WORLD LION DAY 10th August 2014
August 10, 2014
Let’s celebrate lions today, mindful that there are approximately only 20,000 lions left in the wild in Africa. This is an appalling statistic – there are 80-90% fewer lions now than in Christian’s time. Let’s resolve to do something about it!
The Campaign Against Canned Hunting (CACH) is gaining momentum in opposing the shocking farming of lions for cub petting, walking with lions and ultimately being shot by “hunters”. Canned hunting does NOT assist in the conservation and protection of lions, and hunting does NOT assist in conservation. We must discourage people from visiting or volunteering at wildlife sanctuaries that encourage cub petting and walking with lions…..and to me hunting is incomprehensible.
Donalea Patman is Melbourne based and is a tireless supporter of lions and wildlife. See her website fortheloveofwildlife here.
I met Alison Lee Rubie at the first Global March for Lions which she helped organise. See her Lobby For Lions website. I look forward to reading about her next trip to Africa later in the year. She has made me aware of the reputable wildlife sanctuaries in Africa – and see the Volunteers Beware Facebook page here.
The Born Free Foundation is very effective and “takes action worldwide to save lives, stop suffering and protect species in the wild”. It was founded in 1984 by the late Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna who starred as George and Joy Adamson in the film Born Free. Virginia remains very actively involved. Of course it was Bill Travers and Virginia who accidentally discovered Christian in London, and led us to George Adamson in Africa for Christian’s rehabilitation.
The Elsa Conservation Trust is one of the earliest organisations working on behalf of animals and lions especially. It is based at Elsamere beside Lake Naivasha in Kenya and we visited Joy Adamson there. It is now a wildlife retreat and education centre.
Panthera is the largest wild cat conservation organisation in the world and is solely committed to the 38 species of wild cats.
The George Adamson Wildlife Preservation Trust works very effectively on behalf of animals in George Adamson’s name. GAWPT has also overseen the rehabilitation of George’s camp at Kora which was abandoned after his death in 1989. GAWPT is very mindful of the need to work with local communities.
I have blogged previously about Aidan Basnett and his Adamson Facebook page – he spent time in Africa when much younger and remains a very enthusiastic fan of the Adamsons. He is now organising tours to Kenya – see details of his tempting 2015 tour here.
It was AnimalWorks www.animalworks.com.au who asked me to join in the Global March for Lions, and they want to make conservation “everybody’s passion by spreading the word about the natural world and what we can do about it”.
Lion Aid www.lionaid.org are concerned with all things related to lions, and an interesting report on their site about poaching, states that it is not more guns that are needed, but “sustainable employment for all people, so they are not tempted into poaching”.
My thanks to all these organisations that often or exclusively prioritise lions. Of course there are many other organisations all over the world with committed and deeply concerned people working for animals and wildlife.
But today I’m especially thinking of all those magnificent and majestic lions – some living freely, and far too many in captivity.
In an interview I was asked – unexpectedly – what did I think was the significance of Christian’s story coming back via the internet so many years later? I said “I think it is a cry for help” and I think many of us have heard that cry and are determined to do something about it.