Cango Wildlife Ranch has gratefully accepted not 1 but 2 prestigious awards from PAAZA (Pan-African Association of Zoos & Aquaria)!
Craig Gouws (Assistant Zoological Manager and Large Carnivore Curator) won the “Keeper Excellence Award”. This award honours the work of an individual animal keeper, who is a permanent employee of an Institutional Member and who has shown exceptional loyalty, interest and passion for the animals in their care. Craig has been with Cango Wildlife Ranch for almost 20 years, starting as a teenager assisting kids on pony rides, to Tourist Guide and finally seeing him rise to Assistant Zoological Manager. This is commendable and the Ranch is absolutely proud to have him as part of their family.
Secondly, the Tourist Guides won the “Education Award”; an award that honours the work of individual(s) or departments of members who excel in educating the public through relaying conservation awareness, animal and environmental information and the Vision and Mission of the facility in a structured and formal way.
Unlike many other Zoological facilities, Cango Wildlife Ranch takes enormous pride in the fact that they offer a complimentary guided tour to all who visit the facility. The tour is formally presented in a to all guests with its focus being entirely on education and awareness. It focusses on the education of all 90 species housed there as well as human/animal conflict such as slash and burn, the bushmeat crisis, canned-hunting and other environmental issues such as erosion, water-saving, recycling and the overall conservation of Fauna and Flora. The guides explain the purpose of Accredited Zoological facilities/reputable captive facilities which are so often misunderstood by the public. Tours are multi-lingual (English, Afrikaans, German and French).
The guides discuss conservation and preservation and highlight the workings of the Ranch’s non-profit organization, the Cheetah Preservation Foundation. This NPO in turn assists other conservation organizations in doing valuable field work and research as well as our own research at our private cheetah reserve.
Over the past 5 years the facility’s conservation message has reached the following people via the guided tours:
37 000 school children
8000 Community members – all on a complimentary basis (this includes visitors that have disabilities, visitors that come from previously disadvantaged backgrounds and local church groups and farm schools where we can assist in uplifting and providing educational support)
And last but not least…. Over ½ a million visitors to the facility who all partook in guided tours.
Cango Wildlife Ranch are proud accredited members of PAAZA (Pan-African Association of Zoos &
Aquaria). The 2016/2017 period has seen PAAZA reinforce its credibility within Africa & globally as a professional association. This is reflected in the increased number of requests for being accredited by PAAZA.
PAAZA continues to collaborate with Government & Provincial structures through Wildlife Forums,
Norms & Standards, Studbooks, Forensic Identification & SANS Guidelines.
Awards are symbols of achievement, hard work, professional success, and personal goals reached. They are a motivation for many to reach for even higher levels of success. They provide a tangible reminder of what is possible and they provide an opportunity for team members to pat each other on the back for a job well done.
Marketing Manager, Charleen Boshoff, says: “For me and the other members of our leadership team who get to bring back these awards, it is an opportunity to pause and say thank you too to our incredible team of almost one hundred permanent staff here at Cango Wildlife Ranch. A team of members, each and every one filled to the brim with passion, vigour and pride. It’s a chance to celebrate with each, and to recognize the difference we make in the lives of the animals we so dearly and passionately care for 365 days a year!”
Cango Wildlife Ranch would like to thank each and every visitor, supporter, member and all friends of the industry and community for their continued support. It is thorugh ongoing support and much hardwork that allows them to maintain the highest levels of standards and excellence.