Organisers in the Global March for Lions give feed back on their march
Cape Town, SA
Organisers: Jenni Trethowan, Wynter Worsthorne, Lizette & Ryan Ord, Sheila Wilson, Jane Martin, Geila Wills, Nikki Elliott and Carol Kruger.
Principal Organiser: Nikki Elliott
Global March for Lions – Cape Town
15 March 2014... a historic day for our heritage – for the pride of Africans - for the right of our lions to be liberated. Liberated from exploitation, cruelty and greed.
Approximately 2 000 warriors for our lions, came together to march down the streets of Cape Town, in support of the work of Chris Mercer and Bev Pervan under the banner of their organisation, the Campaign Against Canned Hunting.
Chris told the marchers that he is angry to “see how the hunting industry has invaded and occupied conservation space, in order to pervert conservation policies. How moral outrage is cunningly deflected with slick public relations. How hunters have paralysed conservation structures in SA. And made preservation a dirty word.” It is up to us to fight for change, he said.
Marchers’ chants rang out calling on President Zuma, Minister Molewa and Minister van Schalkwyk to ban this vile industry – South Africa’s shame.
At the gates of Parliament, the Cape Town Opera Choir welcomed the crowd with their version of The Lion Sleeps Tonight, harmonising beautifully to the beat of drums.
Rev Mpho Tutu addressed marchers and expressed her, and the Desmond and Leah Tutu Foundation’s support for the cause. She articulated her yearning to see all living beings – human and animal - live in peace, without harm, and in a Godly manner on this one planet, which was graciously given to us to inhabit and take care of.
Linda Tucker, CEO of the White Lion Trust, read her letter of appeal to President Zuma, followed by Fiona Miles, Director of Four Paws in Cape Town, who explained how her organisation has waged war on canned hunting for many years.
Inkhata Freedom Party MP, Dr Mario Oriano-Ambrosini’s moving speech included words such as “incivility”, and “barbarianism” when he spoke about canned hunting, which was met with roars of agreement.
Before accepting the Memorandum of Protest from Chris Mercer, he said: “There are many battles in this country which we need to engage with, and we are not going to be able to fight them and win right away. This is one we can and must win.” He added: “It is a matter of the civility, values and humanity which inform our society. If we fail in this respect, we have little hope to rise to the challenges of being human with one another when it comes to the big social issues confronting South Africa.”
After Kenesias Dumbakurima’s powerful rendition of Mighty Lion - written for the occasion by Brett Bard - the crowd marched back, chanting all the way - invigorated by the roars of our beloved lions, the beat of African drums and the tune of The Lion Sleeps Tonight. Content in the knowledge that their message and demands will be presented to government for urgent attention.
15 March 2014… a historic day in the Campaign Against Canned Hunting, a day when the world called for the right of our lions to roam the beautiful expanses of South Africa freely… as nature intended!
A video on the Cape Town march.
Fabulous picture of the Capt Town march.http://blog.africageographic.com/africa-geographic-blog/conservation/cape-town-roars-in-global-march-for-lions/
Fantastic Photo Album by Geila Wills
Organiser: Paul Tully
What can I say?
London was a little different, primarily from other marches occuring on the same day as ours... although Westminster council failed to mention an EDL march also,(white racists we unfortunately have in our country). Thankfully, we avoided them on the day, although passing the "cattled" anti-EDL makes you think how we can allow certain people to have a voice in this world.
So with the council unable to close roads for us, I came up with the idea of separate marches, smaller, fanned around the city, like a pride of lions surrounding their prey. Sure it was a little more organisation, but worth it. We ended up with six separate marches.
3pm traditional kick-off time for football lovers on a Saturday (which was okay, seeing as though my team lost anyway). Our destination? Trafalgar Square.
I cannot describe the pleasure and pride I felt, when our march arrived in Trafalgar Square, seeing the other marches amassing, chanting, waving their banners and signs... it was an epic sight.
