In an effort to stop the extinction of wildlife, Chester Zoo and Mowgli Street Food, the largest chain of Indian restaurants in the UK, have partnered.
Driven by a shared vision to address the survival challenges facing endangered species, the new partnership aims to protect precious habitats and boost the conservation of elephants in India and orangutans in Borneo.
Mowgli is dedicated to promoting wildlife recovery and healthy ecosystems, drawing on inspiration from experiences working with the zoo’s conservationist in Assam, northeastern India, where significant efforts are already being made to protect species like endangered Asian elephants.
The restaurant’s founding principles included charitable giving, and two of its main goals were to improve the lives of its employees and give back to the communities it serves. In order to specifically raise money for nearby charities, Mowgli’s founder, Nisha Katona MBE, established the Mowgli Trust in 2018. Guests are asked to voluntarily add a £1 donation to their bill. The restaurant has raised more than £1.8 million for regional and global charities since it first opened in 2014.
Nisha Katona, founder and CEO of Mowgli Street Food, said:
“Mowgli exists to enrich lives in the places she goes. We love that our partnership with Chester Zoo lifts our ambitions from our high street communities and local charities, into the realms of preventing the extinction of species such as magnificent Asian elephants in India and orangutans in Borneo.”
“Together we are proud to be building a sustainable future for our planet and protecting our world’s most vulnerable species.”
The UN estimates that over a million species could go extinct in a generation, prompting wildlife experts to warn of a global extinction crisis.
Less than 40,000 Asian elephants are thought to exist today, according to recent estimates. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List lists the species as endangered, citing threats from disease, poaching, habitat loss, and direct human conflict.
Jamie Christon, Chief Executive Officer at Chester Zoo, added:
“Right now we’re facing a global biodiversity crisis. Never before has nature been in need of more help. That’s why we must think outside of the box in order to make a real difference and ensure a greener, more sustainable and brighter future for our planet, both for people and wildlife.
“Unlikely collaborations, such as this one between Chester Zoo and Mowgli Street Food, can really make that difference and bring about positive change. Our new partnership will enable us to further our vital work in places such Assam in India where, for more than a decade, we’ve been working alongside our field conservation partners to successfully protect wild elephants and the people who live alongside them. Through combining our skills, resources and knowledge we can really have an impact on the global effort to protect and restore biodiversity.”