tonnes of co2 emitted
acres of forest lost
Killing animals as a show of ‘manliness’ has forever been part of Maasai culture. However, Chester Zoo’s Act for Wildlife has been involved in a new, history-changing approach to stop the killing, protect wildlife and show Maasai warriors that there are other ways to display bravery. Introducing the first ever Maasai Olympics…
The first-ever Maasai Olympics – where newly empowered young warriors competed among themselves not for how many lions they could each kill but for how many medals they could each win – has taken place in East Africa, thanks in part to sponsorship from Chester Zoo’s Act for Wildlife.
The event brought about a history-changing approach to the killing of large animals, a tradition embedded in Maasai culture as a way to express bravery, attract a girlfriend and identify future leaders by instead focusing on competition through sport. Indeed it was the first time in 500 years of Maasai history that athletic contests had taken place in this way.
A crowd of Maasai estimated at more than 3,000 witnessed history being made at the event, held at the Kimana Sanctuary, Kenya.
As well the huge numbers of spectators, the world’s press and four of Kenya’s greatest track stars also watched on, including 2012 London Olympics gold medalist and world 800-metre record holder, David Rudisha, himself a former Maasai warrior.
The individual athletic events - based on traditional warrior skills – included the high jump, testing power with warriors jumping up vertically as high as possible from a standing position and the javelin testing accuracy using a traditional spear. The road to conservation is never a straight one but with supporting ground-breaking events like the Maasai Olympics we can indeed Act for Wildlife.
This news is very exciting to me! I visited a Maasai village in Tanzania in 2008 and learned how the warriors must prove their bravery. Teaching them that there are alternatives to killing valuable wildlife is a wonderful project. Three cheers for Chester Zoo!
I'm so glad to see the changes the Massai are making.Thank you to the Chester Zoo for giving them this chance to prove themselves without having to kill the wildlife.