Land Rover and international wildlife charity Born Free Foundation, have today opened a vital new lion enclosure and education centre, The Tree House.
Based in Ensessakotteh, Ethiopia, the centre will provide a base and classroom facilities for thousands of visiting school children allowing the team at the centre to carry out environmental education activities that include interactive games, role-playing and writing workshops, all focused on educating the next generation on the importance of conversation and care for animals.
The centre in Ensessakotteh, which means ‘animal footprint’ also offers sanctuary to over 70 wild animals in the 77 hectares of protected wilderness that surrounds it. The animals that make their home there have either been orphaned or confiscated from the illegal trade or ownership.
The launch of the centre was attended by Actress and legendary conservationist, Virginia McKenna OBE; His Excellency, the former President of the FDRE, Girma Wolde-Giorgis; Dawud Mume Ali, Director General of Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority; and Adam M Roberts, CEO of the Born Free Foundation and Born Free USA.
Land Rover has a unique history with the Born Free Foundation and its vehicles have played a key role in the charity’s activities in Africa and beyond. Ensessakotteh has a Land Rover Defender on site which assists in the everyday activities of the staff, from transporting food and equipment around the wilderness areas to supporting the day to day running of the education centre. Another key part of Land Rover’s support for the centre will be assisting in the rescue of animals, with the vehicles being key to the success of these missions, such as this link Born Free.
The redevelopment of the centre at Ensessakotteh is a project that Land Rover and Born Free have been working towards for some time. The facility will provide a protective environment to care for the wildlife. The centre will also play a vital role in educating young people about the importance of conservation and will make a real difference by spreading awareness about how people can adapt their lives and attitudes to ensure a sustainable future for man and wildlife alike.