Commend Woman for Sustaining Troubled African Herds

Savanna Sunset

Target: Conservationist Karen Paolillo

Goal: Commend Karen for putting her own comfort and safety on the line to help African herds in need

Living in Southern Africa is no easy feat, even as a well-adapted species. The area and its inhabitants suffer severe droughts, intense poaching, disease and starvation. Without a helping hand many species do not survive these trying conditions. Karen Paolillo, a conservationist, is an incredible force of good for many species of wildlife in Zimbabwe, Africa. She has been a presence in the Save Valley Conservancy, Zimbabwe, for many years.

Karen was there for wildlife during the extreme drought that dried up the Turgwe River, a main source of water for animals in the conservancy. She literally went door to door asking for donations to construct a basin for the animals to use. She was successful, and through building the basin she helped the animal residents survive the drought. She also made sure the animals had plenty of food during this time, utilizing hay and horse cubes. Her help was so beneficial that hippo calves were born during these trying times. Twenty years ago she founded the Turgwe Hippo Trust, and has witnessed the birth of 48 hippo calves since. Karen has not left the side of these animals in need; she herself has lived through land invasions, malaria, and very little food to feed herself and her husband.

Karen’s dedication to this conservancy is remarkable. Times are not getting easier for her: her transportation is failing and another drought is setting in. She has made it through so many hard times; there is little chance she will give up now. She needs to know that many people know her plights, and support her efforts. If you wish to become involved and donate to these animals, there is a charity that was started to help small time conservationists, like Karen. The charity is the Harmony Fund, and they have created a support link for Karen. In the meantime, please sign this petition and let Karen know that she is a hero.


Dear Karen Paolillo,

The wildlife residing in the Save Valley Conservancy in Zimbabwe, Africa has suffered through many hard times in the last couple of decades. Through drought, starvation, poaching and disease you have been there for the animals and offered a guiding hand. Without your dedication, it is almost certain many of the animals would not have made it.

Your efforts and huge heart are noticed and acknowledged. There are a few souls in the history of humankind that will stand out as intense forces for good, and as much-needed companions for others in need. Please know that you are one of these souls. Without your efforts to build a water basin, the many species inhabiting the Save Valley Conservancy would not have made it through drought. They would not have been fed, and miraculous happenings, such as hippo calves born during the drought, would not have been possible. Without your caring and watchful guidance, too many of the animals would have been victims to poaching. The animals in the conservancy have a continuing chance of survival, thanks to you.

I wish you all of the luck in the world, and hope that you are able to carry on and are blessed with positive incidents that will make your work easier. You are a hero for the animals in Zimbabwe; know that many are behind and are so thankful for all that you do.


[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Gary M. Stolz via

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One Comment

  1. Christine Stewart says:

    Even the smallest donation will be put to good use! Karen, her husband, and a small group of rangers protect a wide variety of wildlife from poachers’ snares, arrows and guns. Now with the drought, she must also feed the animals, because leaving the safety of the conservancy to find food on their own would mean certain death. Please visit the Harmony Fund website to see photos of Karen and all the wonderful animals that she cares for!

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