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BREAKING NEWS

ABC News, Matthew Doran Australia to ban local ivory and rhino horn trade

The Canary A decision the UK and others make at a global wildlife meeting could transform the world as we know it

IOL News, Sheree Bega Key conference to strengthen regulatory regime for wildlife trade

Mongabay, James Fair Campaigners push for reform of outdated CITES wildlife trade system

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Australia set to shut down loophole supporting illegal ivory trade

Michael Dahlstrom, Yahoo News Australia 12 August, 2019

https://thenewdaily.com.au/entertainment/movies/2019/06/17/disney-slammed-lion-king/?fbclid=IwAR2yGc2SEVolkdwddqRgxO-lTKfddbuCQ_1PvZyOz4eduVHJrUgRS5wJgfY

Herald Sun 14 December 2018 – Rob Harris

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9 News 27 October 2018 – Emily McPherson

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Age September 2018 – Greg Callahan

 

 

 

 

Parliamentary Joint Committee on rhino horn and elephant ivory.

Xinhuanet News 20 September 2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Age Newspaper 20 September 2018

9 News 15 July, 2018

 

 

ABC News – Melissa Clarke 2 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, July 15, 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

ABC News Radio – 2 July 2018

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

sponsors13

 

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

Call for Disney to donate Lion King profits to conservation

“We believe that The Walt Disney Company is best placed to take a lead in investing in pragmatic programs that make a real difference for wild lions,” says a letter addressed to Disney CEO, Robert Iger, and penned by non-profit organisations For the Love of Wildlife, Blood Lions and Nature Needs More, requesting conservation contributions from the next Lion King blockbuster.

You may have read in the last week, that after a meeting with leading conservation groups Disney has announced a $3 million contribution to lion conservation.

But let’s interrogate this, in the lead up to the July 2019 Lion King launch. An initial donation of US$1.5 million has been made with a promise of about $1.5 million to follow.

1. Firstly, US$1.5 million is less than 0.02% of what Disney has made from the Lion King franchise to date.

2. If you add in the US$13 million Disney has donated to conservation programs across Africa since 1995, then the donations to-date amount to less than 0.2% of what Disney has made from the Lion King franchise.

3. Most concerning is that much of what they are offering is based on up front spending of “fans” and customers, US $5 from every Simba toy sold, $2 from every ride taken at Disney Animal Kingdom, which leaves you asking…who is really donating, the company or the “fans”?

More worryingly is that fact that we are told that conservation most respected organisations were part of the round-table with Disney to negotiate this donation. We must assume that these conservation brands have very little ability to influence when between them they have only been able to liberate such a paltry amount from this corporate giant, whose reputation and brand are both devalued by this shamefully cheap gesture.
Read more here:

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/disney-announces-lion-king-inspired-global-conservation-campaign-1215863

A call to Disney from the wild

The Lion King brand has grossed just under US$8.1 billion for the Walt Disney Company yet Disney Conservation Fund has donated US$70 million+ to save wildlife (which may include ‘guest contributions’). Whilst this is welcome, it represents only 0.9% of what has been made from The Lion King franchise alone.

For the Love of Wildlife, BloodLions, Nature Needs More and sixteen other organisations are asking the Walt Disney Company that a percentage of the US$8 billion+, made from The Lion King franchise (movie, theatre, merchandise, etc) to-date, be directed to the conservation of wild lions, as well as a percentage of all the funds generated from this point on, given the reboot of the franchise.

For example, we would ask the Walt Disney Company to cover the cost of implementing a global e-permit system that fully integrates with customs worldwide to ensure the traceability and trackability of flora and fauna from source to destination and, as a result, reduces the possibility of laundering illegal product in to the legal marketplace. Discussion with a number of CITES (Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species in Wild Flora and Fauna) representatives have confirmed that this would cost somewhere between US$20 million and US$40 million, less than one year’s salary for the Disney CEO Robert Iger.

Walt Disney himself spoke of creating a place “Where Dreams Come True”, but in the case of The Lion King, maybe this will become “Where Dreams Meet Reality given the plummeting populations of wild lions and the realistic possibility of extinction. How would Walt Disney himself respond to future generations (Disney’s key customers) asking why they only have documentaries and movies to remember iconic species and the King himself?

And don’t get us started on the stupidity of resurrecting Dumbo!

See our letter to Mr Robert Igor, Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company.

