Changing the Landscape for Africa’s Lions

Canadian freelance journalist Jacalyn Beales features the following blog on her page “Out of Wilderness”.

 

Donalea Patman, Founder of Australian-based NPO and registered charity For the Love of Wildlife, stops by out of wilderness to discuss her crucial role in Australia’s world-renowned stand against lion exploitation and how she first got started advocating for Africa’s lions. 

The past 18 months have been remarkable. As most would know, I campaigned my local MP to create a global first. Australia announced in March, 2015 that it would ban the importation of lion trophies and body parts…well before the death of Cecil. France has recently done the same.

How this came about is because I believed and trusted my guidance. Scientists will scoff, trophy hunters will tell you I’m crazy, politicians will say I’m not a normal activist…and they’re right. I don’t fit any particular mold.

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Donalea Patman, pictured here MCing the event which saw Australia’s Environmental Minister, Greg Hunt, announcing the immediate ban on lion trophies & body parts (Federation Square, Melbourne – March, 2015)

I’ve always deeply loved and spoken up for nature and animals. Even as a little girl, while on a family holiday off the Western Australian coast, my father and his friend decided to ride the turtles. I wept and told them that they were “interfering with nature.” I was born with an innate sense of justice and I’ve been fierce in that.

“A spiritual traveller, questing for deeper meaning and purpose, but never dreaming I’d find myself working on wildlife issues, assisting the Australian Government. ”

What ignited my heart and a love for Africa was attending a workshop at the Global White Lion Protection Trust in Timbavati, South Africa – hosted by Linda Tucker, the Trust’s founder, and Andrew Harvey, author and Sacred Activist teacher. The first morning out we surprised the Royal Pride, the founding family of white lions of this project; they sat bolt upright and engaged. I was absolutely overwhelmed by the immense beauty and presence of these magnificent white lions. I’d never seen nor imagined anything like it. But what was pivotal was that one of the young males locked eyes with me and I was pierced through, my heart broken wide open.

Back at camp, Linda talked about the threats facing Africa’s lions, and specifically white lions, as they are targeted by trophy hunters, obviously because of their stunning beauty and high trophy value. She also described the horrors of canned hunting (which I’d never heard of) and to say that I was white with rage is to put it lightly. In my disgust and despair, Andrew Harvey looked at me and said something along the lines of, “Now that you’ve been brought to your knees by your righteous indignation, your rage, your disbelief and sorrow, I want you to take that heartbreak and turn it into passionate action fuelled and informed by your heart.”

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I returned to Australia, sharing what I knew about the plight of Africa’s lions, signing petitions and the like. [In] December, 2012 (and many know the significance of that date) I was again at the Global White Lion Trust for a gathering of people from around the world, including Pippa Hankinson – her history in conservation, specifically lions, led her to produce the recently released film on canned hunting, Blood Lions. We left Timbavati knowing we had to do more and get very serious about it.

“On these early trips it became blatantly obvious that Africa, and more specifically her wildlife, is under siege as wildlife is intensely commodified. I needed to contribute, I needed to do something! ”

I’ve attended workshops with people like Anna Breytenbach (interspecies communication), Jon Young (deep nature connection), Alwyn Myberg (bird language) and one thing is for sure, we better well start listening (deeply) to nature if we’re to stop the race to extinction.

Should conservation be the responsibility of conservationists only, and if so, why are so many species facing extinction? Is it the responsibility of scientists, activists, ecologists or governments? Whilst all are absolutely necessary, and I am so very grateful to those that work in these incredibly confronting and challenging fields, I accomplished something that, even in the week leading up to the announcement, was declared impossible.

I have a background in design, and a few years back attended a government led workshop where designers were engaged by big business. Creatives see what others don’t – musicians, poets, writers, artists…we view the world differently. Bring those eyes into an organization or a problem and hey, opportunities, possibilities, ideas are uncovered which are often overlooked because everyone is busy getting the day to day done.

