Donate Today

Your gift to For the Love of Wildlife today makes a tangible difference in our work in saving the world’s exquisite wildlife. We thank you for your support. We can’t do this work without you!

You can donate using Paypal, Credit Card or Direct Debit or consider setting up a monthly contribution.

All donations over $2 are tax deductible. 

Getting involved

A world without wildlife is an unimaginable reality but at the current rate of decimation we are in what scientists are calling the 6thmass extinction – we are seeing thousands of species disappear before our very eyes. With your help, we can effectively combat some of the critical issues facing our ancient, majestic and magnificent animals.

How to Donate

Deposit directly to our bank account or consider monthly direct donations, use Paypal or credit card.

For the Love of Wildlife Ltd – Westpac
BSB: 033 372 Account: 605 319 Swift Code: WPACAU2S

Planned Giving

Create a lasting conservation legacy by including For the Love of Wildlife Ltd in your planned giving.

Through planned giving, you can balance your financial goals and charitable interests, leaving a legacy for conservation while benefiting from significant tax benefits.

Legacy Gifts

Bequests

Leaving a Legacy for the wildlife by including For the Love of Wildlife Ltd in Your Will.

With a bequest, you can donate all or part of your estate to For the Love of Wildlife Ltd through your will.

Is a bequest right for me?

It is important to have a Will to ensure your estate is given to the people and causes you most care about. Making or updating your Will need not be expensive or complicated but you should seek legal advice and talk through how you wish your estate to be distributed. Reviewing your Will every few years is also important as circumstances change throughout your life such as marriage, sale of a property, birth of children or grandchildren.

How do I get started?

Suggested wording 

Simply give the following wording to your Solicitor to include in your Will or as a Codicil to your Will once you have decided what kind of gift you would like to include:

“I bequeath to the For the Love of Wildlife Ltd, ABN 20 807 354 752, to promote and support the protection of wildlife, (the residue of my estate) or the sum of (a specified sum), or my (specified items), free of all duties and taxes including, if any CGT, and the receipt of the Secretary or other authorised officer for the time being shall be a complete and sufficient discharge for the executor(s).”

If you have decided to leave a gift in your Will to For the Love of Wildlife Ltd, please let us know as we would like to welcome you as a Wildlife Guardian.  You can contact us info@fortheloveofwildlife.org.au or call (+61) 417 939 042.

Types of gifts in Wills

Residuary
The remainder of an estate after specific gifts have been disbursed.

Percentage
A percentage of either the residue or the entire estate.

Specific asset
Real estate shares, bonds or other particular items of value.

Pecuniary
A specific gift of cash.

If you love what we do, then please become a member. $20 a year is all it costs.

Thank you. We cannot do this work without your generous and kind support. The world’s wildlife needs you. 

The Journey Home & Return To Earth

Melbourne Elephant Ivory and Rhino Horn Crush Epilogue

Donalea Patman, Founding Director, For the Love of Wildlife

 

For the Love of Wildlife has taken very seriously its commitment to the #MelbourneCrush and #NoDomesticTrade campaign. While the act of destroying elephant ivory and rhino horn items aims to show that the only value they have is on a living animal, importantly, we must consider that these items represent the death of thousands of elephants and rhinos.

#MelbourneCrush held in Bourke Street Mall, Melbourne on World Wildlife Day, 2018. Jason Wood MP destroying ivory surrendered by the Australian Government to be #Gone4Good.

Elephants are incredible creatures with strong social structures and personalities. Just like us, they have intricate family systems.  Rhinos are as ancient as time, yet there are just 27,000 rhinos left in the wild today. These sensitive beings are fast disappearing before our very eyes.

On Saturday 3 March 2018, Australia marked World Wildlife Day with a powerful message about the importance of these majestic animals, by destroying elephant ivory and rhino horn.

Understandably, we have being considering what the epilogue must be for the items being crushed.

A heart-felt invitation has been received from internationally celebrated artist and Founder of the Human Elephant Foundation, Andries Botha, for the crushed ivory and horn, of these elephants and rhinos, to take the journey home and be returned to the earth in the land that they were born. The crushed items will be buried beneath a bronze memorial Andries is creating to honour Dr Ian Player and his conservation partner, Magqubu Ntombela.

Dr Ian Player with his dear friend and conservation partner, Magqubu Ntombela.

Andries was a very dear and close friend of Dr Ian Player who passed in 2015. For the Love of Wildlife is both honoured and humbled by Andries’ invitation, for these elephants and rhinos to complete their journey home.

“It is, in my opinion vitally significant to bring the crushed rhino horn and elephant tusk home to the ancestral lands of these ancient creatures, where not only their bodies exist as essential components of our ecosystems, but where their ancestral presence and voices originate.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

I finish with a message from Andries.

We from the Human Elephant Foundation commend and support For the Love of Wildlife Ltd and the Australian supporters of the Melbourne Crush event.

It is critical that countries who are a part of the wildlife traffic economy take a courageous stand in support of wildlife that is now particularly vulnerable, as poachers, organised crime syndicates, corrupt governments and private and corporate business become more bold in their commodification of wild life products. It is imperative that we stand for these endangered animals. 

