Order of Australia

Founder of For the Love of Wildlife, Donalea Patman, has been awarded the Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for services to animal welfare.

In what started with a humble letter to her local MP Jason Wood, Donalea put the plight of Africa’s lions and the canned hunting industry on the Australian radar.

Just 18 months later the former Environment Minister Greg Hunt made the decision for Australia to become the first country to ban the importation of lion trophies and body parts.

Reflecting on her campaign to ensure Australia plays its part in the protection of one of the world’s most iconic species, Donalea recalls meeting Pippa Hankinson at an event in December 2012, Producer of Blood Lions, a documentary exposing the canned hunting industry.

“We happened to catch the same flight out and on that flight, we both pledged to do more for lions.

“Pippa went on to make Blood Lions and I started reaching out to people to see what role Australia could play,” Donalea said.

Leading up to a Federal election Donalea started writing to the candidates about the plight of Africa’s lions.

“I had approached Government to act on behalf of our youth who were being duped into participating in the canned hunting industry.

“They thought they were raising orphaned cubs as part of a conservation effort, but little did they know they were unwittingly raising cubs that are bred for the bullet,” Donalea said.

She then received a phone call from MP Jason Wood who she described as being shocked at the statistics and appalled at the canned hunting industry.

“He (Jason) said if he was elected he would do something to help.

“Jason championed the work, resulting in tripartisan support to get the changes necessary in enacting a ban on the importation of lion trophies and body parts,” Donalea said.

In recognition of her prestigious award, Donalea reflects on the support and mentoring she has received throughout her journey to date, particularly from Ian Michler, the Specialist Consultant and lead role in the Blood Lions documentary.

Meeting with Minister Greg Hunt – Ian Michler, Jason Wood MP, Donalea Patman (next to Donalea, out of picture Roderick Campbell).

“He trusted me from the very beginning. Ian was integral to the process, supplying scientific evidence, industry information and relevant reports.

“He also introduced me to key stakeholders and willingly travelled to Australia to meet with Jason Wood and Minister Greg Hunt,” Donalea said.

At the Global March for Lions in March 2015, Donalea hosted an event at Federation Square, Melbourne, to announce the Australian ban.

“We had a massive screen linked to Ian in South Africa to announce the ban.

“It was one of the proudest days of my life to see a man who’s been fighting to stop this industry for around 20 years wipe tears away on the announcement,” she said.

Crowd at Federation Square, Melbourne to watch the announcement of the ban on lion trophies and body parts, a global first.

When asked what advice she has for others who want to make a difference for wildlife, Donalea was more than happy to share some words of wisdom.

“I truly believe that if you want to make a change in the world you must be courageous to take a leap of faith.  With commitment and determination, we all have the capacity to make a positive impact,” she said.

“I come from a design background and yet somehow, through my love of wildlife and the power of not being able to stay silent about an industry that is so abhorrent, I found a way to do something.

“I’m deeply grateful to Pippa and Ian, and honoured to be in Jason Wood’s electorate,” Donalea said.

Although lions remain her passion, Donalea is now focusing her expertise to impact the plight facing elephants and rhinos. She is leading the #NoDomesticTrade Australia project to have the Australian Government implement a domestic trade ban on the sale of ivory and rhino horn within the country.

Order of Australia

On Australia Day 2017 the Queen’s Birthday Honours List, Donalea was announced as recipient of the Medal of the Order of Australia in the General Division within the Australian honours system for service to animal welfare.

The Order of Australia is an order of chivalry established by Letters Patent on 14 February 1975 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on the advice of Prime Minister Gough Whitlam. Appointments to the Order of Australia is the pre-eminent means by which Australia confer recognition for outstanding achievement or meritorious service of its citizens. Membership to the society of honour is by merit, independently assessed and free of political interference.

The Queen is the Sovereign Head of the Order of Australia and the Governor General is the Principal Knight and as Chancellor is charged with the administration of the Order.

Stella Horgan in Australia for FLOW roadshow

It was an absolute delight to have Stella in Australia. A member of the FLOW Board since it was founded in 2014, Stella has been integral to the success and direction, offering her vast experience in the not-for-profit sector whilst running her own NGO Zingela Ulwazi.