Almost 900 people had signed up, with many estimating 1000+ on the day. Everyone in such fantastic spirits, the sun shone and more importantly, people were understanding what we were doing. We all had people approaching us, commenting on parts of canned hunting that they simply didn't know were happening. THIS is what we need, because when we get that realisation from the public, THAT'S when we attract more voices to our message. Getting to people, having that opportunity to speak directly to them is what we need.
... and so we gathered in Trafalgar Square at approximately 4pm, our first speaker was an important one, Matthew Payne (author of A Farther's pride). Matthew is also a teacher, so having that educational aspect to our march was important, children getting involved in conservation is vital. Children running around in lion costumes, faces painted and taking the day in, great for them and great for our campaign.
Lion Aid were next to speak, with Chris Macsween & Dr Pieter Kat. So much experience focussed on lions, their passion shines, they too have battled to save lions. Included in their speaches was a statement from Roger Cook, who's Cook Report tv programme in 1997 helped bring canned hunting into the public domain.
Our third speaker was our first celebrity. Jerome Flynn, actor, singer in a previous life and now back acting again. Thank you Tracey Van Den Brand of the Global White Lion Trust for bringing Jerome with her, his presence immediately drew media attention, with an article appearing just days before our march. Jerome's speach highlighted to everyone the importance of conservation, and he spoke with a passion that resonated with the crowd.
Our fourth and last speaker was John Rendall, who found fame in the 1970's with A Lion Called Christian. John, with such great experience having worked alongside George Adamson, spoke calmly but passionately, in an almost sympathetic way which reminded everyone again of our connection to these great animals... lions.
Now... I do my best to stay away from any limelight, so when fellow steward Paula Siggins pushed the mike into my face, I couldn't really say no. So I thought I'd mention why we were here and why I was driven... simply because such things as canned hunting shouldn't be happening. Shortly before the march, I had read a portion of Gareth Patterson's new book. In that portion was Gareth asking, wondering whether there were any warriors out there? Whether there were indeed any warriors left after all the greats such as Dian Fossey, George Adamson, Jane Goodall etc.
So I ask myself... maybe I am, maybe you... or you... we all are. Deep down we all have that warrior instinct to drive ourselves, to fight and not give up until we achieve, achieve an end to canned lion hunting. We KNOW it's wrong, so why does it still happen. If enough of us raised our roars, then these atrocities would end. It's so simple. So please go, tell all your friends, spread our message far and wide. Gather our roars!
... and then, after approximately a thousand handshakes and a thousand thank you's to everyone I met, we gathered in the bar and ...
Pictures in Trafalgar Square:
Organisers: Stephanie Blair, Linda Park (photo below), Drew Abrahamson, Chris Voets, Smaragda Louw, Daniella Lupini
Principal Organiser: Stephanie Blair
Spokesperson: Linda Park
What a day Saturday turned out to be. After 3 weeks of solid rain, the sun shone on Jozi for the first time on Saturday and we absolutely rocked. Estimate was 2,500 – 3,000 marchers (some photographer has a very fancy way of getting numbers from photographs – way over my head). The atmosphere was electric and our singers and dancers really did us proud. I have sent you a video on FB of the start when we were moving off the lawn and onto the road to Impi. Brings a lump to my throat every time I play it. There are loads of photos on our page and our professional photographer will be putting all his pics into my Dropbox tomorrow hopefully.
We had masses of press, local and overseas there. Agence France Presse and Associated Press ran it as their lead story. All the TV stations has coverage on Saturday night news bulletins.
We did our handover to John Moodey, Gauteng Provincial Leader of the DA. I thought we might get some election speak but everyone said how he spoke from the heart. He committed himself to also driving this so when I spoke to Anthony Mitchell of the IFP on Saturday night I suggested that they put their heads together on this issue and shove the ANC into a tight corner.
Kevin Richardson was there and read your message to marchers at the beginning. He was obviously really well received!