It is, in my opinion, vitally significant to bring the crushed rhino horn and elephant tusk home to the ancestral lands of these ancient creatures, where not only their bodies exist as essential components of our ecosystems, but where their ancestral presence and voices originate.

We are honoured to take custodianship of the crushed remains of these animals, to bury them beneath a monumental memorial sculpture soon to be erected to honour Magqubu Ntombela and Dr Ian Player, who saved the White Rhino from extinction in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, and to repatriate them to the land they belong to.

A maquette of the memorial.

Andries Botha, South African Sculptor and Founder, Human Elephant Foundation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We cannot stay silent whilst elephants and rhinos are brutally poached – their survival is in our hands.

An enormous thank you to internationally acclaimed designer Collette Dinnigan AO who knows just how important Africa’s wildlife is to its country, to its people. A true hero for wildlife, Colette’s commitment, hard work and passion has helped bring these extraordinary people together.

We cannot be silent and watch the brutal poaching crisis. Australia and New Zealand’s unregulated domestic trade allows for illegally trafficked items to be sold through our markets. Waiting for someone else to act isn’t a character trait of these extraordinary individuals.

All for the love of elephants and rhinos.

 

Workplace Giving

We have a very slim window to stop the irreversible decimation of wildlife, as we are in what scientists are calling the 6th Mass Extinction. Yet the ‘business as usual’ approach by large conservation and government agencies, we’ll lose some of the most iconic and beautiful wild ones; elephants, rhinos and lions, within the next ten years. We work from the top down, as it’s our endeavor to create global political will in doing more for the world’s wildlife. Our work with the Australian Government to be the first country to ban the importation of lion trophies and body parts, a courageous and visionary step by then Environment Minister Greg Hunt. A move that set precedent and was followed by other countries. We know our work isn’t sexy, but it’s creating a real difference for wildlife.

Donalea Patman OAM

 

Workplace Giving programs are an easy way for employees to make a big difference and contribute to something real for wildlife and wild places. It’s as simple as making small, regular donations directly from your pay, which can be managed by your payroll team, so you don’t even need to remember to do it. Donations are often matched by employers which means double the contribution.

Workplace Giving program is one of the most effective ways to boost morale in your workplace and demonstrate good corporate social responsibility. It helps build an organsation you can be proud to work for.

What’s more, these charitable donations are deducted before tax, so it provides an immediate tax benefit by reducing taxable income and there’s no need to keep receipts until tax time.

If you love wildlife then we encourage you to love our work as it’s all For the Love of Wildlife. We drive real change for the lives of endangered and threatened species.

We invite you to contact us for more information about Workplace Giving via info@fortheloveofwildlife.org.au or call (+61) 417 939 042.

By working together, we can turn the extinction crisis around and make the world a better place for wildlife.

How do I set up a Workplace Giving program at my work?

To set up a formal workplace giving program you should talk to the relevant person in your organisation (normally the head of human resources or sponsorship). This would involve the following steps:

  1. Identifying a group of staff members who are interested in wildlife and who wish to support For the Love of Wildlife.
  2. Each staff member who wishes to make a regular donation to us then needs to sign a letter authorising the payroll office to deduct a specified amount from each pay. We can provide a pro forma letter for this. The amount deducted will be sent by the payroll office directly to For the Love of Wildlife.
  3. We will liaise closely with your payroll office to assist in the establishment of the giving program.

Detailed information on workplace giving is also available on the Australian Taxation Office website.

Why workplace giving?

Regular donations are vital to fund our work protecting endangered wildlife and habitats, and meeting the urgent threats to our living planet. By donating through workplace (payroll) giving, you can make your money go even further.

BREAKING NEWS

Parliamentary Joint Committee into rhino horn and elephant ivory.

 

9 News 15 July, 2018

ELEPHANTS

Thousands of elephants and rhinos are poached around the world every year, but a loophole in Australian law allows ivory to be sold domestically.#9News | http://9News.com.au

Posted by 9 News Melbourne on Sunday, 15 July 2018

eBay joins calls for Australian ban on elephant ivory and rhinoceros horn sales

Tom McIlroy, Financial Review

July 4, 2018

 

 

 

ABC Radio 2 July 2018
By Political Reporter Melissa Clarke.

 

 

 

 

 

Fashion designer Collette Dinnigan calls for elephant tusk, rhino horn trade ban – May 2018

 

 

 


Australian ivory trade’s role in encouraging poaching to come under scrutiny – 5 April 2018
By political reporter Melissa Clarke

 

World Wildlife Day Melbourne Crush

 

National Geographic Australia – 2 March 2018

By Michael Smith

 

 

 

 

The Conversation – 12 March 2018

 

 

 

 

Sydney Morning Herald – 23 February 2018

By Amy Croffey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sydney Morning Herald – 3 March 2018

By Neelima Choahan & Shiamak Unwalla

 

 

 

 

ABC News – 4 March 2018

By  Tynan King

 

 

 

 

7 News Melbourne

By Melina Sarris

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ranges Trade Mail – 6 March 2018

By Peter Douglas

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buro 24/7 – 8 March 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Running Billboards

Captive Breeding and Canned Hunting

Bryan Seymour, 7 News covers the chilling footage brought to light by safari cameraman Derek Gobbett.