CITES – it’s time to fix the basics

During the time addressing the domestic trade in Australia in relation to elephant ivory and rhino horn, For the Love of Wildlife and Nature Needs More have become very concerned about the existing CITES trade permit and monitoring system. In addition, the evidence presented at the Parliamentary Inquiry into the unregulated domestic trade last year in Australia provided a platform for further shocking information to be exposed.

Attached is a letter that we sent to the Mr David Morgan in September 2018 as a result of what has been revealed, knowing we can no longer remain silent and action must be taken. At the time David Morgan was performing the administrative duties of the CITES Secretary General and we decided not to wait for the new CITES’ Secretary General to be appointed, due to there being no indication of how long this would take and it was appearing to drag out.

With the reverse listing and levy approach we are asking CITES signatories to consider before CoP18 as we feel that this offers a potential solution to fixing the significant problems and loopholes in the current legal trade system that is enabling illegal items to be laundered into the legal market place.

Please note, in sending this letter, this does not mean that we endorse the sustainable use model and the fact that a trade body is the key facilitator of managing the world’s precious flora and fauna. In sending this letter we acknowledge that this trade based approach will not be changed to a conservation focused approach in the short-term. As such, what we have currently needs to evolve to implement trade and control systems that are transparent, tamper-proof, appropriately resourced and fit-for-purpose.

In introducing this proposal to your local politician (wherever you are in the world) may we offer the following as a foundation for your email to assist in gaining their full attention. If you wish to do more, then please follow up with a meeting and share what you know in educating them in knowing the critical demise of the world’s majestic and iconic species. If you are not knocking on your local MP’s door, then their attention will be with the people who are! Wildlife requires action and please do not feel intimidated by a meeting – your local MP is there to represent YOU and your concerns.

You can also send the information to your local paper – MP’s respond to local news.

Thank you, on behalf of the animals and the natural world who need you now.

 

Dear ….

The last 18 months has seen an increased global focus on wildlife crime, as new estimates regarding the massive scale of illegal trafficking were published in the World Customs Organisation 2017 Illicit Trade Report. This report highlighted the estimated profit from the illegal trade in flora and fauna to be between $91- 258 billion USD per year, and stated, this is an amount that is, according to the United Nations Environment Programme, growing at 2-3 times the pace of the global economy. The report concluded, environmental crime is now the fourth largest transnational crime, after drug trafficking, counterfeiting and people trafficking. International organized crime uses the systemic loopholes in the legal trade system which is regulated by the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES). In addition to the illegal trade, in 2012 a UK government paper highlighted the value of the legal trade in flora and fauna to be $320 billion USD per year.

In addition to systemic loopholes, CITES now lists more than 35,000 species for trade restrictions, making identification and enforcement an impossible task for national law enforcement and customs bodies. Within the CITES framework the only solution to this escalating problem is to change the listing regime to default to a ‘reverse listing’ mode, i.e. listing only species in which trade is permitted. This is not a new idea, in fact it was first put forward by Australia in 1981 to the CITES Conference of Parties in New Dehli. At the time only 700 species were listed for trade restrictions and it was perhaps unsurprising that the proposal failed to garner sufficient support.

Set up as a non-self-executing treaty, CITES today lacks the funding to help poorer countries to implement effective electronic permitting systems that are integrated with global customs systems, which is essential to close the loopholes exploited by the traffickers. We propose that a small trade levy on the $320 billion USD per year trade conducted legally under CITES rules could help raise the necessary funds and make the overall system tamper-proof, traceable and transparent.

Only national governments (and the EU), which are signatories to CITES, can propose the necessary changes to fix the flaws in the current system and strike decisively against the illegal trade. Attached to this email is a copy of a letter sent to the CITES Secretariat in September 2018. As we are one of the 183 signatory parties, I request that the reverse listing approach proposed be considered by our government in the run-up to and as part of the agenda of the Conference of the Parties (CoP18) in Sri Lanka in May 2019.

Yours sincerely

 

…………………………………………………..

Open Letter regarding CITES Issues

(include the above link in your email)

We’d love to know which countries are active, so please let us know as we’d love to keep a track of how many people are getting on board. Also feel free to email Peter Lanius of Nature Needs More if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask!

 

The greatest chase you’ll never get to see!

 

THE GREAT Gazelle Chase is hotting-up to be one of the biggest and most unusual fundraising events of the year that, hopefully, you will never get to see!

