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.


Blood Lions Australian Tour

Blood Lions proudly partnered with us for the first international screening, choosing Australia first due to the recent ban on lion trophies. Australia has set the standard by responding to the cruel and barbaric industry of captive breeding and canned hunting by banning all lion imports.


Exclusive screening after Global March for Lions – Melbourne on April 2, 2016 at Cinema Nova, Lygon Street, Carlton at 2.30pm.


Blood Lions premiered at the Durban International Film Festival in July to a sell out crowd (500 seats) receiving a standing ovation.
Pippa Hankinson (Producer) and Ian Michler (lead role) have worked for years creating this film, facing not only financial pressure, but putting their lives (and the film crew) at risk. The entire Blood Lions team were very excited after a nervous lead up, knowing that the explosive film would blow the lid off the industry. More recently, the film has been screened via PBS and shown on Discovery Channel throughout the world.


The film crew on stage after the premier of Blood Lions.

The premier was attended by Botswana’s Environment Minister and his wife, and many other special guests including members of the IFP.

Botswana Minister

Botswana Environment Minister, Hon Tshekedi Khama II and his wife with Donalea Patman.

At the second screening CEO and President of PHASA (Professional Hunters Assoc of Sth Africa) were in the audience and even with Ian Michler’s invitation, they didn’t engage in the Q&A. Ian made it known that Donalea was in the audience and what For the Love of Wildlife had achieved in Australia.

Immediately following, PHASA connected with the Blood Lions crew for intense discussion. A public statement about the need to address the concerns raised in the film in regard to lion hunting went out the following day. Ian expressed how it had been years of wanting to engage PHASA and now the film was now playing it’s part in initiating change.



The first screening in Australia was held at Luna on SX in Fremantle held on the 1st September and was a rush start due to Ian Michler’s plane being delayed – but we made it in the end! Pippa Hankinson (Producer) had to cancel last minute as contractual and legal commitment to getting the PBS deal in the US was imperative and required further work. She was very upset and not being at the first international screening and sent her sincere apologies and we certainly missed her!


Melissa Parke MP, Donalea Patman and Ian Michler before the Fremantle screening.

Melissa Parke MP attended and participated in the Q&A, showing particular interest in addressing the lion bone trade through Asia. Katrina Love, Animal Justice Party and many others engaged enthusiastically with a few from the audience realising they had inadvertently participated in the industry. The expression people have when they realise that what they’ve done – thinking they were contributing to conservation to find out that they were part of the cycle of canned hunting.


Very grateful to Charlotte and Cecil from Luna on SX who were incredible in sharing the film via their networks and really helped on the night.


Screening was at UTS and after some initial technical difficulties, we had a brilliant night…thank you Bryan Seymour for stepping in when it counted most!

Ian Bryan Dlea

Bryan Seymour, Channel 7 with Donalea Patman and Ian Michler.



Ace Bourke with fans!

Ace Bourke (Christian the Lion fame), Bryan Seymour (Channel 7), relatives of both Ian Michler and Pippa Hankinson, Jeroen Van Kernebeek (FOUR PAWS), Jan McGlashan (who assisted Pippa with transcripts), Paul De Villiers amongst representatives from Greenpeace, Sydney Zoo, RSPCA, to name a few.  Very interesting panel discussion with Matthew Collis (IFAW) and Hon. Mark Pearson, Animal Justice Party.


Hon Mark Pearson (Animal Justice Party), Ian Michler and Matthew Collis (IFAW).

Great to have so much support with some flying in from all over the country. Thank you to all who donated including Alison Lee Ruby who made it despite being unwell.


Melbourne was a cold and blustery night but still a fabulous turnout. Engaging in panel discussion was Bruce Poon, Vic Convenor Animal Justice Party and Nichola Donovan BA, LLB, LLM Animal Rights Lawyer.


Ian Michler, Bruce Poon (Animal Justice Party VIC) and Nicola Donovan, Animal Rights Lawyer during the panel discussion.


The crowd before screening at Melbourne University.

Phil and Trix Wollen (Kindness Trust), Sean Wilmore (The Thin Green Line), Edward Bourke (Saving the Lion), Laurie Levy (Coalition Against Duck Shooting) and many other friends and colleagues. Very generous donations from Michelle Webb, the Australian Sweet Company, Stephen Powell and Peloton Design.


Laurie Levy (Coalition Against Duck Shooting), Sean Wilmore (The Thin Green Line), Donalea Patman and Ian Michler at the Melbourne screening.

Thanks to University of Melbourne Animal Protection Society and Human Rights & Animal Ethics Research Unit for their very generous help.

Parliament House, Canberra

Screening at Parliament was the highlight for Ian Michler with invited guests and an opportunity to thank Minister Hunt in person.

Parliament 2

Senator Lee Rhiannon with Minister Greg Hunt in discussion with Ian Michler and Donalea Patman.