7 NEWS September 2016

Explosive footage and the truth exposed by Derek Gobbett, a safari cameraman accompanying 10 hunters on De Klerk Safaris concession hosted by Stormberg Elangeni Safaris. This is the full story which was featured in the recent BBC story.

A Parliamentary Inquiry into the register of Environmental Organisations who focus work on issues outside of Australia, wanting their deductible gift recipient status removed. This article by Roderick Campbell lays it bare.

https://newmatilda.com/2016/05/19/breaking-down-party-lions/

The Federal Election in Australia had us featured as part of Jason Wood’s election campaign. Jason Wood held his seat in the electorate of La Trobe with support of the Animal Justice Party.

Election Press 28:06:16 Full pageElection Press 28:06:16 Story

Media on CACH’s withdrawal from I’m a Celebrity, Network Ten, Australian Reality TV

Bryan Seymour, 7 News 14 March 2016

Lucy Mae Beers, Daily Mail Australia 16 March 2016

Ebony Bowden, Sydney Morning Herald, 16 March 2016

Courier Mail, 16 March 2016

Scoopla, 16 March 2016

 

The Animals Post 2015 UK, 2015

International Business Times – 31 March, 2015

Mojo (Monash Journalism) 16 March, 2015

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By Isabel McCrea, IFAW Australia published 13 March, 2015.

IFAW Article

 

Daily Maverick

By Peter Borchert, South Africa 15 March 2015

Peter Borchert

sponsors-fourpaws

 

By FOUR PAWS International

FOUR PAWS

 

The Guardian

By Oliver Milman, 13 March 2015

Nova Magazine March Edition by Jeremy Ball

 

Article Mail Newspaper, 4 March, 2015

Mail 4 March 2015

Article Herald Sun, Victoria, 3 March, 2015

Herald Sun 3 March 2015

Article Saturday Star, Johannesburg, December 6, 2014

Joburg Sat Star Dec 6

Joburg Sat Star Full Page

 

Article The Mail, March 4, 2014

The Mail 8 July 2014 -2

The Mail 8 July 2014 -1

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Leader Community Newspaper, July 4, 2014

Simon Bloch, Durban reports on Australian Government’s initiative (Sunday 6 July, Weekend Argus)

S Bloch, Sth Africa

Article The Mail, March 4, 2014

Newspaper article 3 March

Australia…No Domestic Trade!

Despite what many Australians might believe, elephant ivory and rhino horn is sold in Australia.

International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) released their “Under the Hammer” report, exposing how much ivory and rhino horn is being sold through auction rooms.

The report identified that only 2.7 per cent of items inspected at Australian auction rooms had ‘provenance’ documentation which provides the most useful information to determine the origin and legality of an item.

Items for sale in Chapel Street, Melbourne.

At least three rhinos are brutally slaughtered daily and one elephant is killed every 15 minutes. The South African government released rhino poaching statistics for 2016, reporting 1,054 rhinos has been killed.

A privately funded Great Elephant Census states that African elephant populations have declined by 30 per cent over the last seven years.

The Chinese Government announced it will close its ivory market by the end of 2017 and it’s time Australia does too.

Print out the Speak Out Letter and post to the Minister. Details are on the letter and you don’t have to be living in Australia.

In September 2016 the Australian Government was asked to enact a total ban on the domestic trade of elephant ivory and rhino horn in a communiqué that was hand delivered to Minister for the Environment and Energy, Josh Frydenberg.

Signed by over 50 conservation organisations from around the world, the ban would be a move to ensure Australia commits to playing its role in saving elephants and rhinos from extinction in the wild in the near future.

The communique was presented by Australian NGO founders Donalea Patman (For the Love of Wildlife) and Dr Lynn Johnson (Breaking The Brand) together with Fiona Gordon of New Zealand based environmental firm Gordon Consulting and Rebecca Keeble of IFAW.

Ms Patman has been disappointed with the response from Minister Frydenberg and the apparent confusion about who is responsible for dealing with illegal ivory or rhino horn.

“The response was that Australia is unlikely to be driving the elephant poaching or international illegal trade,” Ms Patman said.

“On top of that, ivory was found for sale in Western Australia in December 2016 which didn’t have the required documentation (shocking to see that ivory appears in their catalogue again in February).

It was first reported to the Australian Federal Police who then referred it to State Police, who then passed it to Border Control,” she said.

“There is clearly confusion about who is responsible and a lack of political will to demonstrate leadership on this issue,” she said.

Items for auction in Mt Lawley in December 2016.

The threat of extinction of these iconic species remains high. In November last year Vietnam hosted the third International Wildlife Trade Conference in Hanoi.

The Duke of Cambridge and President of United for Wildlife, Prince William attended the conference and delivered a speech on tackling illegal wildlife trade. In his speech he stated “A betting man would still bet on extinction”.

Follow the campaign on Facebook and use the following hashtags #NoDomesticTrade #EyesOnIvory #RhinosMatter #NotOnMyWatch

Print out these posters, take a selfie with it and post to our Facebook page…show Australia that it’s time. The Australian Government needs the public to show that it cares deeply about saving these iconic African animals.

Print out the Speak Out Letter and post to the Minister. Details are on the letter and you don’t have to be living in Australia.