We hosted our first presentation in Melbourne, at Loop Space Bar where we met Nha Phuong of UMAPS (University of Melbourne Animal Protection Society) who was touched by our story and very keen for us to present at Melbourne University whilst Stella was here. We presented to a wonderful group of bright eyed passionate students on the 23 March just before Stella left for home.

Our presentation covered the FLOW journey, how Stella and I met at the Global White Lion Protection Trust in Timbavati South Africa, only to discover that we’d been in the same room a few years before when Andrew Harvey (spiritual teacher, author, Rumi translator and founder of Sacred Activism) had presented in South Melbourne. I returned from that talk to look at Harvey’s website and quickly signed up for a workshop being held at the Trust and Stella went on to leave Melbourne to work there.

After my first visit to the Trust in 2011 I had a extraordinary encounter with the lions. On the first morning out, in the crisp morning air in the back of the open air vehicle, where Linda Tucker (CEO and Founder) had expressed that it’s essential that eye gazing with the lions is kept soft and that you remain still and quiet. All I can say is that the meeting was one I’ll never forget. As we turned the corner in the vehicle we surprised the Royal pride who sat bolt upright with one of the young adult males locking eyes with me. Despite all that I was told, I could not remove my eyes from this exquisite being and I started to sob (uncontrollably), trying as hard as I could to not make a noise!

When we returned to camp, that’s when I heard the term canned hunting for the very first time and I can tell you I was outraged. On asking both Linda and Andrew what to do with this rage, as it was something very primal and potent, Andrew looked at me and said these words…“now that you’ve been brought to your knees, in your indignant rage, your despair, your heartbreak. I want you to pull these energies through your passionate heart and go into the world and do something.” How’s that for a call to action?!!!

Our presentation covered the visits with some beautiful images of the white lions, extraordinary footage of them collapsing by the vehicle in a complete love fest! And how the work was informed by these animals. We discussed interspecies communication, working with the Australian Government, how we are all challenged by these universal themes:

  • No tribe but plenty of purpose
  • Being a citizen with heartbreak
  • Compelled to take action

On one of the journeys to South Africa, I met Pippa Hankinson who went on to produce the multi-award winning Blood Lions documentary and campaign that has changed the conservation landscape with regards to Africa’s lions; exposing the unscrupulous industry of captive breeding and canned hunting. Pippa generously introducing Ian Michler to FLOW who mentored and continues to support our work.

Getting the ban on lion trophies was difficult work with opposition from not only the obvious – the hunting community but also fellow advocates with most telling me that I was wasting my time, that the Liberal Government would NEVER pass such a ban. Despite much angst and opposition from a variety of political players, Jason Wood MP and then Environment Minister Greg Hunt stood firm and proceeded with their pledge. The ban announced at Federation Square in March 2015 despite fierce opposition.

Our talk included Stella’s work in South Africa, sharing why multiple sites of power are crucial to a democracy and why a vibrant civil society is critical in providing that. Her work with local communities and schools is powerful and essential, always weaving in conservation.

Thank you to all that attended, we were deeply inspired and touched by the feedback and grateful for your passionate hearts and your loving support. For those that assisted along the way, we thank you for your generous contribution whether it was supplying equipment, being on the door, helping set up – all helped enormously.

Donalea Patman, Founder

 

 

Become a member and help save our iconic species

To take the next step in our journey and be eligible for funding opportunities it’s imperative that For the Love of Wildlife applies for DGR Status (deductible gift recipient).

It does mean we’ll have more compliance and accounting responsibilities but we’re also looking into collaborating with international conservation groups in some exciting new projects.

Membership means you’ll be kept up-to-date on our progress and exciting news, with our continued and expected growth, membership offers!

$20 a year, it’s a bargain!!!

We’re always looking for passionate and dedicated volunteers and certainly appreciate ongoing financial support…no matter how small.

Please print out the form and email back to us… or email for further information.

USA bans trophy imports of captive South African lions

This is a significant blow to the canned hunting industry.

South Africa’s defiance despite the global outrage, choosing to side with SAPA (South Africa Predator Breeders Association) in supporting the brutal industry of breeding predators for profit. South Africa’s Tourism Minister, Derek Hanekom states in Blood Lions that it’s bad for brand South Africa. 

