Our mission is to help empower the people of our planet to work together to save our remaining ecosystems and all of the creatures they contain.
Join the Katie Adamson Conservation Fund for an evening of NEPALAROKE!  Singing is optional but having fun is not.

Serena Weingardt

A Young Conservationist Endeavors to Help KACF

Recently, our Zookeeper collaborator Stacy Johnson sat down with one of our youngest local conservation heroes, Serena Weingardt, to talk woman to woman about conservation.

Serena has always been interested in pachyderms.  Now 14, she remembers being little and only wanting to carry around her stuffed animals that were either rhinos, elephants or hippos.  And so began her quest to find out more information.  Through seeking out knowledge, she discovered how in need of help these animals were.

At a Girl Scout event in Evergreen, Serena was introduced to Dave Johnson who talked about all the different conservation programs he was currently involved in and her passion grew.  “I wanted to help and do more” she stated and knew that by partnering with Dave she could do just that.
Serena blew us out of the water with her fund raising skills.  Last year alone she sold 2,526  boxes of Girl Scout cookies, donating all that money to our conservation fund.  She also created painting events to continue to be able to donate money.  In total, Serena has been able to donate over $7000!

When asked what she hopes to do one day? “I want Dave's job.”  Don't worry Dave, Serena doesn't want to kick you out, but she hopes some day that she can work with pachyderms at the zoo just like you.  I am positive after speaking with Serena that all of her dreams, and more, will be accomplished.
What an amazing young talent Serena is!  We are so excited to have her in our KACF family and can't wait to see all that she does.  Thank you so much for all you do Serena and keep up the great work! We are honored to have you working with us.

Gabe and Shaina Kibe

KACF Support for Human/Elephant Conflict Mitigation

The excitement and eagerness for this trip to Nepal this past April was off-the-charts for Shaina Aguilar and me.  When it comes to big trips, I’m an over planner and plan for the worst case scenarios.  So, we definitely had an abundance of useless amenities.  We had to make accommodations for being Dave’s conservation supply mules, so our luggage was definitely lighter on the return flight home.  We also had to have correspondence via email with different people from Nepal.  We were going to make connections and explore new areas with them while in country. Also, it was Nepal’s New Year…Happy 2074 everyone!  All very exciting!

We flew through Seattle and then Dubai.  Emirates Airlines is the best airline I have ever flown on. If you get the chance to fly with them, you must take it.  We flew into Kathmandu during the day.  The views of the Himalayas were spectacular.  The views of Kathmandu were o.k.; you had to peer through the smog.  We did the tourist flight from Kathmandu to Mt. Everest.  Just to gaze upon Everest from the airplane flight path allowed us to make one more check on our bucket lists.  Yet, we still had the two most anticipated portions of the trip coming up.

The first most exciting adventure while in Nepal was traveling to and through Chitwan National Park.  The Rhino Lodge was a very nice place to stay, and the host and staff were very accommodating.  We did the one hour elephant back ride along the park’s edge.  This was our first greater-one horned rhino sighting.  Trust me, it was a very close sighting.  The guide put the elephant right next to the grazing bull rhino.  The following day, we did the day long “jeep” ride through Chitwan.  This is when our animal check list went crazy.  We spotted 21 greater-one horned rhinos, three species of deer, gharial, guar, wild boar, and around 30 different species of birds.   Then to finish the day off, we were going to dinner at the lodge when we had to move from the pathway to allow two elephants pass.  So, we rode elephants into the river and got cooled off with and by them.  This was a fabulous day!
The second most exciting adventure was traveling by “jeep” for two days (one day there, one day back) to the edge of Koshi Tappu wilderness in western Nepal.  We traveled with Roshan Kushar, an elephant conservationist.  Roshan is very dedicated to all aspects of elephant conservation especially helping mitigate Human-Elephant conflict.  He does this through tireless efforts to change people’s attitudes and even what crops they grow for money.  We visited his and his business partners’ distillery for crops such as chamomile and mint.  Crops that people can get paid more for growing and be used in the essential oil market.  He also takes care of people of have lost family members by elephants, especially money earners, through finances earned through donations, etc.  During our travels, we visited with a family that lost the matriarch to a lone bull elephant.  We also learned of a very recent elephant confrontation (just 6 hours before our arrival.)  We were able to visit with the family and learned what had happened.  Roshan was able to make a new contact with a teacher that lived in that village.  This was a very successful trip!
With all the excitement, fabulousness, and successes for conservation on this trip, it could not have been possible without the efforts of the Katie Adamson Conservation Foundation and Dave Johnson, my friend and coworker for sixteen years.  It is my hope that reading about this conservation adventure that It makes others want to participate in conservation and, especially, with the KACF.