 

The communique that was hand delivered to the Minister in September 2016. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Additional press:

Financial Review, May 2018

SA Breaking News 13 Nov 2017

Lowvelder Press 13 November 2017

SA Breaking News

15 Minute News

Traveller 24

Netwerk 24

The Mercury

 

 

Lion cubs imported by private Australian zoo from South Africa’s canned hunting industry.

Ukutula, an industrial-sized predator facility outside Johannesburg, South Africa, has been in the firing line from conservationists and animal activists for over a decade. The place runs one of the most sophisticated lion cub petting, voluntourism and trading operations, and on countless occasions they have been exposed for selling their lions on to other operators once they are no longer good for their commercial operations.

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Where do these lion cubs come from and where do they end up? Photo credit: Ian Michler

The explosive documentary Blood Lions has exposed how the predator industry operates with scenes shot at Ukutula clearly showing as many as 27 lions cubs being handled by visitors and volunteers. The film asks the leading question “where do these cubs come from and where do they go”?

Ian Michler, lead role in the documentary states; “There is absolutely no conservation value whatsoever to breeding lions in captivity under these conditions, and especially so if they have been hand reared. These lions can never be released to the wild and volunteers are being conned into believing they are making a contribution to securing the future of lions.”

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Volunteers are paying up to US$1000 a week for the experience of handling cubs and Ukutula can have up to 25 volunteers at any given time, clearly a significant money spinner for the operation.

Australian Federal MP Jason Wood was so shocked at the damning evidence Donalea Patman, Founder of For the Love of Wildlife took to him that he worked with then Minister for Environment, Greg Hunt to do something as he felt canned hunting was morally reprehensible. Minister Hunt created a global first by banning the importation of lion trophies and body parts, a courageous and visionary step with France and the Netherlands following Australia’s lead. The USA government has since also implemented far stricter laws for importing lion trophies from Africa.

Despite consultation with the Government and a screening of Blood Lions in Parliament, a private zoo in New South Wales has been able to import cubs from Ukutula in South Africa.

Sen Rhiannon Dlea Ian Hunt Roderick

Senator Lee Rhiannon with For the Love of Wildlife founder, Donalea Patman, Ian Michler who is lead role in Blood Lions and investigative journalist, Minister Greg Hunt and economist Roderick Campbell, author of Ecolarge.

Ukutula has implemented a system of tracking their lions to assure buyers that they’re not destined for the canned hunting industry but given the information is confidential, you have to question how effective this is.  In addition, not a single recognized lion ecologist or predator conservation agency is working with them.

Ms Patman states; “We do not need more lions (or any big cats) in Australia. There’s absolutely no conservation value and we’re supporting this unscrupulous business by allowing these imports.”

“The world is outraged over the brutality of canned hunting and we’re trying to educate the tourism industry and volunteer groups not to engage in exploitative animal encounters – cub petting and lion walking being part of the canned hunting cycle. We are sending mixed messages allowing these cubs into Australia but saying don’t do it in other countries.”

canned-hunt-baby

Billabong Zoo in Port Macquarie publicly states that it wishes to breed from these cubs. Are we not replicating the trend in South Africa which has been globally condemned  by conservation and animal welfare groups as purely exploitative practises?

Billabong Zoo Facebook page statement:

“In order to import lions to Australia both the Australian authorities and the South African authorities have a strict permitting process to ensure the animals are sourced from a legitimate and licensed facility and to ensure they are going to be used for conservation purposes. In Australia lions are treated as a CITES 1 species, a higher level of protection than anywhere else in the world. This means that they can only be imported as part of a conservation breeding and education program. The Australia CITES office did research Ukutula and were satisfied that they were not part of the canned hunting industry – if they weren’t satisfied we would never have been granted our import permit. These cubs were also approved by the Zoo Aquarium Association to be accepted into the Australian breeding program for lions – this approval process included the scrutiny of, and acceptance by a number of individuals involved in this organisation. Secondly, Ukutula themselves insisted that Billabong Zoo become a member of EcoScan, a program which offers lifetime tracking of individual animals to ensure they are only used for ethical purposes and are not part of the hunting industry. Ukutula could not be a member of EcoScan if they hadn’t already proven themselves to not be part of the canned hunting industry. Thirdly our zoo vet personally visited Ukutula to inspect the lion cubs and the facility prior to the transfer, and returned with nothing but praise for the operators, the staff, the facility and the animals. The process for Billabong Zoo to import lion cubs has been a huge undertaking, and one that we have spent years bringing together. These animals and the sending facility, Ukutula have been researched and accepted by various government bodies and zoo industry officials. Throughout the entire process Billabong Zoo has remained transparent with the sourcing and importation of these animals, and at no time has any government or zoo official raised concerns with how these animals were sourced. The cubs, Milo and Misty have travelled and settled extremely well and we are so proud of the impact these little ambassadors have already had in raising awareness about the plight of the African Lion.”

“There is in fact only one piece of post-doctoral research (2012 study by Dr Luders and others) in the list of 14 links. The only research of substance appears to have been the improved felid semen collection study by Dr Luders and others that is not even lion specific. It involved a very small proportion of the Ukutula lions (7 out of an estimated 100).  It does seem clear to us that Ukutula is primarily a commercial lion breeding venture, not a research facility.” Chris Mercer, Campaign Against Canned Hunting.