We sold out of all our t-shirts and bumper stickers.
Fats and his dancers/singers are so hooked into the cause that they sent me a message this morning to say they wanted a march every week!! Ummm – I don’t think I have the energy for a weekly one.
Interview of Linda Park before the march. http://youtu.be/tKWg58T8Ymw
Here is a video of the Johannesburg march. Enjoy.
Photo gallery Stephanie Oels
At 1.30pm lion defenders of Scotland started gathering in Edinburgh Old Town. Over a 100 people of all ages showed up with placards, plush lion toys and colourful face paint. Everyone was in a very good mood and as we marched along the Royal Mile our chant, ‘Save our lions – ban the can’, made people stop and pay attention. We walked through the heart of the city to finally make a stop at our destination. Here the organizer held a speech.
It was a personal speech about the canned hunting trade and it ended with a moment of silence to pay respect for lions that had already fallen, for cubs raised in the arms of a stranger and for the poor souls still in captivity. But in the spirit of hope and pride the march was finished on a more positive note. Our musician brought out the guitar and, just as in many other marching cities, we all sang ‘The lion sleeps tonight’. Two hours had passed since we first started gathering at the meeting point and the Edinburgh sun had refused to come out. But the afternoon chill was not an issue as we had a function room booked at ‘The Arcade Haggis and Whisky House’. Here we mingled until early evening and we all agreed that the day had been a great success.
For me as an organiser:
This march have given me hope for the future. It has been an amazing experience to be part of something so big and it has given me great joy to see people unite against canned hunting.
For the future:
I have already started to go ahead with the 'Don't Pet Cubs' campaign. During our march in Edinburgh I had my photographer photographing all marchers holding a toy cub with a sign saying "The only cub I'll ever pet is a toy one". These images came out amazing. I am attaching one for you to see. I have model release forms for these images and they can be used for campaigning - printed or online. Still collecting signatures on the petition.
Organisers: Christine Jordaan, Stella Stewart, Mariana Fernandes, Yvette Taylor, Margot Stewart, Gillian Waldeck, Michael Almendro, Pierre Lombard.
Saturday the 15th March dawned bright and hot in Durban on the east coast of Kwa Zulu Natal.
Marches in New Zealand and Hong Kong had already taken place and now it was our turn.
We had a few glitches including being told by the police that we couldn’t march, but luckily we sorted that out and soon the march leader, Beverley Langkilde was in full cry and we started off.
Drumshack Jon set a pace with his drumming and soon we were at the end point where the Memorandum was read out and some speeches given. We met with Councillor Logie Naidoo and thanked him for allowing Durban to host the event. He also said a few words in support of our Cause and we handed him a gift in appreciation.
Poetry was read out and some entertainment ended what had been a very exciting but fulfilling day.
A huge thank you to every person who supported us in the run up to this important day, as well as to those who took the time and effort to march with us
IFP members and Princess Buthelezi marched to end canned lion hunting in SA.
Here is a video by the IFP spokesman Narend Singh:
Austin Texas, USA
A little over 50 marchers from Austin, Dallas, Louisiana, and places all in between, gathered in front of the Texas State Capital on March 15th. We spread out in front of the capital for an hour and got numerous honks of encouragement! We then marched down Congress Ave. on both sides of the street all the way to the river. The rain was with us most of the morning, but that did not stop us for marching! We had plenty of great marchers that were making the plight of the lions known, handing out handing out flyers and informing the public by having great discussions. We even picked up a few marchers along the way. We had to take a few detours to make a bigger statement with our March. Jimmy Johns was one (the owner took a trip to Africa to go on a "trophy" hunting safari). We also had to take a picture of the theater screening the movie "Lion Ark" in May! So make sure you look that up to get your tickets! We marched up and down the streets of down town, making our way through the crowds of the SXSW Festival. We certainly got lots of exposure with the amount of people in town for this event! We also ran into another activist march; they were marching for 2nd Amendment rights with concern for the right to carry arms. Several different GMFL marchers were spread out throughout their group and all reported to have had respectable and great discussion. Most overwhelmingly agreed with us that these "Canned" Lion hunts are despicable.
