Let us provide some background. World Lion Day (WLD) was initiated in 2013 to raise public awareness about the plight of …
Monday 17th March 2014
Welcome Lion marchers!
We are here because we are saying enough is enough. We cannot stand complacently by any longer to see our global wildlife heritage destroyed by those who see it as a commodity rather than a treasure.
We are marching together for lions in over 60 cities all over the world. Never before has this happened in such numbers for any species, and you are part of history.
Last month, some representatives from about 40 countries came together in this city to sign papers to “promise” an end to the illegal wildlife trade. Today, tens of thousands march with strong purpose in 20 countries across the world, and that is the more powerful statement!
And we march because we are committed. Enough is enough. Complacency is in our crosshairs. For far too long we have misplaced trust in big organizations to save our wildlife. Now we are taking individual action.
You are the first to take the steps on the road, and please stay on this journey until we achieve our goals. Every journey starts with the first step, so keep walking with us!
And what wonderful steps have been taken. We have an elderly lady amongst us who could not afford the train fare to London. So she came by coach, and her journey will have taken 12 hours before she is home. We received an e-mail from a seven year old girl who loves lions so much that she donated her pocket money to the march. We have someone here who flew from Kenya to London to be with us to march. We have those who have undergone recent surgery who wanted to march!
I was asked a while ago “do you have any celebrities or VIPs attending the march?” My answer was yes, we have hundreds!
All movements start small. The American Revolution began with no more than 30 people called the Sons of Liberty who threw tea into Boston harbour. Women in this country received the vote because of the dedicated determination of a small group of activists. In 2010, one man, Mohamed Bouazizi immolated himself in Algeria resulting not only in the overthrow of the dictator in his country but the beginning of the Arab Spring.
Never forget how powerful our voices can be. We have hundreds here and thousands across the world. United in one message – enough is enough.
We refuse to accept the slaughter and misuse of wildlife for commercial gain. It was people like us that stopped the commercial slaughter of whales. It was people like us that stopped the imports of seal skins from Canada and Namibia into the EU. If there were people like us around at the time we could have prevented the extinction of the dodo, the passenger pigeon, the ivory billed woodpecker, the Stellers sea cow and the Quagga.
It must be people like us who stop this whole sordid killing of lions for pleasure. And while we are at it we can also make a big difference for the slaughter of rhinos in Africa for bogus potions and the slaughter of elephants for trinkets.
We are sick and tired of complacency. We march because we say enough is enough.
And we are very powerful. We cannot be ignored. Tomorrow every one of you here is going to write to their MPs and their MEPs to tell them to stop, right now, the import of any lion trophy from South Africa. It is a sordid industry based on animal cruelty and nobody in the EU should profit the merchants. If those hunters do not have their own ethics, we shall make the laws to halt them in their tracks.
We shall write to the volunteer organizations to tell them to cease sending innocent gap year students to cynical lion breeders in South Africa. We will tell everyone we know through social media, newspapers, e-mails, tweets, phone calls and letters to never, ever, ever pet lion cubs and walk with lions in South Africa.
We shall call our media to tell them to pay much more attention to this issue. If big teams of reporters can be sent to South Africa to cover a murder trial involving the girlfriend of an athlete, why cannot they pay equal attention to the murder of 880 lions per year for pleasure? They think we don’t care to know because we do not speak out. No longer!
If Dylan Thomas was here he would have adapted his poem like this today:
Do not go gentle into the bad night,
Thank you, thank you, thank you for marching today. Be the seed, be the Wildlife Spring, be the change.
Add a comment | Posted by Chris Macsween at 19:07
A BIG thank you from LionAid to all of you who marched in London and all over the world on Saturday.
Monday 17th March 2014
What a day for lions! What a very bad day for the trophy hunters! Hunters relied on complacency and their money and political influence to keep putting lion trophies on their walls. Thanks to all of us, they have now encountered what we can do … and we will get even more influential in the future.
We all joined our marches out of compassion for wildlife. And a revulsion that it is still legal to get on a plane with a rifle or bow or pistol to hunt a captive bred lion in South Africa staked out within a fenced area and then kill it for pleasure.
And we are strong. We were united in over 60 cities across the world. Regardless of whether we had 20 or 2,000 people marching, we all marched, and we stood strong.
And I can tell you we were effective. Just from my experience walking at the back of just one of our many routes in London, I could see that people handed the leaflets were reading them with rapt attention. Children and their parents joined in the chants, and we had many additional people spontaneously joining the marches.
