Ugandan youth advocate harmony between wildlife and humans
The way others caress their dogs is the same way Holly Oliver Akello plays with lions, hyenas and snakes.
At the age of 23, one would expect Akello to be enjoying her youthful years. However, Akello is taking care of 12 rare species of animals and reptiles in the central Ugandan district of Butambala.
“You cannot run away from animals. They are part of nature just as human beings are also part of nature,” she told Xinhua in a recent interview.
“You just need to understand them, read their body language, respect them and they will not harm (you),” Akello said, as she caressed one of the four lions in the den at the Conservation Through Commercialization (CTC) Conservation Center.
The CTC is a privately-owned center set up by an individual mainly to conserve rare species of animals for the purposes of research, education and tourism.
Founded in 2014, the center is home to lions, hyenas, crocodiles, bat-eared foxes, Serval cats, African golden cats, African Palm civets, snakes, tortoises, chameleons and iguanas. All these animals have been placed under Akello’s care.
From one cage to another, Akello is welcomed by the animals as they happily roll over in a manner a dog welcomes back its master after an outing.
“Animals are not dangerous. You just need to be patient with them and learn what needs to be done,” she said.
“Personally I cannot explain why I love animals so much. I don’t know what nature does to my soul. My soul connects with nature. I love nature,” Akello added.
Source: Further Africa