The recent outcome of CITES CoP17 had South Africa and the hunting groups pulling out all efforts to maintain this abhorrent industry, lions subsequently left at Appendix II listing despite the IUCN asking the South African Government to address canned hunting and work to closing it down by 2020. Unbelievably, CITES approved the trade in lion bones which has conservationists reeling in disbelief as supporting the continued growth of this industry, which supplements the diminishing tiger bone industry, leaves wild populations at risk – wild body parts are what consumers are wanting.

Overwhelming evidence and undercover footage exposes how pathetic these psychopaths are – shooting scared animals out of trees and warthog holes, slapping each other on the back as if they’d actually accomplished something but all they’ve done is blown the hell out of a hand reared, tame animal.

Ongoing illegal activities take place and prove how morally devoid the “hunters” and operators are, the tolerance by authorities, by SAPA and PHASA (Professional Hunters Association of South Africa) in allowing this level of behaviour in the name of “sport”.

Australia took action when then Minister of Environment, Greg Hunt announced the ban on lion trophies and body parts March 2015 creating a global first which was followed by France and the Netherlands. With up to 70% of canned hunting market being Americans, this ban has a significant impact on the lucrative market.  It starts with renting out cubs which are torn from their mothers a few days after birth for tourists to “pay and play”, lion walking until they are too old and are returned to the death camps waiting to be bought online for a quick, efficient, cost effective and guaranteed kill.

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Ian Michler, lead role and consultant Blood Lions with USFWS Director, Dan Ashe.

Congratulations Blood Lions…this is a massive step in lion conservation. Still much to do with changing behaviour and belief surrounding “sustainable utilisation” and wildlife having to “pay it’s way”. Commoditising wildlife can never be a solution and we must find a way to let wild be wild, maintaining wilderness and habitat, keeping human consumption and greed off the table when it comes to our protecting our natural world.

http://africageographic.com/blog/usa-bans-trophy-imports-captive-south-african-lions/

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2016/10/wildlife-watch-canned-lion-hunting-trophies-banned/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/a-major-step-forward-for-lion-conservation-in-africa_us_5808f6ffe4b099c434319294

A call for domestic ban of ivory and rhino horn in Australia

The Australian government will be asked to enact a total ban on the domestic trade of elephant ivory and rhino horn in a communiqué that will be hand delivered to Minister for the Environment and Energy Josh Frydenberg on Monday 26 September.

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 will be 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 International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).

In 2014 Ms Patman took the plight of Africa’s lions and the canned hunting industry to her local MP Jason Wood. Just 18 months later the former Environment Minister Greg Hunt made the decision for Australia to be the first country to ban lion trophies and body parts from entering the country. The ban was implemented just months before Cecil the famous lion was killed.

Since then, France and the Netherlands have followed Australia by banning lion trophies. The United States has severely restricted import laws to curb the canned hunting and captive breeding industries.

Ms Patman said that despite Australia’s strict border controls, the sale of ivory and rhino horn has been seen in shopping strips, auction houses and online. IFAW has released it’s report“Under the Hammer” which exposes the rampant trade, showing just how much is traded in the oceania region.

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“This simply isn’t good enough given 30 per cent of elephants have been wiped out in the last seven years and rhinos are being butchered on a daily basis.

“Lions are being farmed for hunting and to satisfy a growing demand for their bones,” she said.

The communique coincides with the opening of 17th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES). Protection levels and whether or not to legalise trade of products from these animals will be on the agenda.

“Australia is geographically positioned and complicit in the illegal trade and it is time that we see a greater effort to combat trade,” Ms Patman said.

false-assumptions

“It would seem that Australian laws are not fully enforced. Auction houses self-regulate and without enough officers in the field, there is a staggering rise in wildlife items for sale.

“An ivory shipment was discovered at Perth airport last year and an investigation by South African Airways found the cargo was mislabelled. Despite communication from the government, we are uncertain as to the outcome and what happened to the ivory,” she said.

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-04-09/customs-seize-ivory-in-air-cargo-at-perth/6381712

Ms Patman is also co-hosting this Saturday’s Global March for Elephants, Rhinos and Lions together with My Green World. The march calls for member nations of CITES to vote for the strongest protection levels for elephants, rhinos and lions, and to vote against legalising trade of products made from their body parts.

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“We are fast running out of time to save these animals from extinction,” Ms Patman said.

“With what we know to date, we will see these species gone within the next 10 years,” she said.

