As the festive season approaches, I write with the great news that a global march for lions will be taking place in cities around the world on 15th March 2014.
There are millions of people across the world who do whatever they can to support the cause of the Lion. As previously reported, the lion will be extinct by the end of the decade, unless governments around the world make a stand against the hunting of lions as trophies, unless they pass laws to ban canned hunting and breeding and unless they make a stance against the Pro-hunting lobbyists. The sad reality is far too many governments have come to rely on the vast funds and party support that the hunting fraternity bestow upon them. Sure they pay legally for a license to kill a perfectly healthy animal, and they make bi party donations to ensure bills such as the one proposed above never makes it to parliament however the irrevocable decline in the lion population is now at a rate higher then that of the Rhino and Tiger.
Did you know that African lions are the only big cat not currently protected under the Endangered Species Act. At the last CITES conference, where lions were high on the agenda, 7 out of 32 countries spoke in favour of protecting the lion under CITIES Laws. Of the 32 countries who did not support this, 30 had previously pledged their support for the lions protection, however the Pro-hunt lobbyists got to officials and “changed” their minds. This is unacceptable behaviour.
Sure those of us who wish to protect lions don’t have the funding support of the likes of the hunters, however we do have a voice. We can continue lobbying, passively and without bloodshed, we can use social media, we can walk across the planet in support of the lion. Social media has an uncanny ability to raise profiles around the world in a very short space of time. We must leverage this support. I also feel a Global March for Lions to the next CITIES Convention should be called for, where we can actually make a stand and deliver our message directly to those who make the decisions.
On a recent trip to South Africa, I was very fortunate to experience walking with lions. The entire experience reaffirmed my commitment to these incredible animals. Their grace, power and sheer presence are awe inspiring.
Although these beauties have been raised in captivity, following the loss of their mother to hunters at 4 months old, there is NO mistaking their instinct and ability to kill. Even a gentle playful roar ripples through every cell in your body, leaving you questioning why you willingly walked into a conservancy with lions. I would not want to have missed it for the world. My fellow Protecting African Lions (PAL) Ambassadors got as much from the experience as I did and we, the PAL team, continue to beat our drum, rallying support to protect these iconic beasts.
An experience of a lifetime for sure.
So the challenge dear readers, please, is to do your bit by helping us on the following quests.
Follow us at www.protectingafricanlions.org and also purchase a bracelet of support following the links on the site. If you’re UK or Europe based, please contact me directly as I can ship from Oxfordshire.
Join the Global March for Lions on the 15th March 2014. There are a number of cities worldwide that have already organised walks, however if there is not one in YOUR area, why not start one. Please keep up to date and inform the Global Organisers by following their Facebook page at https://m.facebook.com/profile.php?id=224817361029223&__user=1365706408
Naturally, you will find both on Twitter and Instagram.
Thank you for your support, wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.
stevetravisuk on twitter, Facebook and instagram