8 Dec 2011

The life-changing gifts go to the needy people the zoo’s Act for Wildlife campaign is working with, in a deprived part of India. And what’s more, the hens are also saving wild elephants and preventing deforestation.

Act for Wildlife’s Michelle Duma explains:

“Right now, families in the Indian region of Assam are reliant on collecting firewood to make a living. This is resulting in large-scale deforestation, which is destroying the habitat of the Asian elephant.

“These elephants are subsequently left exposed and forced to go in search of new homes. This often takes them into villages and townships, where they come into contact with humans and cause all sorts of damage and sometimes, deaths. Villages retaliate by killing the elephants and the situation is one of compete disharmony.

“Giving a hen can change all of this.

“Having hens to rear provides families with an alternative way of earning a living – one which means forest are saved. And by protecting the forests, the elephants have a safe home. Ultimately, this means that people can live side-by-side with them, without conflict.”

The hens provide a host of services to their owners. They can be reared and sold on to other families, lay eggs and their dung can be used as fertiliser.

“These hens are not just for Christmas – they’re sure to be appreciated for years,” adds Michelle.

“They’re the perfect gift. You certainly don’t need to worry about it being an unused or unwanted present – they can potentially change people’s lives and save elephants.”

The impact of the hens will be monitored to ensure that they provide long-term benefits for the communities.

And Chester Zoo’s Act for Wildlife guarantees that 100% of the money goes to the project, with not a penny going towards admin fees.

To get your hen or to find out more, visit www.actforwildlife.org.uk/buy-a-hen