The letter to the Minister states: “We cannot bear to be witness to the continued annihilation of these animals. As we mark the start of CITES CoP17 in Johannesburg and the Global March for Elephant, Rhino and Lion, on 24 September 2016 in Australia and around the world, we stand as one, we stand for wildlife and ask the Australian Federal Government to enact a complete ban on the domestic trade of rhino horn and elephant ivory.”

GMFERL Logo

Contact:

Donalea Patman – Director, For the Love of Wildlife

fortheloveofwildife@gmail.com | +61417 939 042

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Local MP in Canned Hunting First

Jason Wood MP, the Federal Member who worked with local resident Donalea Patman and her NFP For the Love of Wildlife to create a GLOBAL FIRST. Australia is the first country to ban the importation of lion trophies and body parts as a direct response to the cruel and barbaric industry of canned hunting – months before the death of Cecil.

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Wood will be speaking at this year’s Global March for Lions – Melbourne with Donalea Patman (For the Love of Wildlife), Bruce Poon (Animal Justice Party), Laurie Levy (Coalition Against Duck Shooting) and Lynn Johnson (Breaking the Brand) MC’d by animal loving celebrity Tracy Bartram.

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Starting at Federation Square at 10am walking to City Square where speeches will take place, followed by an exclusive screening of the explosive movie Blood Lions. This film focuses on the work of investigative journalist and conservationist Ian Michler, exposing the links between the cub petting / lion walking tourist attractions and the horrific industry of lions being bred for the bullet.

Tickets for exclusive screening of Blood Lions

Recently Campaign Against Canned Hunting (CACH) withdrew from I’m A Celebrity due to the use and exploitation of a 5 week old lion cub that came from a breeding farm. Network Ten and ITV producers continued to ignore conservation advice using leopard cubs in a following episode with Shane Warne and Val Lehman.

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The purpose of these events which are being hosted around the world is to raise awareness and educate the public about the links between cub petting and canned hunting and to show that these immoral high profit focused operations are of no conservation benefit to Africa’s lions. Celebrity vet Dr Chris Brown was duped just like thousands of tourists and volunteers believing the cub Network Ten sourced was an orphan.

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8000 lions in captivity in around 200 farms just so hunters can get a quick, efficient, cost effective, guaranteed kill. These animals have been hand reared and habituated taken off their mothers a few days after birth, forcing the lioness back into estrus – factory farming the “King of the Jungle”.

Canned Hunt Lions

Often drugged or baited, some walking up to the vehicle that has the hunter as they are tame. Some/many of these store bought living trophies suffer sickening wounds for minutes or much longer as shot after shot can be taken to finally claim their beloved and “hard” fought trophy. Lions from these farms can never be returned to the wild as they have lost their fear of humans and genetically impaired due to inbreeding. Wild lion populations are targeted and killed, cubs stolen to reinvigorate the breeding stock of captive breeders. This is a high profit, ego driven Industry where money talks and conservation walks!

 

It is estimated that as few as 15,000 to 20,000 lions are left in the wild, less than rhino. France has followed Australia’s ban with other countries including the UK and EU in talks with major conservation groups.

CACH withdraws from Network Ten’s, I’m a Celebrity

CACH Logo

“I’m a Celebrity” blatantly ignores conservation advice

Network Ten’s Australian TV show “I’m a celebrity get me out of here” engaged in irresponsible scenes exploiting wildlife including a 5 week old white lion cub and three very young leopard cubs.

Dean Geyer, one of the celebrities, nominated CACH (Campaign Against Canned Hunting) as his charity of choice; one would assume the producers would have engaged in research which would have alerted them to the link between the cub petting industry and canned hunting. Regardless, they went ahead with petting lions and leopards 5 weeks old and less.

When we initially contacted the producers after seeing a 5 week old white lion cub used in one of the challenges, it seemed they had been duped (just like thousands of tourists every year). They were told that the lion cub had been abandoned by its’ mother, that the other two cubs had died, one drowned, and that the cubs were part of a breeding program. We asked which lion ecologist was monitoring this program – no response. We soon discovered that the animal sourcing contractor was given one day to locate a cub even after he said he needed more time.