We are calling on the Australian Government to show consistency. We cannot condemn South Africa’s predator farms and the cycle of exploitation and then allow cubs from those same operators to be shipped here. In addition, we call on the Australian public to refrain from visiting these places; think before you visit and know that handling a wild animal commits them to a lifetime of misery with no chance of being reintroduced to the wild.

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Global March Melbourne

More than 135 cities will join the Global March for Elephant, Rhino and Lion on the opening day of Convention of International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES) to demand these species are listed as Appendix 1 to offer the highest protection possible. The Melbourne event will start at 11am at Alexandra Gardens, walking down South Bank to Red Stair Amphitheatre.

GMFERL Logo  Global March for Elephant, Rhino and Lion – Melbourne

Despite the serious message, this event is asking people to onesie up for wildlife and #MarchAsOnesie for a family friendly event. We want children to be engaged as the future guardians of these animals, to reconnect them to the natural world and show that we deeply care about the plight of Africa’s wildlife, the environment and all species.

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In communities worldwide, extinction anxiety is building and more-and-more concerned citizens are turning to their governments to ask them to step into the void and enact domestic bans.    

The continued slaughter due to poaching, trade, illegal trafficking, human animal conflict and loss of habitat is pushing these species to extinction. If world leaders and Governments around the world don’t take immediate action they will disappear before our very eyes.

The recent elephant census has chilling results. The only place where elephants aren’t being decimated is Kruger National Park in South Africa but then we hear there are whispers of a cull due to the current drought. Heartbreaking news to hear that 26 elephants have been poached in one of the last safe houses in Africa – Botswana.

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The demand on wildlife products from Asia and specifically Vietnam is having a brutal impact. We’re at a loss to understand why there’s still discussion and debate about opening trade on rhino horn and ivory. Despite tough border security Australia is complicit with more than enough evidence of items for sale through retail stores, auction houses and online – many aren’t antiques and certainly don’t have appropriate paperwork.

http://visual.artshub.com.au/news-article/news/museums/gina-fairley/museums-are-the-new-border-control-252061

There’s also concern that the burgeoning taxidermy industry does fall outside the capacity for officers to appropriately investigate, only able to seize illegal products but lack the authority to question or search.

If the slaughter continues at current levels, elephants, rhinos and lions face extinction in the wild within a generation.

But this is not an inevitable scenario, if all countries act now to eliminate demand by closing domestic ivory markets. If demand ends, the poaching will too, giving elephants and rhinos a chance to recover their numbers. The CITES conference is where critical decisions affecting the future of these species will be made, may be the last chance to take bold, principled steps that will give elephants, rhinos and lion a final lifeline to survival.

The captive breeding and canned hunting operations in South Africa feed the lion bone trade and despite Australia banning the importation of lion trophies and body parts in March last year, with France and the Netherlands following and the US putting strict import laws in place other countries are slow to act. The change in Government in the UK has put back efforts by local NGO’s with their Government seeking advice from Safari Club International, one of the drivers of canned lion hunting. You have to question the moral code of any human who thinks killing a hand reared animal in a fenced area is ethical or even possible to be considered “hunting”. Despite the fees paid for a hunt, the carcass remains the property of the farmer who can further profit by selling to the Asian market for approximately $5000 a carcass.

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“Unless immediate action is taken by all countries to put an end to the ivory and horn trade, we may be the last generation to see elephants and rhinos in the wild,” said Denise Dresner of Action for Elephants UK. “We hope everyone who cares about their survival will join the march on September 24th and demand action from their governments to save them.”

We ask that Australia takes decisive and clear action now, within it’s own jurisdiction, to target the matters at the very heart of this issue: consumer demand and legal domestic markets.  

Ivory Necklace

Ivory necklace for sale through Leonard Joel Auction House

A domestic ban would close down markets which ultimately provide a means to legally dispose of illegal rhino horn and ivory – an activity that undermines the rule of law, international trade bans and the CITES processes. A publicly announced domestic ban would help to reaffirm ivory and rhino horn as unacceptable commodities.

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Items for sale in South Yarra, Melbourne.

As a collective we ask for action throughout the Oceanic region.  It’s time for courageous and visionary leadership from all corners of the globe, to ‘do their bit’ to stop the slaughter. Too much is being asked of Africa’s wildlife, particularly the elephants, rhino and lion, under the ‘if it pays it stays’ approach – animals have a right to exist, well beyond being viewed as mere commodities.

We commend the Australian Government on their global leadership as demonstrated with the implementation of a ban on the importation of lion trophies and body parts – a visionary and courageous step taken by Minister Greg Hunt. Announced in March 2015, months before the death of Cecil, this ban could well be considered the biggest step for lion conservation.

We cannot bear to be witness to the continued annihilation of these animals and on this day, we mark the CITES CoP17 in Johannesburg and the Global March for Elephants, Rhinos and Lions commencing on 24 September 2016, we stand as one, we stand for wildlife.

We are very proud to have guest speakers Lynn Johnson, Breaking the Brand, Fiona Gordon, Gordon Consulting New Zealand (thanks to IFAW) and Director of For the Love of Wildlife, Donalea Patman presenting at the event.

