Dr Rudie van Vuuren. Marlice and Angelina have strong ties since they met on the set of Beyond Borders, which was partly filmed in Namibia. Angelina has been involved in N/a’an ku sê’s work since 2006. Along with her son Pax, the film star had the chance to meet and interact with N/a’an ku sê’s new ambassador cheetah cubs, Wonder, Odyssey and Shiloh.
Dr Van Vuuren and Marlice named the pubs Shiloh after Angelina’s daughter Shiloh Jolie Pitt, who adopted and sponsored the cub for her 9th birthday in May this year, and named its other two siblings.
The superstar said: “Shiloh watches videos of the cubs as they are growing. She loves that little cheetah. Shiloh has a tough and independent nature, and cannot wait to visit N/a’an ku sê and meet them herself.”
During her visit, Angelina was involved in discussions surrounding human wildlife conflict mitigation and the trials involved in this element of conservation.
The N/a’an ku sê Foundation works with farmers and landowners on mitigating human wildlife conflict.
Over 140 carnivores have been rehabilitated back into the wild over the last seven years, mostly with the consent of the landowner where the conflict occurred.
N/a’an ku sê monitors the animals on a daily basis and shares that information with landowners and farmers, helping to reduce the conflict between humans and animals, which has contributed to the critical endangering of the cheetah and other species. N/a’an ku sê’s human wildlife conflict work is not limited to carnivores but includes lions, elephants, baboons and a host of other species.
Angelina met San residing in N/a’an ku sê’s ancient skills village, and was also treated to a traditional song and dance performed by N/a’an ku sê’s Clever Cubs school kids, who celebrated the chance to share their knowledge and culture.
There was nothing but smiles on the children’s faces when Angelina and Marlice joined in the fun, partaking in the San tradition, moving their feet to the sounds of tiny clapping hands. Angelina also spoke with President Hage Geingob and First Lady Monica Geingos while at N/a’an ku sê, and expressed her desire to work through the N/a’an ku sê Foundation with the government on making Namibia a world leader in conservation.
‘It is an honour for our family to be able to support N/a’an ku sê’s mission to conserve the land, cultures and wildlife of Namibia and to rescue threatened species. I look forward to working even more closely with Marlice and Rudie in the years to come, and with the government of Namibia, to build on the success and effectiveness of these projects, which hold many inspiring lessons for conservation around the world,” Angelina said.