On Saturday, November 3, conservation organisation, For the Love of Wildlife (FLOW), will be hosting a one-of-a-kind event on St Kilda Beach to raise funds to tackle the out-of-control wildlife trade that is driving some of the world’s most iconic species to extinction.

The fundraising event is being held to support Nature Needs More to raise funds for its rhino horn demand reduction campaign. For the Love of Wildlife aims to raise at least $10,000 so that a fake gazelle, performed by Married At First Sight star Matty Lockett, does not end up getting chased around the beach by a marauding pride of wildlife lovers.

The initiative is all part of the World Games for Wildlife, created by Nature Needs More. From November 5-21, people all over the world will come together for the inaugural games by doing  something active like playing sport or hosting events – all to raise funds for innovative projects tackling the illegal wildlife trade.

Founding Director of FLOW, Donalea Patman is encouraging everyone to dig deep to help save not only the gazelle, but to help save animals that have been decimated by poaching and trade such as lions, elephants and rhinos, one of which is killed every 8 hours for its horn.

Matty Lockett, who’s prepared to be the gazelle for The Great Gazelle Chase and do his part for the world’s iconic wildlife and FLOW Founding Director, Donalea Patman.

“It’s a tongue-in-cheek event to get more Australians thinking about our wildlife’s welfare. We’re global citizens and we have a global responsibility to protect wildlife. It doesn’t matter if the battle is in Africa or in Australia, it all needs our urgent attention,” Donalea said.

Dr Lynn Johnson, founder of Nature Needs More, also believes Australians can do more to help tackle the illegal wildlife trade. “Wildlife is now being used as a status symbol in some cultures around the world. Rhino horn, for example, is being used to conduct business deals,” Lynn said.

“There’s a terrible disconnect with the natural world at the moment. In Australia, it’s shocking to hear about people running over emus, killing hundreds of wedge-tailed eagles, and fairy penguins and getting nothing more than a slap on the wrist. At the same time, there’s a huge connection with sport and if we can raise awareness of the plight of wildlife via the sporting arena that’ll be fantastic,” Lynn added.

From a young age, Matty Lockett, who appeared on the hit TV show Married At First Site, fell in love with wildlife and believes all of wildlife should be protected. “It all came from my father, who grew up in the country and was pretty passionate against any form of animal hunting and that’s definitely rubbed-off on me,” Matty said. “I have a very short amount of time to get fit so please donate as much as you can!”

Donalea added: “If we can’t save elephants, lions and rhinos from extinction then there’s little chance of saving anything else.”

Donate today and #savethegazelle!
https://events.natureneedsmore.org/fundraisers/fortheloveofwildlife/The-Great-Gazelle-Chase

South Africa’s fly in, fly out brutal hunting industry

A billboard designed to tackle “canned” lion hunting has been rejected by Airports Company South Africa Or Tambo International Airport, the gateway to South Africa.

The move came ahead of this week’s colloquium on South Africa’s predator breeding industry.

Aimed at deterring the brutal practice of canned hunting where tame, hand-reared lions are shot in confined area, the billboard shows a child holding a plastic toy gun with the message ‘skill level required to be a lion hunter’.

Donalea Patman, Founding Director, said the industry is all about a quick, cost effective and guaranteed kill.

“These so-called hunters buy the lion online before they arrive in South Africa and love to tell a story of how they supposedly shot a rogue beast that was threatening a local community.”

“What they actually shot was a tame animal that was likely to have been drugged and then baited to approach the vehicle, having being fed this way for much of its short life,” Patman said.

“It takes the skill of a child to shoot such an animal and that’s the message of our billboard which ACSA has rejected,” she said.

Recently Safari Club International and Dallas Safari Club, two of the biggest US hunting groups, stated they were distancing themselves from the canned hunting industry. The move comes amidst significant pressure from the Blood Lions campaign and global condemnation of the abhorrent industry.

The industry is also known for deceiving well-intentioned volunteers who pay thousands of dollars to hand-raise lion cubs, believing they will be released into the wild. Volunteers are often left distraught upon finding out their beloved cub has been bred purely for the bullet and they have been used as part of a shady supply chain.

“Hunters will shoot these lions with several bullets to the body and maybe then through the ear or eye to make sure the head remains a good trophy to stick on their wall,” Patman said.

“The intensive breeding of these lions is driving demand for lion products and impacting wild populations. We’ve been told of wild cubs being stolen to reinvigorate genetics of farmed lions and we know that the industry is also fuelling the lion bone trade.”

