Now at Big Cat Rescue March 28 2014

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What Would You Like BCR to Do?

Let us know in the comments section below.

What will you do on World Lion Day?

10th August 2014
There are four whole months before the big day.  Plenty of time to organise something.

Start by sharing this newsletter with your family and friends.
Then have a glance at our suggestions below. Any event will do.  Big march or small Fun Run. Up to you.
Reflections on the march

A Triumph for Animal Welfare.

The success of the global march exceeded all expectations. A synchronised march in 62 cities around the world was simply unprecedented. With little or no help from the lamestream media, thousands turned out in support. The numbers were all the more remarkable because the whole organisation rose up from grassroots, with no chain of command. The real enjoyment of the day by marchers is captured in Hein Ungerer’s video of the Cape Town march.

The heroes.
There were too many heroes to name here. All the organisers – hundreds of them – were heroes. The Auckland marchers who braved the cyclone to march. Dr. Ambrosini, the respected IFP MP, who left his sick bed, suffering from Stage 4 lung cancer, to stand on the steps of Parliament toreceive the Memo of Protest from the Cape Town marchers on behalf of Parliament. Global 
White Lion Trust and Vier Pfoten (Four Paws). The Norwegian girl who went in to the forest and set up a shrine for lions, candle and all, because she could not find anyone to march with her. 

Every one of the marchers who gave up their time and made the effort to come out, in all kinds of weather, to support the lions of South Africa. We salute your passion and commitment.

Take a look at the photos and march reports on the organisers’ page of our website. Just be inspired by the passion and commitment of so many people all around the world – all marching for our lions.
Don’t let them put us South Africans to shame!
What can you do to help?
Send protest emails to all conservation structures in SA. We’ve listed them all for you in thisGlobal March page.
On the same page you’ll see the Message to Marchers and other info that you can copy and paste in to your protest emails.
Make your voice heard.
      Lessons learned
Forget Press Conferences and the lamestream media. They made themselves irrelevant. We have the Internet. The power to inform millions at the touch of a button is unprecedented in human history and we must learn to use it effectively.
Tweets,Tweetdeck,Tweetstorms etc – how important it was to have social media experts assisting us to get our message out. Neytiri and the other social media gurus like Monica Gilbert added a whole new dimension to the event.

Interestingly, the marches generated intense interest from TV and radio. On the day I must have given a dozen TV and radio interviews.
But take note: the media only took an interest after the events had created their own newsworthiness. It was the spectacle of the march that hooked the media; not the serious message that inspired the march.
     The way forward

1. The media belatedly came to the party, but the lesson learned is clearly that it is the Internet, not the Press, that will bring the sordid canned hunting industry to an end. Just as the hunting industry lobbyists pump out a stream of propaganda to whitewash the hunting fraternity’s squalid activities, so we need to keep up the pressure by posting relevant context to all our social media. Two can – and must – play at the public relations business.

2. Raising awareness by itself is not enough. Decision makers need to be brought in to the struggle. Not only politicians and conservation officials but also corporate sponsors. If corporate sponsors began transferring their sponsorship away from the big pro-hunting NGO’s like WWF, you can bet that WWF’s policies would change. Money can change the debate.

3. Hard work. Campaigning and lobbying is hard work. But someone has to do it. Volunteers are needed to help take on this task. For example, we could petition airlines not to carry hunting weapons or trophies.

4. Code of practice. We need to collaborate on producing a Code of Practice, based on the five freedoms set out in the UDAW (Universal Declaration of Animal Welfare) which could be adopted by tourism authorities, volunteer placement firms, tour operators and the travel business as an industry standard.
Volunteer organisations who send their clients out to Africa to volunteer at wildlife sanctuaries need to be informed that they are only feeding the hunting industry when they send their clients to unethical destinations.
How does one know if the facility is unethical?
Easy! If the so-called ‘sanctuary’:
a) breeds predators in captivity
b) offers cub petting, or
c) offers lion cubs for volunteers to hand rear, or
d) offers walking with lions
– then avoid it. 
What did we achieve?
1. We raised awareness like never before. The complacent world of conservation has never been rattled like this before.

2. We have built a strong, united global community that now has a real sense of purpose, to tackle this important wildlife issue.

3. Hundreds of volunteer organisers who knew very little about canned hunting – beyond the cruelty that shouts out from a Melissa Backman kill photo – have now been educated. Both CACH and Lionaid took time and made the effort to turn mostly uninformed volunteer organisers into experts on how and why lion farming and canned hunting functions. Hundreds of people worldwide are now able to see through hunting industry public relations.

4. We have exposed the lie propagated by the hunters and parroted by conservation authorities and pro-hunting NGOs, that canned hunting (as artificially defined by them) is illegal in SA.
To show how shell shocked conservation structures are by our march, the Department of Environmental Affairs pulled out of a radio debate with me on the popular SAFM Morning Live show yesterday, citing ‘unpreparedness.’
That left me alone on national radio for a whole half hour to explain to a national audience of listeners how conservation in SA is nothing but a protection racket for the hunting fraternity.

World Lion Day – 10th August

Some suggestions for you if you’d like to join in.

Organising an event need not be a frightening thing. No one expects you to organise a million man march.

But surely you could get your friends and family to do something?

Play golf? Organise a sponsored golf day for the lions.

Enjoy cycling? Get your cycling cub to join with other cycling clubs and have a Fun Ride for the lions.

Anything that raises awareness of the plight of both wild and captive lions.


You could hold a small event in your city. A Fun Run? A dog walk? A motor bike ride for the lions. A cycle race for the lions. Gather at a shopping centre with some placards.

Together we can make a difference.
Email us                                         
We’re here to help.

Carole’s Note:  We had such great feed back on our March for Lions event, so maybe a similarly structured day at the sanctuary would be appropriate for World Lion Day.  It takes a lot of work and planning, so anything you can suggest now would help us as we consider such an endeavor.

Also:  Our local media was far from lame.  We had more news coverage leading up to the event than after and it was great coverage.  And, I know there are a lot of animal welfare organizations that don’t like the WWF, but the WWF has been helpful to the Big Cat Coalition in our efforts to end cub handling, stop white tiger breeding and end the private possession of big cats.  Their connections and expertise have been an important part of our success.


Lion Ark Movie Comes to Florida


LET YOUR FRIENDS IN FLORIDA KNOW: Lion Ark will be screening on Saturday 5th April and Wednesday April 9th at the Palm Beach International Film Festival. Lion Ark Director and rescue team member Tim Phillips will be doing a Q&A session after both screenings. Don’t miss out. Check out the details here


Watch for Howard and Carole.  We will be there!


Botswana to Ban Canned Lion Hunting!

Some heartening news from Botswana, and we very much hope South Africa and other countries will follow their lead…
ADI is delighted to hear reports that Botswana intends to ban canned hunting – in a statement made last week the Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism said it “does not tolerate cruelty to our wildlife in any form.” The move follows the implementation of bans on both trophy hunting and the export of wildlife (excluding pets) in January of this year.



This post currently has one response.

  1. Diane Campbell

    April 2, 2014 at 12:18 am

    What if BCR had someone dressed as a lion in a cage and people could make donations to reach a goal to free the lion. I remember a fund-raising event where local celebrities were in jail and you had to pledge to raise bail.

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