30th APRIL 2016,
The Born Free team, here, in the USA , in Kenya and around the world, has been campaigning for lions for many, many years.
Some people think we should be doing more and, of course, we can always do more but in this, 2016 Born Free’s Year of the Lion, we are going all out.
Supporting the excellent work of the Kenya Wildlife Service who are monitoring and protecting lions in Meru National Park, Elsa’s heartland.
Building more than 220 Predator Proof Bomas in the Amboseli ecosystem (southern Kenya and northern Tanzania) which reduces the incidence of night-time predation on livestock to zero – and consequently dramatically reduces the likelihood of retaliatory attacks by local people for livestock losses.
Working with the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority to seek to record and quantify the remote the wild lion population of Alatash and Zakouma (western Ethiopia and South Sudan).
In partnership with the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit of Oxford University and Dr Hans Bauer, assisting in the development of National Lion Conservation Strategies in a number of West African countries.
Thanks to support from the UK Government’s Wildlife Challenge initiative, building wildlife law enforcement capacity in the Horn of Africa where massive and porous land borders represent an opportunity for the illegal wildlife trade to flourish.
Assisting with the promotion of Blood Lions, the extraordinary documentary that recently blew the lid off South Africa’s ‘canned hunting’ industry.
Campaigning to persuade the 182 Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) to afford African lions the highest level of protection against commercial exploitation.
With the help of our incredibly generous supporters around the world, paying for the rescue and care of desperately needy captive lions, relocated from appealing captive conditions to our wonderful Sanctuaries in South Africa, Ethiopia and Malawi.
And now, on Saturday the 30th April, speaking out against the ongoing and brutal trophy hunting of lions.
Our Founder, Virginia McKenna (my mum), will add her voice to many others, including Britain’s most well-known scientist Stephen Hawking who has agreed to sign the letter that will be delivered to the Prime Minister in Downing Street, calling for an end to lion trophy hunting and import of lion trophies into the UK.
I think it is wonderful that such an extraordinary mind is focussed both on the outer reaches of space and the possibility of extra terrestrial life, AND on helping compassionately conserve life here on earth.
But that is what profound thinkers do!
I have no doubt that, between us, we can find a way of ending such cruelty and bloody exploitation, protecting wild lions and the wild places they rely on – and securing a future for lions and the rest of life on Earth.
Yes, we can always do more. But, through Born Free, and hand in hand with like-minded individuals and our world-wide partners, the spirit of Elsa burns bright. We shall never give up!