I’m testament that the old rules of engagement don’t necessarily apply. We need creative partnerships – to think outside the usual constructs and safe zones if we’re to manifest radical, passionate action which cuts through old limitations and just maybe, create a bit of magic. We don’t have time for further reporting or consultation – it’s been done to death and we’re losing our wildlife because of the human, bureaucratic process.

I navigated the work with the Federal Government as it presented – no training or experience in strategy, conservation or policy and certainly no attachment to outcome, just being courageous and being prepared to learn along the way. I know I was guided once Icompletely committed to the process and I was blessed to have Ian Michler (Blood Lions) and Pippa Hankinson mentor me.

A great initiative that is currently brewing is listing lions as a World Heritage Species – it’s brilliant and necessary. But of course, we are in this predicament because we haven’t been able to stay connected to nature; we have forgotten that, intrinsically, we are part of the web of life.

Wildlife belongs to the planet, not to any government, individual, organization, corporate or group – animals have a right to exist, on their ancestral or endemic homelands as part of their specific ecosystems and the greater ecology. Commoditising wildlife will be our undoing.

Moving species to other countries to save them, to live in captivity, is not conservation, it’s desperation. In certain instances, it’s a bid to use an old paradigm to mask lucrative wildlife trade. We’re on dangerous ground when we continue to mess with the natural order of things. It’s time to drop our arrogance and allow nature to inform us, and we must return to our rightful place as guardians – not gods.

We are racing extinction and the truth is, if the animals go, so do we. What I ask myself everyday is “what am I going to do about it?” We all having something unique and practical to contribute.

“I don’t know how to save the world. I don’t have the answers or THE answer. I hold no secret knowledge as to how to fix the mistakes of generations past and present. I only know that without compassion and respect for all of Earth’s inhabitants, none of us will survive, nor will we deserve to. ”

— Leonard Peltier

 

For the Love of Wildlife invites you on our 2016 African Tour that invigorates your relationship with the living earth and your wild soul. Stella Horgan, Ruth Underwood and Donalea Patman will guide a conscious safari, different from other tours, as with our approach to and experience in nature, we believe in deep immersion and even deeper respect; that as we are humble, nature reveals herself. This is not about watching wildlife through the lens of a camera, or from afar: we want you to feel her under your skin. To experience the subtleties and patterns, to be a sacred witness to whatever is revealed, to be absolutely, exhilaratingly present.

For further information on the African expedition, please get in touch with For the Love of Wildlife by sending your inquiry to: fortheloveofwildlife@gmail.com

African Tour May 2016

For the Love of Wildlife invites you on an African expedition to invigorate your relationship with the living earth and your wild soul.

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The ancient stones of Adam’s Calendar

Our 12 day South African journey embarks from Johannesburg to the rolling hills of Mpumalanga Province and Adam’s Calendar, a 35,000 year old site marked by monolithic rocks aligned to the stars and guarded by free roaming wild horses. Here we prepare for entry into the animal and natural kingdom.

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What makes this Conscious Safari different from others tours is our approach to and experience in nature. We believe in deep immersion and even deeper respect, that as we are humble nature reveals herself. This is not about watching wildlife through the lens of a camera, or from afar: we want you to feel her under your skin. To experience the subtleties and patterns, to be a sacred witness to whatever is revealed, to be absolutely, exhilaratingly present.

We are concerned about the plight of the natural world, hence our activist work: given all of our brilliant human talents and sense of superiority as a species we have destroyed key aspects of the very earth that supports us. We believe that it is time to engage our full capacity as humans and fire our passionate hearts for the living earth. We also seek to extend our activism to joyfulness rather than devastation, and to claim a sense of power from our vulnerable and authentic selves to slip into delight and wonder at our world.

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Our wish for you, our guest, is that you leave the safari with a profound and vivid connection to nature and a deepened connection to your authentic, wise self that enables expression and a joyful, courageous relationship with life.

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This magical tour provides an opportunity to experience the unbridled power, generosity and wisdom of wildlife, the wildness that opens our hearts with its vulnerability and mystery. We journey quietly with our hearts open to listen to and witness the animals and nature, to receive what is offered to us.