Going home on the Underground that night, I saw the leaflets still being talked about by many people on the trains. The message went out!
We did well and people noticed all over the world. This march for lions was the biggest and most effective for any wildlife species ever.
Politicians must pay attention. One of our marchers in London has Prime Minister David Cameron as his local Member of Parliament. Cameron was aware, and was issued a private letter. Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister in the UK supports LionAid. And so do over 60 other Members of Parliament. They will all get letters from us tomorrow to remind them – this is an issue that they had better address as a constituency issue.
Elections for the European Parliament are due in May. Please everyone who votes for an MEP, make sure you evaluate their environmental and conservation voting record. The EU spends billions of euros per year on farming subsidies and development aid. Just 1% or 0.5% of that money could completely change the face of wildlife conservation.
We have never accepted that defeating trophy of lions is “impossible”. But yesterday, all of us realized that that should be spelled as “I’m possible”. We will be heard, we will continue to march, we are in the great majority. In London in ONE DAY we well outnumbered those who went to South Africa in ONE YEAR to kill lions for pleasure. Why should a tiny minority of people be allowed to continue their “sport”?
We will defeat them. And their suppliers the lion breeders who will soon no longer derive income from their innocent allies - the paying “volunteers”, the cub petters and the lion walkers and all manner of other captive lion tourists.
They will soon be legalized out of existence with our political support and also financially starved out of business. We have achieved a multi-pronged approach. The South African Parliament passed a motion in support of the marches and against canned hunting. And abroad, we will get our parliaments to take similar action.
All over the world yesterday we told the hunters and breeders that enough is enough. For far too long hunters had been able to continue this sordid business. You have now been warned, and we will continue to ratchet up all pressure we can bring to bear. Look over your shoulder hunters, because as of yesterday we are gaining, and soon it will be game over for you.
Be the change everyone, take the high ground. Continue to shout as loud as you did in London and across the word. The survival of lions has now been placed in your very good hands.
Add a comment | Posted by Chris Macsween at 19:00
Friday 28th February 2014
A message of support for the Global March for Lions from Lennox Lewis
We are delighted to receive the following message about canned lion hunting from Lennox Lewis (nicknamed "The Lion"), the former world heavy weight boxing champion:
"LionAid -I think this practice is despicable. this is not hunting and those who pay for the opportunity to kill these majestic animals are cowards!"
Thank you Lennox! Your support is greatly appreciated.
LionAid are delighted today to have received the following message from Simon King in support of the Global March for Lions:
"The African Lion. No other creature embodies the qualities of power, charisma and beauty quite like it. And all over South Africa, lion breeding facilities offer visiting guests the opportunity to walk with and pet these unique symbols of wild majesty. But the tragic truth is that the majority of these same captive lions are being bred for one thing and one thing only; to suffer an ignominious fate at the hands of a hunter who is prepared to pay to snuff the spark of life from the king of beasts, and to do so in a confined area.
Everything about the loathsome practice of canned hunting is wrong. It promotes the dangerous sense of dominion that some humans have over all other living things. It promotes the industry of killing these apex predators whose very existence in the wild is itself under threat, and whose wild populations have been, and still are, the target of hunting safaris in many countries in the African continent. It sends the message to all communities in Africa that the lion is a commodity that may be exploited for personal gain or eradicated if it presents a hurdle to human development. And, perhaps the most obscene feature of canned hunting, is that it betrays the trust of an animal, raised in captivity believing its captors were its friends and allies, only to be violently killed by the mindless actions of another human being.
Simon King OBE
We are delighted to have been in contact with Roger Cook whose award-winning "Cook Report" broadcast on British Television a programme called “Making a Killing” on the 6th May 1997. For the first time, it brought the hideous canned lion hunting industry in South Africa to the world’s attention with Roger Cook posing as a tourist hunter, to be taken on a hunt for lions and specially imported tigers.
Roger cannot be with us on the March as he is recovering from surgery, but he has taken the time to write an important message.
Read the full: Roger Cook and the "Cook Report" article.
Further news, details of the March and the London Route continue below. Be sure to read the sections on how the vile Canned Hunting Industry works in South Africa and the legality of canned hunting in South Africa.
We are delighted that John Rendall (remember his famous reunion with Christian the Lion?) is flying in from Kenya, especially to march with us at the Global March for Lions on the 15th March 2014. John will say a few words at the end of the March, once we reach South Africa House/Trafalgar Square.