It was incredible to see people out in the rain after driving five to seven hours to make it to this march. Everyone who came pledged to come back year after year until canned lion hunting is banned in South Africa. It was moving to see peoples hearts out fighting for awareness and the looks in peoples faces as they "got it" and either gladly took a flier or join our march! - Kalli Doubleday, Austin March Organizer
Washington DC, USA
Organiser: Lisa Ann Tekancic,
WildCat Conservation Legal Aid Society.
It was quite an amazing day! I am so thankful that the SA Embassy came through and sent a representative to accept the memorandum for the Ambassador! In total there were 70 Washington DC marchers!
There was a skirmish with a lone hunter that was waiting to pounce on the group as we approached the embassy. However, it could have been worse than it was. I intervened and told the marchers not to argue with him; he is not worth it…
While I appreciate passion and enthusiasm; extoling sentiments at someone who does not understand logic, reason, or ethics is a losing proposition and only makes us look ridiculous especially since there was one hunter! Interestingly when I did intervene and told him to quiet down the police actually took his side and said he has a right to be here too. To which I agreed but he is not going to shout at people and get in their face! This is a peaceful symbolic march this is not a riot! Unfortunately a few from the group got very angry and the one thing that I do try to impress on folks is anger gets us nowhere when dealing with these issues.
Nonetheless a representative from the SA Embassy met us; I delivered your memorandum with as much grace as I could muster at that point.
There were a few individuals taking video and still photos so no doubt tomorrow a tidal wave of digital imagery will be flying about the social media sites.
Seventy devoted marchers convened to deliver one global message to the South African Ambassador. A representative from the SA Embassy was sent by the Ambassador to accept CACH’s Memorandum of Protest on his behalf. Our mission accomplished!
Organisers: Stichting SPOTS, VIER VOETERS (Four Paws Netherlands), WAR International
Spokesperson: Simone Eckhardt.
What can we say. We are humbled by all the people around the world, walking the #GlobalMarchforLions. Humbled and gratefull for those who joined us in Amsterdam. Thank you all for the efforts done, pictures taken and shared and all of your very good energy.
We hope you keep on spreading the news, we can't loose this magnificent animal! And hope you stay in touch, through our websites, newsletters and/or social media.
In Amsterdam we will march for the plight of the lion in general. Canned hunting and cuddling farms being one factor of the decline of this animal.
Videos of the march in Amsterdam;
New York City, USA
Organiser: Sarah La Rocca
The New York City protest was held in Washington Square Park. About 200 protesters attended. Most were local but a few people drove several hours to be there. Two tourists from South Africa heard about the march and joined us. We had 40 excellent signs that I printed from the organizers files. Artist Suzanne Unrein from "Art of the Pride " provided special artwork for signs and The White Lion trust brought two large billboards.. We had a magnificent giant lion puppet and three African drummers. The march was artistic and attracted a lot of attention. Two information tables had flyers about canned lion hunting and The petition to the US Fish and Wildlife Service to list the African lion as endangered was available. We collected over 300 signatures. Ed Huydic was in charge of running the info table. He was very knowledgeable and great at engaging the public. We had three speakers: Sarah La Rocca, the NYC organizer for GMFL, John Di Leonardo, President of Long Island Orchestrating for Nature; and Alexandra Panagiotou, from Amherst College and the Siyafunda Conservation Volunteers in South Africa. We marched and chanted "Save the lions-ban canned hunting" as the drummers played. We had a nice stage area where we assembled and kept dancing and chanting for two hours.