Lynn in Kenya

Dr Lynn Johnson interviewed over 50 people from the Kenyan Maasai, including Maasai warriors to understand what rhinos meant to this group. She also interviewed people who were of Kikuyu, Samburu and Luo decent about what rhino meant to the people of Kenya.

Journeying into nature with deep reverence

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King and Queen.

Sacred Safari – May 2016

We made a conscious choice to work in the world differently, to take courageous leaps of faith and enter into the unknown and then find valid support for our efforts: this is why we chose to offer our first deep nature immersion journey. To share another perspective on entering the natural world, on what our impact as humans has on the silent and magical animal and nature realms.

Our first group was small but we had decided from the outset that regardless of the number of participants it was important to lay the foundation for this work, for these Sacred Safaris.

On our first day we gathered our fellow journeymen in Johannesburg, giving our guests time to recover from their long flights.

Those that were up for it took an afternoon at the Origin Centre at the University of the Witwatersrand which has fascinating exhibitions covering the depth of Africa’s history and Bushman heritage and it’s devastation due to European settlement. There  are beautiful artworks, intriguing artefacts and archaeological finds.

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We set out on our journey beginning at the sacred site of Adam’s Calendar near the tiny town of Kaapsche Hoop in Mpumalanga Province. Older than time itself, this rocky wilderness is protected by herds of wild horses.

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We have a history of visiting this site and it’s not always been as clear energetically as it was when we entered on the dusk of our first day. Beautiful large dolmens and other huge rocks stand like keepers, emitting their own heartbeat, a pulse emitted from the central heart. To enter into this landscape is surreal, the strange rock formations coupled with surrounding pine forests and organic moonscape of rocks.

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Adam’s Calendar is dated anywhere from 35,000 to 72,000 years old and is reminiscent of something like Glastonbury, without the extensive tourism and policing. The rock formations line up with constellations, celestial and seasonal events. Some time back, a group had started illegal excavation on the site and the scars are still visible.  Metal stakes were put deep into the soil between dolmens and around to measure the stars, the moon and the sun’s alignment and the energetics of what lay beneath. It’s common knowledge that when flying over the site in a small aircraft the instrumentation can either drop out or go haywire.

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Our entry into this natural kingdom was guided by a local woman, Mary Ross, who knows the area extremely well and showed us other energetic power points and portals. We had very powerful meditations and openings, which set the magical, mystical tone for our journey.

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None of the wild horses came close that day but the funky little village had quite an array of animals – all very happy to come and say hi and spend time with us.

Boondocks was the next stop with a very beautiful welcoming at the gate by the owner. It’s like entering the underworld. A stunning landscape of wild African bush and mountains with the accommodation right in the centre of surrounding mountains, not far from the Mozambique border.

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A shower with a view!

The outlook is breathtaking and the outdoor shower has the most magnificent view over a vast valley alive with leopard, baboons and buffalo  – an absolute must! The incredible offering by Anne and Stewart, who have lovingly developed this retreat centre, in what they hold on this land is exquisite. The highlight is the labyrinth they built which is an exact version of the one at Chartres.

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Such an incredible honour to be able to walk this labyrinth.

To walk this labyrinth on the land, in the middle of a forest and stream creates such a fine frequency, a direct portal to the inner and outer worlds, held by tree guardians. Both mystical, mythical and magical. One must experience it to be able to truly understand what is offered to the world. We had a difficult time saying goodbye, knowing we had deepened and opened ourselves to the animal kingdom, having full permission to enter.  Stewart’s wonderful stories and heightened intuitive perspectives were valued insights, his stories around the night fire had us all captivated and we found our hearts yearning for more. What they’ve created is remarkable, mostly a sharing of love and a great gift to the world. A universal architect who’s left a stunning and beautiful legacy.

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All the crew with Stewart on the left and Anne on the right.

Entry into the Kruger National Park welcomed us with amazing animal sightings on the bridge before we even entered the Malelane Gate. A multitude of animals greeted us just before we entered the park – crocodiles, hippo, multiple birds – an absolute celebration of life!

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A rare baby grounded hornbill.

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This adult grounded horn bill was with two others and two babies.

Our drive in was purposeful as we wanted to get to our accommodation, the Rhino Post Lodge, in time for the evening game drive – we were all bursting with excitement. Seeing a group of rare Ground Hornbills was such a treat, they were curious and friendly, the young ones coming very close to our vehicles.

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Our first night out we were blessed to see many rhino but being a full moon knew that protection for these animals is always paramount. We pray for their protection and that the senseless and cruel killing stops.

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The drought in Kruger brings many animals to man-made waterholes and watching hippos trying to stuff themselves in to tiny water sources is heartbreaking, they are certainly suffering the most.  We had seen a leopard kill, visible up a tree so our driver was committed to getting a sighting. We had a quick glimpse but scared the leopard with our driver not quite as sensitive and aligned with our intention.

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This guy really loved the toning.