John has already sent this message of support:
"Dear Lion Aid
Congratulations on your continued efforts to raise public awareness in the crisis facing lions.
Rhinos and Elephants are very much on peoples’ radar thanks to high profile events like the recent conference at Lancaster House, due to the input of the Prince of Wales and Duke of Cambridge, but lions are being overlooked.
There are more Rhinos in the wild than there are lions!
I am currently in Kenya but will be back for your March where I look forward to meeting LionAid supporters.
Well done LionAid
George Adamson Wildlife Preservation Trust"
Details of the March and the London Route continue below. Be sure to read the sections on how the vile Canned Hunting Industry works in South Africa and the legality of canned hunting in South Africa.
On March 15th 2014, the world will unite in a Global March for Lions.
Join us - be a voice for our lions. Let’s restore their pride - in the wild - as nature intended. Help us to ban canned hunting – an international disgrace.
We will call on our governments to BAN the deplorable Canned Hunting Industry. We will raise awareness to educate the rest of the world regarding every stage of the life-cycle of torture of a canned lion.
The world needs to know - stop supporting the cub-petting & walk with lions experience – the first steps of untold misery for cubs ripped away from their mothers soon after birth.
The fraudulent luring of ignorant volunteers who pay for the “privilege” to “care for” the cubs – all destined to be killed in an enclosed camp where they will have no way of escape. Often shot numerous times to prevent "spoiling" the trophy with a shot in the head, which will be mounted on a foreign wall and the bones exported to Asia for bogus medicine - all for top dollar.
Join us and help us expose this crime – a crime against the very essence of morality. A crime against nature, a crime against Africa, a crime against humanity!
Details of the London March
Kick-Off 3pm on Saturday 15th March 2014.
There will be EIGHT march routes!
These routes will ALL finish outside South Africa House, Trafalgar Square area. Our end location specifics will be clarified soon, just awaiting more confirmation from Westinster Council.
The following are the STARTING POINTS of these "mini-marches" ...
route: Westminster Bridge - over bridge & turn right - Victoria Embankment - along & left onto - Northumberland Avenue into Trafalgar (keep left on Northumberland Avenue)
route: Waterloo Bridge - over bridge - left onto Victoria Embankment - right turn onto Northumberland Avenue (keep right) - into Trafalgar Square
route: Leicester Square - along & turn right onto Charing Cross road - into Trafalgar Square
route: Parliament Square - through Whitehall - into Trafalgar Square
route: Buckingham Palace - The Mall - into Trafalgar Square
route: St James Square - left onto Pall Mall - into Trafalgar Square
route: London University - Strand - Trafalgar Square
route: Palladium Theatre - Wardour Street - down into Trafalgar
All exact details will be arranged, such as each assembley point & march route guidance etc. Assembly time is approx 2pm to march at approx 3pm.
We would like at least TWO people to help guide & steward each of these groups. (no more than 50 people per route) Please note: Due to the volume of people attending the March, we will likely use the pavements on both sides of the road to make sure there are no more than 50 people setting off at any one time.
As Stewards, your only responsibility will be to organise your small group on the day, be responsible, know the route you are walking & simply lead them to Trafalgar without disturbing other pedestrians on the pavement. Please be confident you can do this, everyone will help and the atmosphere will be supportive.
We will organise attendees into their designated routes, you simply steward & help on the day whilst you march with us.
Note: no more than 50 people can be in these "mini-marches", so walking your route is easier & is within our agreed limited with the council.
Click this link to read more about how the vile Canned Hunting Industry works in South Africa.
Click this link to read about Canned Hunting Legality in South Africa. Yes, believe it or not, canned lion hunting is perfectly legal but the life of the lion is completely geared towards its pre-destined death.
WHEREVER YOU ARE IN THE WORLD, PLEASE JOIN ONE OF THE MARCHES FOR LIONS!
This page will be updated regularly with further news about the March so keep checking in......
Add a comment | Posted by Chris Macsween at 13:48
Thursday 27th February 2014
Canned hunting in South Africa is completely legal, and there are very few controls as the lions involved are all privately owned.
