By the 1980’s it was clear that black rhino were becoming extinct in Kenya. Decades of cattle ranching and farming had decimated the habitat, and an elephant massacre in 1988 only highlighted to Ian Craig the importance of the community’s role in the protection of wildlife. With rhino champion Ana Merz’s help, Ian began converting his family’s 40,000-acre ranch into one of the world’s first community-based conservancies. By 1995, the Lewa Wildlife Conservancy was born and Ian Craig took over as Executive Director. Under his direction, Ian expanded the adjoining habitat to the Ngare Ndare Forest Reserve and established the Northern Rangelands Trust. Concurrently, Lewa began supporting the local community by establishing health clinics and schools, clean water programs, as well as agriculture and livestock management advisory programs. Along with some of the most expertly trained rangers armed with state of the art technology, the protection of the 62,000 acre reserve is unparalleled in Kenya. Under Ian’s leadership, the surrounding wildlife adapted quickly to the sanctuary that Lewa blossomed into, and the diversity of the protected area increased exponentially. As of 2020, Lewa is home to approximately 13% of Kenya’s black and white rhino population; 400 migratory elephants; 11% of the world’s Grevy’s Zebras and more than 450 bird species. Since 1990, the American Association of Zoo Keepers has been hosting Bowling for Rhinos fundraising events to support Lewa’s mission to be a world leader in community-based conservation. It is our great honor to have one of the world’s leaders in community-based conservation as our Keynote Speaker for the 46th Annual AAZK National Conference.