The next morning we where all wide eyed and bushy tailed and headed out layered in warm clothing to meet the cold African winter dawn. Our guide was once again committed to seeing the shy leopard of the night before and got a little frustrated when we asked him to stop the vehicle and allow us time to connect in and calm our intentions. When you head out with a mission to see “something”, or to tick off a list of animals you want to see, you carry with you the energy of the “hunt”. Animals sense this and are long gone before you have a chance of a sighting – they pick up on another “predator” in the field.

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A newborn close to camp.

With our intentions softened, our gratitude activated and hearts open we started again. And what did we see? A rare Black Sable. At first it was indisdinguishable, looking like a man bent over in deep thought but then we saw the enormous black horns. Pan? He had been lying down and when he arose he took our breath away: in the distance he looked like a Centaur, our Pan, a Black Sable! We all knew the significance, and the rarity of such a sighting and were so excited and blessed to see such a magnificent creature.

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Such a rare sighting of this magnificent black sable.

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Hippos having a terrible time during the drought in Kruger.

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Trying to squeeze into whatever water they can find.

 

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A hippo in a dam with water levels very low, terrapins sunning themselves on it’s back.

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And then nature blessed us with it all. A herd of elephants of all ages from babies to matriarchs walked by, surrounded us, on their way to the dam. Hippos, rhino, giraffe, and the list goes on to the place where we stop to watch hippos, looking skinny in diminishing levels of water, terrapins using them to sun themselves. And we look to our left – leopard. Sitting atop a termite mound. Calm, relaxed, stretched out – shimmering. The jewel of the animal kingdom. Such exquisite beauty. Stella shared that they are the Kings of medicine. Ancient, wise, shape-shifters. Their fluid bodies move in sensual caress of the earth, collecting knowledge.

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We had it all, our drives included two golden lions mating just a few metres from our vehicle, with several males on the periphery about to compete with the dominant male. The tiniest owls, the enormous eagles – Crowned and Battler, mighty seers of the wilderness.

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The king and queen, the mating pair.

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On guard as other males close in on his territory.

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This lion moving in to challenge the mating couple.

On a night drive we came across a young hyena looking over the edge of a bridge and on our arrival she walked off. We were out of our vehicle on the bridge, on our guides invitation, all lights turned off looking down on hundreds of fireflies dancing on the river bank when our driver put on his torch and was surprised to see the hyena back on the bridge, strolling closer and closer to check us out. What an extraordinary meeting! No fear from either the three of us left standing or the hyena (did I mention half the group had returned to the vehicle…) just a curious exchange. We heard hyena calls all night – beautiful sounds, the soprano of the bush veld and early before dawn, there was a group very close to camp.

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Stella and I had awoken early and were first to get to the viewing platform to see a very similar hyena (in age and size) in the middle of the river bed, standing observing us before slowly wandering off on the loose sand.

A few days in Kruger was such a blessing, a numinous experience. Entering the animal kingdom with deep respect and reverence, being open hearted, calm and in love with nature really does invite the magical and profound. We left seeing more lions – the King and Queen in loving embrace. A herd of dozens of buffalo sitting in circle on a sandy river bank with elephants surrounding them, trumpeting and dusting themselves, all having to co-exist with the critical amounts of water available.

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We were astonished to see yet another huge herd of elephants in another waterhole having the absolute time of their lives splashing and playing, trumpeting and snorting, bathing, rubbing, looking out for the babies, the youngsters slapping the water with their trunks in complete celebration. The joy in their expression was something stunning to witness knowing that we too felt that celebration in what was shared with us in Kruger.

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The interactions with nature have left us all dramatically changed. You cannot take those experiences as anything other than a blessing. Deeply grateful for nature’s generosity and compassion we continued to attempt to express our deep love for the creatures and each other as our time together strengthened and deepened.

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A herd of buffalo had formed a circle, laying on the sand and elephants walking past to access the water.

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An incredible sighting.

Blyde River Canyon, the third largest canyon in the world, was our next destination to rest for a day, take it easy and have a nurturing and soft time to ourselves. To catch our breaths and have a gentle weaving back into life outside of the magical field of Kruger.

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Bush buck on the water’s edge.

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Kudu.

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Baby croc only 12 inches long. Apparently he’s going to be moved away.

We spent a morning on the water of the huge dam with the boat completely to ourselves. We stayed quiet and witnessed creatures along the shoreline go about their daily business – bushbuck, kudu, crocodile, hippo, baboons. The true beauty of the canyon seen from the centre, looking up at the amazing rock faces, waterfalls and scenery.

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On our way back to the lodge we stopped at the waterfall for a quick (freezing cold) dip for the brave at heart. This location, part of a UNESCO protected biosphere is where “I’m a Celebrity, Australia” was filmed. To see how they’ve damaged the area, built huts, paths and bridges, dumped piles of river sand sand from another biosphere at the waterfall, a site many consider to be a sacred feminine place shows their absolute lack of regards or sensitivity to the protected area. Locals and tourists who come from all over the world to see this spectacular canyon are locked out for 4-5 months whilst they prep and film. You get a sense of how insensitive big business can be and how money speaks – isn’t it astonishing that this kind of thing can go on in a UNESCO designated biosphere?  I’m sure they justify their use by donating money to local charities and foundations with little understanding of what their impact actually is. When wealthy networks can buy off poorly managed parks boards and buy their way in, promising to leave the site in it’s original condition and doing nothing of the sort when they’ve finished filming has no integrity.

