Kenyan Dignitary Visits Mountain View

Matthew Claxton, Langley Advance - Tuesday, June 24, 2008

A project is in the works to bring Kenyan students studying wildlife to Langley to work with and learn from local keepers.

The high commissioner of Kenya in Canada got a little glimpse of home on Friday, seeing her country's native wildlife in Langley.

Professor Judith Mbula Behamuka visited the Mountain View Conservation Centre as the first stop in a three-day visit to the West Coast.

She was here to start talks about bringing Kenyan science students over to Mountain View for internships, to learn techniques for breeding and caring for endangered wildlife.

"We really would like to start a partnership," said Behamuka.

Mountain View is home to several major species native to Kenya, including the cheetah, the mountain bongo, the Grevy's zebra and the Masai giraffe.

As with all the animals at Mountain View, the goal with these species is to breed them for reintroduction into the wild.

Animals like these are very important to the people of Kenya, both as examples of the natural world and for economic reasons.

"The whole tourism concept is based on wildlife," said Behamuka.

Ideally, university and college students studying wildlife in Kenya could stay at Mountain View for three months, working with and learning from the keepers...