Monday, January 6, 2014


6th January 2014: LIONS IN THE INTERNATIONAL SPOTLIGHT Local non-governmental organisations have initiated the first ever Global March for Lions that will be held in 17 designated cities throughout the world to highlight the plight of the endangered lion populations presently embroiled in the canned hunting industry in South Africa. The march will be held on Saturday 15th March 2014 and the coastal city of Durban will host the main event in South Africa where lion conservation activist Christine Jordaan who initiated the campaign will lead a march along the beachfront promenade with other local celebrities, sport stars and conservation giants. Marches will also be held in the cities of Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town, Nelspruit, Ceres and Grahamstown. The organisers hope that the event will be a great success and the accent will be on creating public awareness for current failures in wildlife legislation that have allowed the once mighty lion to be degraded and traded as common livestock on farms of misery and horror. “From the heat of the African summertime to the winter cold of the northern hemisphere we want people to rise up and give out a ROAR for South Africa’s lions and populations elsewhere.” says Christine. “Many of our supporters are from overseas and so far we have marches being organised in London, Brussels, San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Austin, Tampa, Edmonton, Vancouver, Modena, Melbourne, Sydney, Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Sao Paulo, Kampala and Oslo with new cities coming on board daily. Local cities include Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town, Nelspruit, Ceres and Grahamstown. A local NPC, Wild and Free SA is hosting the Durban march and they are calling for Kwa-Zulu Natal to stand united in absolute outrage at the total betrayal of South Africa’s lions. Wild and Free SA was recently involved in exposing a consignment of lions that were sent from a farm in Botswana belonging to the Botswana Minister of Agriculture, Christiaan de Graff to a lion breeder in the Free State. There is still a furore in Botswana over their origin and ownership. Wild and Free CEO Margot Stewart says: “Investigative reports from inside and outside of South Africa have revealed that a significant number of captive-bred lions are sold into trophy hunting. "Furthermore, certain South African lion breeders are selling lion skeletons and bones to Asian wildlife traffickers and so, from birth till after their death lions are being cruelly exploited in an industry that includes petting zoos and gimmicky tourist venues before ending their lives as a canned hunting trophy or euthanized for their bones.” At most, there are 32,000 – and perhaps as few as 15,000 according to Dr. Pieter Kat of Lion Aid – lions remaining on the entire African continent, as compared to 100,000 lions in the 1960s. The population trend of the African lion is classified as Decreasing by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. The March also seeks to shore up support for the Campaign Against Canned Hunting(CACH), a Western Cape based charity led by Chris Mercer and Bev Pervan. Source: Wild and Free SA (editing, summarisation by AEP) ________________________________________________________________________________