Unfortunately Jason Wood MP was away overseas on business, leaving Senator Lee Rhiannon and her staff to host us, but a real delight to know that this issue has brought the Greens, Liberals and Labor together. Attended by members of parliament, Environment Department staff, Heather Neil (CEO, RSPCA) and many from Canberra office of the RSPCA, Roderick Campbell (author Ecolarge) and colleagues from Australia Institute, Matthew Colliss (IFAW) and many invited guests and colleagues.

Greg Hunt gave a heartfelt speech in the committee room before the screening which left both Donalea and Ian a little lost for words! Senator Rhiannon was also very kind with her introduction.

8-9-15 Hunt- Remarks - Parliament House_Page_18-9-15 Hunt- Remarks - Parliament House_Page_2

We had a fun time getting through security with Ian not having any ID and having to google him on a smartphone to show security who he was (who doesn’t travel with a drivers license!!!)

Before the screening a quick interview on ABC Radio with Ian discussing issues on air with hunters, who after he presented the facts, the hunters backed down and agreed with Ian.

Members of the Shooters & Fishers Party, Senator David Leyonhjelm and heads of hunting groups were invited as guests to attend screenings. Senator Leyonhjelm responded that we should see his talk on canned hunting that he presented to the Senate on 12 August – we told him we had and that’s why he was invited (failed to present any facts), his was response was that we were “silly”.  No other replies. 

Parliament 1

Melissa Parke MP after the Parliamentary screening with Economist Roderick Campbell, Ian Michler and Donalea Patman.

Parliament 4Parliament 3

A very special thanks to Claire and Nathan of Marini Ferlazzo who donated White Lioness artwork to be auctioned at each event and one which was gifted to Minister Hunt. To Kym Illman who offered generous discounts for his new photography book and donated a book for the Perth event. Donna and her mum from The Australian Sweet Co for donating black aniseed balls. To all of you who have assisted in anyway whether that be helping sell merchandise at screenings, spreading the word, posting on social media, handing out flyers, for keeping us sane!!! Deeply appreciate the love and support and together we will get this industry banned.

White Lioness

White Lioness by Nathan Ferlazzo

Australia Bans Lion Trophies and Body Parts

March 13, 2015 Environment Minister Greg Hunt announced an immediate ban on the importation of lion hunting trophies and body parts as a direct response to the cruel and barbaric industry of captive breeding and canned hunting.

A global first, Minister Hunt took a courageous and visionary step in helping the critical decline in Africa’s lions and showed the world that there’s no place for this industry in our civilised society.

For the Love of Wildlife has been instrumental in working with Jason Wood MP, Federal Member for La Trobe in taking this issue to the Federal Government. Ian Michler, internationally renowned conservationist and lead role in Blood Lions Movie attended a meeting with Minister Hunt in October 2014 with For the Love of Wildlife founder Donalea Patman and Economist Roderick Campbell, Australia Institute and author of Ecolarge.

Since the announcement Senator David Leyonhjelm has tabled a disallowance motion which will be tabled in the Senate for debate August 12, 2015.

March 16 Ian Michler presented to the EU Parliament to share the news on the Australian announcement and also inspire decision makers, politicians, media and the public to consider following Minister Hunt’s lead.


Thank you for your interest in the Australian Government’s proposal to introduce trade restrictions for African lion (Panthera leo) specimens.

On 13 March 2015, the Australian Government introduced a measure to treat specimens of African lion as though they are listed on Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). This measure affects Australian import and export of lion specimens, and bans trade in African lion hunting trophies.

The measure was introduced following extensive consultations with African lion range states, businesses, hunters, conservation organisations, and researchers. Any potential impacts on hunters, hunting operations in range states, and businesses that support hunting of African lions have also been analysed.

This measure has been introduced in response to Australian public concerns about ‘canned hunting’ of African lions.

African lions are listed internationally on Appendix II of CITES. African lions are also protected under Australia’s national environmental law, the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 (the EPBC Act). In accordance with CITES Article XIV and the EPBC Act, Australia may introduce domestic measures that further restrict trade in CITES listed species.

The introduction of this measure means that trade in lion specimens to and from Australia, including trade in hunting trophies, will be restricted to a limited number of circumstances, for example, for conservation breeding or scientific purposes. Trade in hunting trophy specimens will not be allowed unless the specimens were obtained before the provisions of CITES came into effect for lions, i.e. the specimen is from an animal that was deceased prior to 1977.

Australian CITES import and export/re-export permits issued up to and including 12 March 2015 will remain valid for trade until the permit is used or expires (whichever occurs first).

Further information is available at

Please direct any queries regarding the new measure to

Yours Sincerely,

Ilse Kiessling
Acting Assistant Secretary
Wildlife Trade and Biosecurity Branch
Department of the Environment