Our journey takes us to the Kruger National Park, a nature reserve bigger than the country of Israel, home to herds of dozens of elephants and all the iconic animals of the pristine indigenous African bush. This is where we will work with interspecies communication and bird language tools, deep passions of all facilitators.

From Kruger we travel to the third largest canyon in the world, the Blyde River Canyon in Limpopo Province, the northern ranges of the mighty Drakensberg Mountains, a primal, powerful world of rivers, awe inspiring peaks and magnificent scenery and bird life.

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Our expedition concludes in the world famous wilderness of Timbavati at the Global White Lion Protection Trust, home of the iconic and sacred White Lions. A highlight of our journey (after our solid preparation) will be spending time with the white lions of Timbavati at the Global White Lion Protection Trust, which is not open to the general public.

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These incredible beings are considered sacred by many cultures and holy people and present astonishing, unique encounters. Many indigenous people believe that the arrival of the white animals is significant and prophetic. Being on the sacred heartland of Tsau in Timbavati, the ancestral homeland of the white lion is a compelling and a once in a lifetime experience, made possible by sacred activists Linda Tucker, who was given the mantle Keeper of the White Lions by Shangaan Lion Queen Maria Khosa, and Jason Turner, lion ecologist who have both dedicated their lives to protecting these endangered animals.

Proceeds of this expedition go to fund For the Love of Wildlife’s work, the non profit organisation responsible for the Australian government’s decision to ban the importation of lion trophies and body parts, in a bid to stem traffic in endangered species and to bring an end to canned hunting, as told by the film Blood Lions which FLOW partnered in.  Donalea Patman is the founder and director of FLOW, one the leading sacred activists in the world.

Tour begins 18 May, 2016. 

Early bird discount applies for bookings confirmed before end of February. 

Group numbers are limited to maintain the integrity and quality of the experience. 

For further information, pricing and itinerary please contact us fortheloveofwildlife@gmail.com

Itinerary and pricing

 

Facilitators

Dlea for Web

Donalea Patman

Having travelled throughout her life the most defining and memorable moments have always involved animals. A passionate advocate for sentient beings, she has always held a deep love of nature.

A lifetime interest and study of personal development and spirituality lead to her involvement in Sacred Activism. Donalea launched For the Love of Wildlife to create a professional platform to campaign the plight of animals in Africa, Australia and New Zealand, raising awareness of the destructive forces annihilating the natural world. Her fascination with interspecies communication has lead her to participate in workshops with Anna Breytenbach, Alwyn Myberg, Craig Foster and most recently Jon Young, 8 Shields.

 

Stella Pilot

Stella Horgan is a lifelong traveller and lover of wilderness who came home to her native South Africa in 2011 after twelve years in Australia, where she ran a private practice specialising in coaching, psychotherapy, workshop facilitation and project management.

In 2013 she established NPO Zingela Ulwazi – Hunt for Wisdom, whose mission is to deliver critical information to rural South Africans with the objective to improve lives and custodianship of nature and wilderness. Stella lives in the Blyde River Canyon and is entirely in love with nature and committed to reclaiming land for wilderness. She is a meditator, mystic, artist and sacred activist.

 

 

Ruth Underwood

Ruth Underwood  is a mystic, spiritual teacher and retreat facilitator who spent her early years living in mostly rural settings in Uganda and South Africa where her deep sense of connection to the soul of Africa was formed. She has spent most of her career working with non-profits in South Africa, and leads sacred retreats in South Africa,  Egypt and India.  Ruth has a particular connection with the Nilotic meridian and all the sites along it, and on these retreats, shares her love for the heart of Mother Africa and her mysteries.

See www.mysticalplaces.org

AUSTRALIANS

To book your flights, travel insurance (compulsory), additional accommodation, stopovers or any other pre or post FLOW program travel, our recommended travel agent is Cassandra at Better World Travel. Not only can she take the stress out of your trip planning, but Cassandra has also offered to donate 5% of the cost of your travel insurance policy to FLOW.

Contact details are:

Cassandra Newbold, Specialist Ethical Travel Consultant
0449 234 074

bwt@easternhilltravel.com.au

http://www.betterworldtravel.com.au