“Lions are one of the planet’s most iconic species and they are heading toward extinction. I think it’s absolutely appalling that staff at OR Tambo Airport have made an unfounded decision to block an ad that would play an important role in stopping their demise,” she said.

The International Union for Conservation of Nature currently lists lions as vulnerable (population decreasing) and indicates a 43 percent decline in lion populations between 1993 and 2014.

Staff at ACSA Or Tambo Airport said the decision to reject the billboard had no relevance to advertising codes of practice and was on the grounds of “not entertaining advertisements whereby children are associated with hunting and guns”.

Ms Patman said the response was unacceptable.

“The ad shows a child with a plastic toy gun and reality is children play with these toys. It’s not about a child engaging in violence or hunting.”

“They have asked us to redesign our ad but we’re not going to do that. It’s been designed to drive home the message that these so-called hunters aren’t hunters at all and they should feel embarrassed for shooting a tame, confined lion,” Ms Patman said.

The South African colloquium being held in Cape Town has heard evidence from economists who estimate that R$54 billion could be lost in tourism revenue if the barbaric industry continues.

“Many people we’ve spoken to will no longer travel to South Africa because of its consumptive and commodified approach to its precious wildlife, addicted to old paradigms including ‘if it pays it stays’, Ms Patman said.

“People are angry at poachers but we aren’t addressing the rich who pay to kill these animals for fun,” she said.

In 2015 Patman put the plight of Africa’s lions and the canned hunting industry on the Australian radar and worked with government to see Australia become the first country in the world to ban the import of lion trophies and body parts. The ban was implemented just months before Cecil the famous lion was killed.

Press in South Africa Traveller24 
And the results from Traveller24 poll.

Time for a targeted ad campaign to up the anti against the horrendous canned hunting industry

Were you sick to your stomach when you heard US dentist Walter Palmer killed Cecil? This industry is far worse.

Every day in South Africa lions are bred for the bullet. Factory farmed for trophy hunters; these tame, hand reared lions are brutally slaughtered in small, high fenced areas. They are often baited and drugged, targets of the unskilled. These lions endure several bullets ending in a slow and painful death. Leaked footage exposes the horrors, including terrified lions being shot out of trees or whilst hiding in warthog holes. This is the canned hunting industry.

More than 8,000 lions waiting to die in horrific death camps.

Captive breeding and canned hunting is for those who want a quick, guaranteed, and cheap kill. A fly-in fly-out arrangement. Yep, lazy “hunters” that want an animal to come to them. Cubs bred for this industry are rented to tourist attractions, then lion walking activities, and finally returned to cramped and filthy conditions waiting to be bought online – and shot.

GET ON BOARD

Despite global outrage, the industry of breeding lions for ‘fun’ still thrives.  Unfortunately wild lions are also targeted by lion farmers. Prides are killed and cubs are stolen, all to reinvigorated the breeding stock for this industry.

With lions critically endangered, it’s time to stop killing for fun.

We are sick and tired of the hunting propoganda – hunters call themselves conservationists (remember we’re the bunny huggers) but what type of person kills a tame lion?

Captive bred lions unfortunately have no conservation value. Being genetically impaired, they have no future. This is yet another reason to stop the incessant breeding.

We need your help in funding this desperately needed campaign.

DONATE NOW – Pozible Crowd Funding

About For the Love of Wildlife

For the Love of Wildlife was the driver behind the Australian ban on the importation of lion trophies and body parts in 2015. A global first, this saw France and the Netherlands follow, with the US also implementing stricter import measures.

Join us in saving lions. We cannot bear to witness the continued exploitation of the King, a symbol of courage, strength and wisdom. Our lions deserve to be revered and protected, not cruelly and inhumanely exploited for profit.

It’s time to stop the brutal slaughter and close down this filthy industry for good.

What happens behind the fences.

WARNING: Graphic content.

Footage exposing the horrors of a canned hunt.

 

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.

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.

NEW DATES FOR MELBOURNE

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

Tickets: https://bloodlions.eventbrite.com.au/

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.

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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.

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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.

AUSTRALIAN TOUR

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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!

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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.

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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.

Sydney

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!

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

 

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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.

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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

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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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

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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.

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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.

OFFICIAL STATEMENT FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF THE ENVIRONMENT

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 http://www.environment.gov.au/biodiversity/wildlife-trade/cites/stricter-measures/african-lion

Please direct any queries regarding the new measure to wildlife.communications@environment.gov.au

Yours Sincerely,

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