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On watching the footage we were very concerned to see a cub being exploited in a celebrity challenge with Jo Beth Taylor, using her feet to guess what animal it was. A 5 week old lion cub! It took more than a week for Network Ten to answer our enquiry, and then we were directed to Ben Ulm, ITV Studios in South Africa. We notified them about CACH wishing to withdraw as the use of cubs was absolutely unacceptable, he was worried about Dr Chris Brown’s reputation and insisted that a vet handling a cub is very different to the general public, a redundant argument as there was no veterinary reason for this cub to be handled. In terms of responsible broadcasting, what message does this send to the viewers other than “come to South Africa and play with cubs”?  We were also told we had no right to project our ethical tourism values onto them and that our position is merely philosophical.

It’s very disappointing that Network Ten didn’t do their research but what’s more appalling is that they ignored expert conservation advice. They were well informed and yet chose to then let Shane Warne and Val Lehman engage YET again with three very young leopard cubs, handling, petting and cuddling them in a defiant show of indulgence and support of the petting/canned hunting industry.

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When conservation groups work tirelessly to protect Africa’s wildlife, which includes pointing out that commercial captive breeding and predator interactions make no contribution whatsoever, we find the approach of Ben Ulm, ITV Studios and Network Ten irresponsible and reckless. Ulm was well informed after several calls explaining the link between cub petting, canned hunting and the lion bone trade industries when we discussed CACH’s withdrawal.

Africa’s lions require urgent attention. It’s estimated as few as 20,000 are left in the wild. However, it needs to be understood that breeding lions in captivity and exposing them to commercial exploitation has nothing to do with solving their plight. And the continuous support of the breeding facilities by tourists and television stations simply feeds the cycle of brutality and misinformation.

Australian volunteers and tourists are duped into this conservation CON only to discover that they have unwittingly been part of a process that results in ‘human imprinting’ of lions (and other cats). These animals are mostly not orphans and can never be returned to the wild. When too old to be handled, they are returned to the farmers as breeding stock or are sold online to trophy hunters. Many others are killed for the Asian lion bone trade.

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YES, that cute cub has been bred for the bullet.

The question to ask “where do all these cubs come from and where do they end up”?

It’s also disappointing to see Dr Chris Brown voice his concerns about canned hunting, telling us that the cub he was handling shouldn’t be “petted” while he does precisely that: what these celebrities and Network Ten are endorsing is irresponsible and is directly fuelling the trade of exploitation of endangered animals.

Kirsty Wilson, Sydney Publicity Manager for Network Ten said the lion cub that appeared on the program came from Letaba River Lodge Eco Park. What a misnomer to be calling themselves an Eco Park; what is ecologically sound about breeding predators to be habituated and exploited first for human contact and then for a hunting bullet? Dr Chris Brown stated that the cub was part of a breeding program as white lions are rare – what he doesn’t mention is that this cub will never live a free life in the wild, thanks to his handling of it, and that it therefore cannot contribute to stabilising populations in white lions’ endemic homeland of Timbavati, several hundred kilometres from its breeding facility.  White lions are highly prized by hunters, private collectors, zoos and circuses around the world because of this rarity he speaks of. Where does Dr Brown think these animals destined to be trophies on someone’s wall come from? By handling cubs, this programme and Dr Brown, Shane Warne, Jo Beth Taylor, Val Lehman are endorsing the cycle of exploitation these animals face.

The Australian government took global leadership by banning the importation of lion trophies and body parts (months before the death of Cecil) as a direct response to the cruel and barbaric industry of canned hunting, a global first. Conservationists, lion ecologists and predator scientists have been desperately campaigning the South African Government to regulate the enormous number of captive lions and the increasing business of captive breeding which is now spreading to other countries. Is it too much to expect that at the very least, Australian networks and ‘celebrities’ follow the Australian government’s responsible lead?

And for anyone who’s in doubt, watch the feature documentary Blood Lions. It is an explosive film that lifts the lid off the predator breeding industry and their murky array of exploitative commercial activities focussed on wild animals. What happens when it’s discovered that the cub you have raised as a volunteer or petted as a visitor or ‘celebrity’ ends up as a trophy or it’s bones sold to Asia for the lion bone trade?

To put a stop to these horrific practises, when travelling in South Africa or any place that has captive wild animals, please think before engaging. Resist the urge to handle, cuddle, bottle feed, play, walk or volunteer at places claiming to be doing conservation work if they have animals in cages. Much needed conservation dollars are being channelled by these unscrupulous operators – all part of the conservation con.