There are very many problems with the “regulation” of the industry. Because captive bred lions are not considered “Threatened or Protected Species” in South Africa they do not fall under the Ministry of Environment. They also do not fall under the Ministry of Agriculture. There are no norms and standards in place to govern the minimal care and housing of the captive lions. The NSPCA in South Africa is very weak and has stayed out of the fray – the lion breeding farms are not subject to regular inspections. The Provinces in SA have different rules about the amount of time a lion should be “released” into a “wild area” before it can be hunted – in Northwest Province, where most of the canned hunts take place, it is 96 hours but nobody checks. Lions are subject to inter-Province transport regulations but permits are easily obtained – they are just listed as being transported from one breeding facility to another. The Professional Hunting Association of South Africa and the Predator Breeder’s Association have only recently agreed to impose minimal standards on canned hunts – for example the animals cannot be drugged and the client must be fully informed that he’s hunting a captive bred animal.
In short, there are few regulations, captive bred lions are in complete limbo as to regulations governing their care, there are no minimal standards for any form of ethical treatment while in captivity, there are no humane standards for use of cubs in petting/walking/volunteer facilities.
Add a comment | Posted by Chris Macsween at 15:26
Thursday 27th February 2014
The sordid canned hunting industry in South Africa has been dubbed “South Africa’s Dirty Little Secret”. It is a burgeoning industry that is beyond cruel for up to 8,000 captive bred lions, currently living on death row in South Africa.
The Industry works like this:
This is a lucrative growing industry and needs to be exposed and closed down. People need to be aware that “volunteering”, “walking with lions” “cub petting” are NOT what they seem. Simply by starving the demand for this part of the operation, we can severely dent the income streams of these operators at a time when they need income to feed the growing lions.
The South African Government is not listening to any welfare concerns and condones this industry. By cutting off these income streams, we can however effectively bring this sordid industry to its knees.
Here is a link to a recent blog written by Kevin Richardson in South Africa. Kevin is working very hard to expose this industry.
Add a comment | Posted by Chris Macsween at 15:21
Tuesday 28th May 2013
At the time of writing, we have two wonderful ladies who are prepared to fling themselves out of an airplane to raise funds for the lions they love!
Watch this space.... we have two further plucky volunteers who are hoping to follow in Hillary and Fiona's footsteps!
Hillary says: "I am skydiving for lions! Yep, I am throwing myself out of a perfectly fine airplane to raise money for lions. Why? Because, it is estimated that over the past century, the World's lion population has decreased by 95% with total numbers of lions left in the wild at around 15,000?! It is thought that we could see the extinction of lions within our lifetime! LionAid is doing amazing work to ensure that this does not happen and I want to join them in their mission.
Donate today to help me save lions from a future they don't deserve. If nothing else, donate just so you can see me thrown out of a plane! "
You can donate to Hillary's fundraising page here.
Fiona says: " My name is Fiona Tande. I am 25, turning 26 this July. I study community development at Daystar University in Kenya.
My passion is absolutely animals, our planet and everything in it! It amazes me just how lucky we are to live on earth and hence why I'm adamant about protecting animals and their habitat.
Being a Kenya-Maasai, I'm particularly hard pressed to fight for lions given the ancient relationship my community has enjoyed with the big cats over millennia. Lions have decreased drastically in the last 50 years, from an impressive 450,000 to a shocking 15,000! I can not, WILL NOT allow this to happen on my watch, and neither should anyone else.THAT is why I'm doing the jump,to show just how far I'm willing to go to stand (or in this case,FALL) for these magnificent animals.
So please dig deep and donate now."
You can donate to Fiona's fundraising page here.
Please do dig deep and support these two wonderful ladies who are truly going that extra mile to help our precious lions.
Picture credit: http://bit.ly/154NIbs
Add a comment | Posted by Chris Macsween at 21:43
Sunday 19th May 2013
Oliver Timms yesterday, alongside his dad, Matthew, completed his challenge to trek 26 miles over a tough terrain to raise money for his beloved lions.
This would be awesome by any standards but add in the fact that this young man is just 13 years old and autistic. And what an inspiring young man he is!
We were eagerly waiting for him at the finish point, atop Beachy Head with big congratulatory smiles and a soft toy lion to mark the occasion.
He cuddled that lion constantly from the moment we gave it to him, and all the time quizzing us about lions and showing off his already extensive knowledge of this iconic species.
Oliver dearly wants to go to Africa to see the lions for himself but unless we pay very close attention, there will be no lions left in the wild for him to see. Oliver, at his tender age, already knows this and is doing everything in his power to make a difference.
He truly is an example to us all.
We are very proud of Oliver and the enormous effort he has made to raise money to save lions. We need more people like him who understand that to save lions will take rather more than just talking about it and expressing dismay.
