WORLD LION DAY 10th August 2014

August 10, 2014

Lion in Shaft of Light by Nick Brandt.  Image Courtesy Source Photographica.

Lion in Shaft of Light by Nick Brandt. Image courtesy Source Photographica.

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.

See the CACH website here, and their presentation video about Canned Hunting here.

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 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 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.

8 Responses to “WORLD LION DAY 10th August 2014”

  1. Happy belated World Lion Day Ace! Was wonderful having you by our side during the Global March earlier this year and I look forward to working with you again soon 🙂
    Sarah – Animal Works

  2. Thank you another thoughtful and thought-provoking post. Not only do I hope that we (humans) will have more respect for nature/wildlife (and of course lions), I hope we can do the same thing between each other too.

  3. Sabrina Says:

    I enjoyed your blog “World Lion Day” so much! It’s been a couple of years now that I heard of Christian, you and John’s amazing story. I love it when friends discover his story and share it on FB. Such a wonderful and incredible story. The news that there are 80-90% fewer lions than in Christian’s time, is so very sad. Keep up the great work Ace, and may everyone everywhere do something to protect these majestic, beautiful creatures.


  4. Heulwen Renshaw Says:

    Happy Birthday Christian. Thought a lot about you whilst watching Born Free on TV the other day. Heard your story once again ‘The London Lion’ on the radio last week too with John Randell. You will never be forgotten

  5. Dr. Rex Says:

    Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    World Lion Day … need to stand up for them. Why? ” there are approximately only 20,000 lions left in the wild in Africa.” That’s why!!

  6. Dee Says:

    ps..Happy birthday Christian in two days time xoxoxo

  7. Dee Says:

    I think Christian being brought back to life via the internet is way more than a “cry for help”, true it is that but it is much much more. It is the most poignant exhibition that love between man and beast exists. Plus a raw and quite rare expression of what we all crave, pure undying love between two souls, Ace and Christian, that connected so deeply, in a manner that pulls the strings of the heart with deep emotion for every single person worldwide, undiscrimminated by race within all that have viewed the “reunion”.

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