Phoenix Arizona, USA
Organizers: Dr. Renee Behinfar, Hannah Brisso and Adrienne Xagoraris
Principal organizer: Dr. Renee Behinfar
"The Global March for Lions Arizona event on March 15th took place at the State Capitol. People gathered from all backgrounds and political beliefs to advocate for the welfare of lions and banning canned lion hunting. We began by describing the subjective experience of a lion raised in confinement, trusting its captors, only to be killed while in captivity. We then defined trophy hunting, provided an update on local and international contributors and addressed one of the hubs of the industry located in Tucson, Arizona – Safari Club International. Calls to Action were provided, and we ended with the group forming a large circle while holding hands in a moment of silence for the lions we’ve not been able to protect, and committing to continuing the fight until the world unites in protecting them.
It was indeed an emotional experience. Reporting on the details of the cruelty humans commit against animals in the name of money, while viewing the signs in the crowd, some of the aftermath of the killing, and some of the majestic lions with their families intact was quite powerful. Uniting with like-minded, like-hearted people in Arizona and around the world fueled a beautiful momentum that I look forward to continuing to sustain through future initiatives to protect the lives of these animals who need our voice."
Here is a video of the Phoenix March
Organisers: Boaz Fyler, Lee Reshef, Sharren Haskel, Anat Umansky.
We had a very powerful march, only 100 people showed up, due to the hard rain storms.
We did walk about the city center and spread leaflets but the central protest was staged under the South African embassy were we roared at them to ban canned hunting immediately. We had a very powerful display of canned human lions in cages in 3 parts - cuddling farms, caged, betrayed and shot by the humans who raised them.
The media output was great!!! We appeared in two major news sites, two major radio channels, one prime-time TV show, half a page in the most widespread newspaper and one morning show on the most watched channel(Today). All of Israel including in parliament house is talking about canned lions so I guess we did very well. Our organized team of volunteers did a marvelous job and we managed to raise enough money to keep we-roar.com going for at least 5 more month. We want to get more and more international celebrities involved in the roaring for lions.
In the name of all other Israeli organizers, thank you all for all you are doing.
Here is a link to footage for the march:
Rohan Marley, Bob marley's son, listen to his words:
Organiser: Gail Cornhill
Co-organiser: Eric Cornhill
Firstly I have to thank Chris, Bev, Nikki, Stephanie and Sheila for bearing with me. I am also so pleased that I stuck to my guns and we held a march in Pietermaritzburg, if for no other reason than to draw attention to the 'lion park' which falls within the jurisdiction of the Pietermaritzburg municipal area, but also to force Ezemvelo headquarters who control our provincial parks to take note, both of which we achieved.
We didn't have hundreds or thousands of protesters but those who arrived were keen, loud and angry, and I do believe that each one grows and grows, protest by protest, and eventually even sleepy old hollow Pietermaritzburg gets off it's ass and gets moving. The police were super supportive, hats off to them and nice media exposure for the cause.... What I think we need though is a concerted campaign that supports all of the events... Street posters which could have been put up throughout the cities two weeks before the march would have done a lot to bring people to the march, I know they're expensive, more banners,professionally printed posters (I printed ours of our copier and they worked, but I would have died for A1 posters with backboards, sadly funding restricted this), we need a national sponsor, a castle lager or hansa, the lion of Africa ... A corporate who can help us to get our message out there.
Eric went to the police meetings, the permit meetings, collected documents, poles, banners, etc as well as taking all the pics on the day.
With only Eric and I organising we also didn't have time to have all the fancies, and the horse that we wanted to lead us was banned by the cops.... Still we roared.
We marched, we will march again, I think it was absolutely wonderful the way the world rallied to the call to stop canned lion hunting, thank you, we were all honoured to be a part of it.