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CACH’s official withdrawal

Please be advised that CACH (Campaign Against Canned Hunting) hereby withdraws from any involvement with the production of Network Ten’s reality TV program “I’m a Celebrity, get me out of here”. In particular, we wish to remove ourselves from your list of potential recipients of prize money. We were very happy to hear that Dean Geyer selected CACH has his charity of choice but we cannot endorse a program that sends out a wrong message to the public – that cub petting is OK.

Our concerns were raised after watching Episode 10, where Jo Beth was participating in the “foot fetish” challenge which involved using a 5 week old white lion cub. Dr Chris Brown shared that the cub was abandoned by it’s mother and that the other cubs had died and it was part of a breeding program due to white lions being critically endangered. He mentioned that it wasn’t part of the canned hunting industry.

It would seem that Network Ten has been duped by the same story told to thousands of gullible tourists and volunteers. Lion farmers/captive lion breeders are astute to hide the ultimate fate of their alternative livestock – canned hunting. This is because cub petting/lion walks etc are such a profitable spin-off from the main purpose:- that of rearing lions to huntable size.

Kirsty Wilson, Sydney Publicity Manager, Network Ten properly advised us that the cub came from Letaba River Lodge Eco Park, SPCA assessed.

Letaba is a commercial breeding operation whose breeding activities have no conservation value.  None of their lions will ever be released back to the wild as part of a natural functioning ecosystem.

The reference to ‘SPCA assessed’ is typical of lion farmers’ public relations.  The NSPCA has no authority to assess for ethics or for involvement in canned hunting.  All the NSPCA can do is to inspect the facility to check that basic animal welfare is being observed; that the water in the camps is clean, permit conditions are being complied with, and such.

Dr Brown and/or the producers need to do their homework before endorsing activities that send such an irresponsible message. White lions are highly prized by hunters, private collectors, zoos and circuses around the world because of this rarity he speaks about. Where does he think these animals come from or end up? By handling cubs, this program and Dr Brown are endorsing the cycle of exploitation these animals face, and undermining our work.

CACH has been internationally recognised for its work in educating the tourism industry not to support any facility that offers cub petting, because of the link between cub petting and canned hunting. You can surely imagine how your program is subversive of the campaign to ban canned lion hunting.

Australia banned the importation of lion trophies and body parts (months before the death of Cecil) as a direct response to the cruel and barbaric industry of canned hunting, a global first.  Is it too much to expect that at the very least, our networks and ‘celebrities’ follow our government’s responsible lead?

Yours faithfully

Chris Mercer and Linda Park, Directors

Campaign Against Canned Hunting, South Africa

 

 

I’m A Celebrity And I’ve Been Duped

Africa’s lions require urgent attention. It’s estimated that as few as 20,000 are left in the wild, breeding them in cages and confined areas as happens in South Africa is not part of the solution as there is absolutely no conservation value.

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Network Ten’s popular Australian TV show “I’m a celebrity, get me out of here” are running a programme that includes irresponsible scenes exploiting wildlife including a 5 week old white lion cub.

Have they been duped into believing that the lion cub they used had been abandoned by it’s mother? Apparently. The production team had been told that the other two cubs had died, one drowned. Are they simply being grossly irresponsible in pursuit of viewer ratings?

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Photo Ian Michler

South Africa believes that lions should be taken off the threatened list and this is due to the enormous number of predators in captivity. Canned hunting farms and captive breeders have around 8000 lions in approximately 200 farms. According to the recent statement from the African Lion Working Group (ALWG) posted on the Blood Lions website, “The estimated 8,000 lions in South Africa currently being maintained and bred on game farms as part of this industry should not be included in any assessments of the current status of wild lions. Captive breeding of lions for sport hunting, hunting of captive-bred lion and the associated cub petting industry are not conservation tools.”   

These big cats face enormous pressures as lionesses are treated like breeding machines, cubs removed a few days or weeks after birth which then forces her back into estrus. The cubs are rented out to tourist attractions for “pay and play” or where volunteers get the opportunity to raise these “orphaned” cubs believing they are contributing to CONservation efforts. But as the ALWG says, nothing could be further from the truth.

