Bakwena N1N4 Toll Concessionaire recently celebrated the birth of three leopard cubs to Brandy one of the leopards under its protection through a leopard conservation project, which it has supported, alongside North West’s Department of Rural, Environment and Agricultural Development, since early 2014.
As leopards are indigenous to the area along the N1N4 concession route, and leopards are one of South Africa’s most vulnerable species due to the high demand for their beautiful skins Bakwena has been working to promote conservation efforts to help ensure the survival of these creatures.
“We welcome the birth of the cubs as a sign that our efforts are having a positive effect in the area,” says Bakwena spokesperson Charmaine van Wyk. “By monitoring these cubs, ensuring their health and keeping them safe from poachers, they form three new opportunities of growth for the leopard population in South Africa, which is endangered.”
Van Wyk added that the recent announcement by the Department of Environmental Affairs banning the hunting of leopards for a year in South Africa was a victory in the fight to preserve South Africa’s natural heritage. This development will allow conservationists, as well as companies with a vested interest in leopard welfare such as Bakwena, much needed time to assess exactly how many leopards are left in the North West province, and generate insights as to their movements and habitat, a task made incredibly difficult by their solitary nocturnal habits.
Bakwena is committed to making sustainable change along the N1 and N4 toll routes and has implemented corporate social investment programmes covering road safety, health, environment and community upliftment.