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Icy cold!

The next day we ventured to the tops of the Drakensburg Mountain Range visiting a view site overlooking the Three Rondavals, part of the magnificent massive rock formations. We looked down on the very water way we’d been on the day before where the Blyde River snakes through the canyon. Such a dramatic shift of perspective to be way up high! Ruth knew of the ancient altar on the site,  hidden from most tourists, an initiation site to some highly regarded African mystics. We spent time there meditating and realised that the top of the altar, eroded from years of wind and weather, looked so much like the landscape, mirroring the mountains, gorges and rivers. We ventured into a township for some shopping time for our guests and bought huge bags of avocado, passionfruit and mandarins for R100 (about $10 Aussie).

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Windy and cold on the edge!

Our final and finishing piece was the White Lion Protection Trust. Seeing the Royals was something else. These are two arresting white lionesses – Nebu and Zihra, who looked stunning in the morning light, sitting like sphinxes in the rising sun. Linda Tucker (CEO and founder) shared the genesis and reasons for the twenty year old project, not just the physical but the purpose of their work in many realms – the metaphysical and ecological. We were very grateful to her for joining our drives and sharing her wisdom, taking in the starry night sky and the drives around the dry, thorny bushland of Timbavati, which translates as “the place where the star lions came down”.

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The gorgeous George who’s working at GWLT after being an anti-poaching ranger.

We also witnessed the two tawny lionesses on another piece of White Lion Trust land who were in hunting mode. They are Cleopatra and Tswalu and worked in tandem, hunting kudu. This was an incredible event to watch – seeing them work in stealth, one going around whilst one held her ground and then struck from the opposite side. We didn’t stay to see the end as we didn’t want to disturb their hunt – it’s hard work,  but we passed the kudu as we drove along the road, feeling their heightened awareness, their wide eyed alertness, the adrenalin at being targeted and hunted by an apex predator. The balance and power of natural world.

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A view of the rustic accommodation at White Lion Trust. Lovely to sleep in round rooms.

We were truly blessed to have such wonderful participants who wanted the depth of experience and heightened sensitivity to nature and her creatures. Who willingly and courageously followed our guidance, who trusted us implicitly. To work with Stella Horgan and Ruth Underwood has been a dream, such remarkable women who hold such refined sensitivity but have enormous and courageous hearts, authentic and solid. To journey with them and trust the unfolding of that which we’ve laid out, to have the level of joy, brilliance, heightened intuition and guidance of nature and the exquisite gifts afforded us. We are all very excited to share this work with the world and are already making plans for next year!

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Thank you to the courageous pioneers who walked with us, the dear and loved friends who held us whilst unable to physically join us, to the spirit, elemental and animals worlds who loved us deeply and held us safe.

To offer this work is a dream come true and allows us to continue campaigning for the rights for our non-human friends. To co-exist on this living earth in respect and harmony, to create heaven on earth for all.

Global March for Lions – Melbourne 2016

Gathering at Federation Square we marched to City Square with the fabulous Tracy Bartram chanting “ban canned hunting” “Global March for Lions” and then gathered for speeches. We are very excited to have Jason Wood MP, Bruce Poon (Animal Justice Party), Laurie Levy (Coalition Against Duck Shooters), Dr Lynn Johnson (Breaking the Brand) and Donalea Patman (Founder) as guest speakers.

A fantastic turnout despite it being a cold and dreary day, Tracy Bartram an absolute riot and had everyone in stitches even though the message for lions is a tragic one.

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So grateful for the incredible support and working together we raise awareness and educate the public about the issues of predators being bred for the bullet.

Many thanks Melbourne, you ROCK!

Last year we hosted a massive event at Federation Square to announce the global first with satellite connection to Ian Michler in Sth Africa who appeared on the big screen, Jason Wood MP and Donalea Patman were speakers and supported by Animal Justice Party, Holden and FOUR PAWS Australia.

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Environment Minister Greg Hunt announces the immediate ban on lion trophies and body parts, a global first.

Minister Greg Hunt announced that lion trophies and body parts would be banned from coming into Australia, a visionary and courageous stand against the cruel and barbaric industry of captive breeding and canned hunting. France followed our lead late last year with the US creating such strict import duties that hunters must prove that their hunt has been part of a conservation program approved by regulatory bodies.

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Photography Stephen Powell

This year we still march as the industry still continues to grow, Sth Africa refusing to act on the global outrage, PHASA and Predator Breeders in opposition about aligning with canned lion hunting. Recently the African Lion Working Group made a public statement saying that captive breeding and canned hunting has no conservation value as it doesn’t benefit wild lion populations.

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This year we also support Coalition Against Duck Shooting as their founder, Laurie Levy has been fined and banned from being on the wetlands this hunting season. We support his 30 years of campaigning to stop the brutal slaughter and wounding of Australia’s water birds and many endangered species that are also killed. Authorities prefer to support the less than 0.4% of Victorians who still wish to kill despite the public support for a complete ban.

For further details about the march:

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And we are very excited to host an exclusive screening of the full length cinema quality of Blood Lions at Cinema Nova in Lygon Street immediately following.

Click on the image to go direct to ticketing.

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Blood Lions Melbourne Screening