Michelle Szydlowski

KACF Support for Conservation Education

I fell in love with Nepal somewhere between being ‘chased’ by an infant rhino and having a gecko fall on my head while I washed my face at the Forest Hideaway in Bardia.  The first time I saw a wild rhino I was so moved that I couldn’t breathe. The amount of land set aside for natural preservation in this tiny country is amazing, and the people involved with wildlife conservation are truly devoted to their animals. In April of this year I had the opportunity to return to Nepal for the third time, in order to complete my research for my Master’s Degree in Anthrozoology, and set up for my PhD project.   Anthrozoology is a field devoted to human and non-human animal conflict, cooperation, and shared history.  My area of study is currently ecotourism and how it affects conservation, and Team Nepalorado provided the perfect subject for an examination of Western/Eastern cooperation toward a conservation goal. 
The KACF’s approach to conservation—one of asking what our Nepali co-workers would like us to help with—is unusual.  Following their lead instead of barging in with an agenda has allowed Team Nepalorado to develop long term relationships with many different people.  Instead of feeling like ‘work,’ my research trip felt like a visit to an old friend’s house!  
When we were not involved in research, my daughter and I spent our time visiting an orphanage run by a friend of Team Nepalorado, preparing meals for the 9-month old rhino ‘Mayure’ (who is NOT a patient boy), being trained as elephant drivers, and bottle-feeding an infant wild boar.  My ‘real job’ is as an instructor at a veterinary nursing college, and this trip provided me a chance to spend many hours with various wildlife technicians exchanging information on husbandry and conservation.  And bonus--that baby pig might be the cutest thing I have ever seen!
Nepal has my heart.  Without Dave, the KACF and Team Nepalorado I would never have discovered this unique and diverse country.  Of course, without them, I also wouldn’t suffer from arachnophobia, but it was a worthwhile trade off.

Chelsea Gragg

KACF Conservation Scholarship Recipient


This last April I had the opportunity to return to Nepal for the third time. I spent a month in 2016 working with KACF and local partners to help get some programs running for conservation travel. This trip however was different, in that I was returning to work on my master’s degree research. Like Michelle, it is in Anthrozoology, the study of human-animal interactions and I thought Nepal would be the ideal place to study the unique and multi-faceted relationships between humans and animals.
I decided mahouts and elephants would be the perfect subjects. Something about their “work” partnership really fascinated me, and I wanted to learn more about what makes an elephant and mahout tick, how they learn to “work” together, how they both came to be where they are and to better understand the outside factors like economy and society and how they influence these relationships. Religion, culture and of course money also proved to be motivating factors and I stumbled upon relationships far more in-depth than I had anticipated. Now for all the final conclusions, you will have to wait for my dissertation to be complete, but I cannot wait to share all that I have found and learned.
As is true to my degree though, my research and my trips wouldn’t be complete without including the people who have shaped my Nepal experience.  From the staff members who taught me Nepali words every morning, to the shopkeeper who very sweetly would correct Michelle and I if we were pronouncing something wrong, to the children at the Chepang Orphanage who were fascinated by me, my camera and where I had come from. I had home cooked meals, shared drinks with many new friends, and had open and honest conversations about conservation and captive animals. I met one young man, who I truly hope is the future of Nepal, who lovingly taught his elephant to respond to a whistle, to build a stronger trust bond with him and to be able to work with a notoriously aggressive animal. The bond they share is unlike many others and seeing them, and sitting down and having discussions with this young man is what continues to draw me back into Nepal. I hope to return many more times, to do more work with all my informants, and to focus on the future of captive animals in Nepal, starting with one guy and his whistle.
Thank you Dave and KACF for allowing me to enjoy Nepal and fall in love with a people and culture. They allowed me to pursue a passion, while furthering my education and allowed me to do the research that interests me most. Thanks to Michelle for bringing me along on her second trip and introducing me to Dave and KACF, and thank you for everyone I have met and worked with along the way! Nepal is a unique place, full of delicious tea, spicy food and welcoming people and I hope that as more people discover this country, we can grow their conservation efforts, support the local people and provide care for the animals and people in need.


New Vet Hospital Breaks Ground in Nepal

With a wild population at only 3400 animals, Greater One-horned Rhinos are critically endangered. Every year we encounter orphaned animals that we help care for.

Donations to the Katie Adamson Conservation Fund go toward medications, food, care and transportation of animals.  One of our major initiatives is to help fund a new state of the art veterinary wildlife hospital and rhino orphanage on the grounds of the NTNC (National Trust for Nature Conservation) on the border of Chitwan National Park.  Hopefully now, these orphaned babies can be rehabilitated and safely returned to the wild.

Since 2012 we have donated over $42,500 toward the construction of this new hospital and are so pleased to see it now under construction.

Team Nepalorado 2017 snapped these images in November of the construction progress.

The Zoodiac Zone

The NEW KACF large wall calendar, based on the Zoodiac Kids conservation book, is now available.

Order yours by clicking on the button below.

Order Zoodiac Kids 2018 Wall Calendar Here
Copyright © 2018 Katie Adamson Conservation Fund, All rights reserved.

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