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It’s also disappointing to see Dr Chris Brown voice his concerns about canned hunting, telling us that the cub he was handling shouldn’t be “petted” yet celebrity Jo Beth was feeling this baby with her feet and also got to handle it. A 5 week old baby!  What these celebrities and Network Ten are doing is irresponsible. Baby crocs with their jaws tied shut?! What message does this send to their viewers?

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We’ve been told that the lion cub that appeared on the program came from Letaba River Lodge Eco Park. What a misnomer to be calling themselves an Eco Park; what is ecologically sound about breeding predators to be habituated and exploited? Dr Chris Brown stated that the cub was part of a breeding program as white lions are rare but what benefit does this cub offer wild lion populations who are endemic to the Timbavati area?

Dr Brown and the producers needs to do thorough research before they participate in activities that send an irresponsible message. If they had, they would have known that white lions are highly prized by hunters, private collectors, zoos and circuses around the world because of this rarity he speaks about. Where does he think these animals come from and end up? By handling cubs, this programme and Dr Brown are endorsing the cycle of exploitation these animals face.

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Australia banned the importation of lion trophies and body parts (months before the death of Cecil) as a direct response to the cruel and barbaric industry of canned hunting, a global first. Conservationists, lion ecologists and predator scientists have been desperately campaigning the South African Government to regulate the enormous number of captive lions and the increasing business of captive breeding which is now spreading to other countries. Is it too much to expect that at the very least, Australian networks and ‘celebrities’ follow the government’s responsible lead?

And for anyone who’s in doubt, watch the feature documentary Blood Lions.

Blood Lions 2015 Low Res_Page_01

It is an explosive film that lifts the lid on the predator breeding industry and their murky array of exploitative commercial activities. What happens when it’s discovered that the cub you have raised as a volunteer or petted as a visitor or ‘celebrity’ ends up as a trophy or it’s bones sold to Asia for the lion bone trade?

It’s very disappointing that Network Ten didn’t do their research given that celebrity Dean Geyer has made Campaign Against Canned Hunting his designated charity.

www.cannedlion.org

To put a stop to these horrific practises, when travelling in South Africa or any place that has captive animals, please think before engaging. Resist the urge to handle, cuddle, bottle feed, play, walk or volunteer. Much needed conservation dollars are being channeled by these unscrupulous operators – all part of the conservation con.

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

IFAW honours Australians for commitment to lion conservation in Africa

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Donalea Patman, Founder of For the Love of Wildlife with the award presented by Matthew Collis, IFAW and Jason Wood MP with his daughter Jasmine.

IFAW honors Australians for commitment to lion conservation in Africa 

by Simon Bloch, Durban

Two Australians have been honoured by the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) for their commitment to lion conservation.

In a ceremony Down Under yesterday (Tuesday) Donalea Patman, founder of For the Love of Wildlife, an Australian NGO, and Jason Wood, Federal MP for La Trobe,  were lauded for their campaign to end South Africa’s legal practice of hunting captive-raised lions (known as canned hunting).

In February 2015, Australian Environment minister Greg Hunt enacted legislation prohibiting the import of lion trophies and their body parts to Australia.

This was four months before American dentist and cross-bow hunter Walter James Palmer sparked international outrage when he killed Zimbabwe’s wildlife icon, Cecil the Lion.

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Presenting their IFAW Policy and Advocacy Animal Heroes awards, Mathew Collis, IFAW’s organisation’s Campaigns and Policy manager, said:

“Donalea worked tirelessly with her local MP, Jason Wood, to raise awareness about trophy hunters bringing the body parts of lions into Australia.

“With the help of internationally respected conservationist and film–maker Ian Michler (Blood Lions) Donalea and Jason were the driving force behind the federal government’s historic decision to ban the import of lion trophies.

“The ban reflects the Australian public’s abhorrence of canned hunting in which lions raised in captivity are hunted with no fair chance of escape. By banning the importation of lion trophies, Australia is no longer complicit in the cruelty of canned hunting” he added.

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Patman said she was humbled to have been recognised by IFAW.

“I don’t do my work for awards, I do it because I believe Africa’s wildlife is under siege. I’m incredibly honoured” she said.

“Miss Patman has undertaken remarkable work to protect endangered wildlife, and I applaud her commitment” Jason Wood said.