Media release: Mountain Zebra National Park Celebrates 70th Anniversary
20 September 2007
Mountain Zebra National Park near Cradock in the Eastern Cape, celebrates its 70th anniversary today as part of South African National Parks Week.
The Park, proclaimed in July 1937, boasts a success story in terms of conservation of the Cape mountain zebra with a population of over 370 zebra today.
When the Park was proclaimed in 1937, only six zebra existed on a 1712-hectare piece of land. These zebra died out and it was only through the donations from local farmers that the population was again built up.
Speaking at the 70th anniversary celebrations today, SANParks Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Sydney Soundy, said, “Today we are taking an important modest step towards the promotion of a culture of national celebrations for a job well done in the conservation industry.”
Soundy also emphasized the important role that South African National Parks (SANParks) plays in the tourism industry being the largest single provider of hospitality accommodation in South Africa.
SANParks has about 6 000 beds and 1 000 camping/caravan sites and can accommodate almost 12 000 overnight guests in its 22 national parks. Average occupancy rates are currently over 70%.
Mountain Zebra National Park Manager Lesley-Ann Meyer commented on the rich history and cultural heritage of the Park, as well as a bright future ahead.
“We have many plans for the Park including the construction of new tourist roads, entrance gate and new child-friendly facilities for the Weltevrede picnic site”, said Meyer.
Mayor Zenzile of the Inxuba Yethemba Municipality spoke of how the natural heritage represented in the Park is no longer alienated from the people and of how the council is committed to working together with the Park Management.
The Park now covers 28 412 hectares and conserves species such as the critically endangered black rhino, cheetah and buffalo.
Issued by: South African National Parks
Regional Communications Manager
South African National Parks
Tel: 083 6508649
Mountain Zebra National Park
Tel: 048 8812427 or 082 4978637