Every one of the five marchers who participated in the Global March for Lions here in Hyderabad is a great animal lover. One of our marchers had a leg injury and came along to walk 5 km any way, I just had to mention him here. India is not very used to seeing much agitation for animals, so it must have been a sight to see us walking with our big banner and plaques. We did indeed get most cars and motorcycles to slow down and read them. We started at 4 p.m. and one of the ladies who saw us when we first started saw us two hours later, 10 km away, towards the end of our march. She told us that she really appreciated what we were doing. We were even stopped by two individuals on the street who asked us to stop and pose for pictures with three more asking us what we were walking for. One police man laughed at our feeble attempt to spread awareness with only the five of us. We told him that it was well worth-it as long as people were reading what we were holding up. Our march could indirectly plant the seed for animal welfare awareness for other species as well.
With only three days left for March 15th I never thought I would get together permissions, posters and marchers. I have to give a big shout out to everyone who made this possible, as well to the great people who took part.
Organiser: Vicky van Gemert
First, we were very proud to be able to take part in the Global march for Lions on 15 March
It came to my attention quite by accident, I think, following a post on FB by the STop mellissa Bachman group. I am totally opposed to hunting of a kind and cannot understand how it can be termed a sport. Canned lion hunting in particular is completely barbaric and I thank you for opening my eyes to the reality of it all. I am ashamed to admit that I have visited 1 or 2 of these "cub petting stations" in the past (while still living in SA) and that I never thought twice about the future of those poor animals. NEVER AGAIN! unless it is to help clean up the human gene pool a bit...
Animals (any animal) do NOT feature on the list of priorities in Senegal. We were in fact laughed right out of the police station (literally) when we applied for permission to march! Nobody could understand what we were on about. Despite the Lion being the national symbol of Senegal, not many people have ever seen a lion here. In the end we did NOT get permission and decided to just do it in anyway. We were even prepared to be arrested and could already imagine the headlines across the world - ANIMAL RIGHTS ACTIVISTS GET ARRESTED IN SENEGAL! we were almost looking forward to it (or so we told ourselves)
We assembled near the SA embassy in Dakar at 11am with a group of 50 schoolchildren from a local school. We had visited a few schools in the area to raise awareness of the plight of lions in South Africa and animals as a whole (in Senegal in particular) during the run up to the march. We were also joined by Charlotte Houpline, the president of WARA
A number of supporters and members of our animal welfare organisation (Animal Rescue League Dakar) also attended.
We were on a very busy thoroughfare in a parking lot and attracted attention from all directions! Not a single opportunity to explain and hand over a leaflet was missed! Charlotte and our french speaking volunteers were invaluable! We are satisfied that many people are now more aware of the plight of lions the world over (not only in South Africa)
In the week preceding the march we managed to secure a 5 minute spot on national TV as well as on the radio.
Special mention needs to be made of Assane Sarr without whom nothing would ever have worked out! He ran around Dakar with me for days on end and the friday before the march spent 10 (yes, TEN) hours with me at various police stations. Assane was also responsible for arranging transport for marchers and entertianment by the Lion Men of Senegal
Anna Cisse Samb never waivered in her support and although having a full time job as a teacher managed to produce handmade snack packs for the school children who attended. Anna also made sure that our message was heard loud and clear during a television interview.
Dr Gabi Fall, a vet that works with our animal welfare organisation gave the best ever radio interview which was heard by thousands of people on Thursday 13 March.
We are looking forward to joining you again in August on World Lion day! - we are already working on getting our ducks in a row. This time we will incorporate the plight of the West African Lion (and the national symbol of Senegal) . We have heard from Charlotte (WARA) that the Senegalese government has started work on a project to preserve and increase the lion population in Senegal. There are by all accounts probably less than 50 lions left in Senegal!
We will keep you posted!
Here is some information provided by Charlotte (WARA) about the lions of West Africa
In Senegal lions are in Niokolo Koba NP, in Falamé and Boundou. The population in Niokola NP is estimated at17 individuals (by PANTHERA ong worlwide leader), probably the number of lions in Senegal is less than 50 in the entire Country.
In West africa, the lion exist yet in 5 country : senegal, burkina, bénin, niger and nigera. Catastrophic situation for them...
An article from February 2014 Pby ANTHERA show new data, there are only 250 adult lions in West Africa.