Actions speak louder than words so come on everybody, what can you do to help?
View Oliver's photo gallery here
Inspired by Oliver? You can still donate to Oliver's Saving the Lion page here
Add a comment | Posted by Chris Macsween at 14:40
Sunday 19th May 2013
Look no further!
We are delighted to announce that Discover Adventure is offering an open challenge to Tanzania, called the Rift Valley Masai Trek.
It is an 11 day, 10 night challenge and is described as a moderate challenge in their literature.
There are two opportunities to take part in this challenge in 2013:
From the 11th July to the 21st July 2013 or from the 3rd October to the 13th October 2013.
And in 2014, the dates are:
From the 10th July to the 20th July 2014 or from the 2nd October to the 12th October 2014.
Discover Adventure say that:
“This challenging trek has it all: wild, remote African scenery, amazing wildlife and the fascinating culture of the Masai!. The trek goes through the Crater Highland and Rift Valley landscapes of Tanzania, witnessing the traditional Masai way of life as the tribesmen tend their cattle in this spectacular region, most of which is a conservation area. The scenery is magnificent, with rolling green grasslands and acacia forests surrounded by jagged volcanic peaks. We trek up close to impressive volcanoes and look down into crater lakes, home to many birds. A safari in Lake Manyara National Park celebrates our achievement, where we can see wildlife such as lion, zebra, giraffe and elephant”
Click here to see photographs of the Rift Valley Masai Trek.
If you would like to take part in this challenge, then you need to pay a registration fee of £449 to book. If you sign up for the Fundraising Option, you pledge to raise the Minimum Fundraising Target (£3,600) 10 weeks before departure. Having achieved this, most of the remaining costs of your trip are covered (see DiscoverAdventure for details). Alternatively you can choose the Self Payment Option where you are responsible for all the costs of your trip and you can choose your own Fundraising Target for LionAid.
Do you have a sense of humour and a sense of adventure?
Would you like to help us make a real difference by raising urgently needed funds for our on-going lion conservation work?
Then click here for all details and we look forward to working with you to attract the Minimum Fundraising Target to make this amazing challenging trek a reality.
If this challenge is not to your taste, DiscoverAdventure a huge choice of alternative challenges, all of which you can choose to participate in for the benefit of LionAid.
So, c'mon... what are you waiting for? Join our growing band of fundraisers today and have yourself a great time along the way!
Add a comment | Posted by Chris Macsween at 08:09
Friday 5th April 2013
Monte Carlo or Bust is an event designed for those with a strong sense of fun and adventure. Our fun-filled journey through spectacular settings provides the ideal setting to raise money for LionAid's work to conserve lions.
The Rally starts in Saint Quentin in France on Friday 12th July and finishes on Sunday 14th July in Monte Carlo.
The teams taking part should preferably be driving a banger costing less than £250.
We are looking to gather a Pride of Lion cars taking part and plan to travel in convoy from Dover, across the Channel on the ferry to Calais and on to Saint Quentin on the Thursday afternoon, the 11th July to complete registration.
If you would like to join us on this wonderful weekend, the price to enter is £200 per team but we may be able to offer you a discount (email us on firstname.lastname@example.org for details).
The more of you that join in, the more we can do. We have great plans and may even be able to provide the bangers if we get enough support! We will also have people on hand to provide essential car maintenance if the need arises!!
So come on, everyone, this a GREAT chance to show your support for lions and have lots of fun along the way.
We wil be there and we want to see a HUGE Pride of lion cars taking part!
Get your friends, family and local businesses to sponsor you. We will help you promote your team!
THE FIGHT IS ON FOR LIONS!!!
Add a comment | Posted by Chris Macsween at 16:10
Friday 27th April 2012
John Loizides, a great supporter, is running the Torbay Half Marathon on June 24th to raise funds for LionAid.
We are very grateful to John and wish him every success in this race.
Please support John in this wonderful effort by sponsoring him and pledging your donation to help our work to conserve lions.
PLEASE BE AS GENEROUS AS YOU CAN!!
Contact us on email@example.com to add your sponsorship pledge or to simply make a donation in support of John.
Click here to read about LionAid's work with the African lion range States to initiate regional and pan-African conservation measures to halt current catastrophic population declines in the iconic lion.
PLEASE GIVE GENEROUSLY TO HELP THE CAUSE
Add a comment | Posted by Chris Macsween at 18:51