Extinction is near .... read it
sincerely Charlotte Houpline
Organiser: Kerry Partridge
On a sunny day in Birmingham, around 100 lion lovers of all ages came to roar against canned hunting. Most had made their own placards and banners and were dressed appropriately in lion hats and face paint. For little ones, there was colouring in and mask making, while the grown -ups had petitions and information leaflets to keep them busy as well instructions for contacting their MEP about a ban on importing lion trophies and a specially written song to sing.
With support from the Born Free Foundation and the Global White Lion Protection Trust, we raised a lot of awareness and opened a lot of eyes to the realities of canned hunting.
I am so proud to have been part of the Global March for Lions in my own small way. Lions have a special place in the world, famous not only for their bravery and nobility but also their beauty and their strength in unity. To me, that power of co-operation was the inspiration behind the whole day the world over and from here we can only go from strength to strength when we next roar for lions!
The link for additional pictures of our rally:
We had a great day on Saturday. The sun was high in the sky. Fluffy, white clouds, were lightly floating around and it all seemed so peacefully right. During our rally, I looked up there several times and I thought "our lions that have gone are grateful and they are at peace"!
We can´t complain about the crowd. You can always use more, but the people we had were so appreciate of what we were doing and very, very much interested in learning more. This topic of "canned hunting" is one that not many here in Spain are aware of at all and I was so pleased to see their very positive reaction to the whole presentation. Great music, great bongos.
Luis did a superb job delivering what most said was a better well put together campaign speech than could be put together for the next president of Spain. I agree as everyone was listening - nobody was talking. He is indeed campaigning to win! I nipped in and out of the crowd making sure all was as should be. We made a great team together.
Our priest, Father Ron, summarized everything for us by reading Albert Schweitzer´s "Prayer for The Animals."
We are so proud and so pleased to have been a part of this global march and are so much looking forward to continuing on fighting for our animal partners who cannot fight for themselves.
Organiser: Jody Hanson
I wanted to send you the link to our video of our Sacramento Global March for Lions.
We were able to reach out to many people and had a great day raising awareness. Our printing costs were paid for by CAPE (Center for Animal Protection and Education) in Grass Valley. Shelley Frost of CAPE participated and made this video for us.
Abu Dhabi, UAE
Organiser: David Butcher
I heard that March 15th was to be the Global March For Lions Day only 7 weeks before the big day. I immediately volunteered to organise a march in Dubai, and my chosen location was Za’abeel Park – not only the largest park, but centrally located and next to Za’abeel Palace (which is one of the residences of the Ruler of Dubai, who keeps lions and tigers as pets). However, 4 weeks and numerous e-mails, phone calls and meetings later, the required permission to hold a march in any of the three largest parks in Dubai was declined by the authorities. I then read an article in one of the larger newspapers (Gulf News) about a Wildlife Centre near Abu Dhabi (130 km south of Dubai) that was “on a mission to end the trend of keeping wild animals as pets”, so I immediately phoned them to ask if they had any contacts and could pull some strings for me in Dubai. They couldn’t help, but suggested that they should host the GMFL event instead. We then had a very encouraging meeting at the Wildlife Centre, where it was agreed that I would organise all the press and media publicity in Dubai, plus additional attractions such as artists to paint lions faces onto the participants and a 3D street artist who would draw a lion in distress and about to be rescued by the participants, whilst the Wildlife Centre would arrange catering (and supply a projector and screen or large-screen TV for me). The event was to commence at 10:00 am with a 10 minute presentation about GMFL and CACH from myself (supported by relevant GMFL and CACH videos), after which the participants could walk leisurely around the Centre on a 45 minute long educational guided tour (or ride on a dune buggy if they weren’t fit enough), admiring and photographing the big cats (including several lion and white lion) and other animals there. This pattern would be repeated at the top of every hour until 2:00 pm, so that whatever time people arrived at, they could enjoy themselves with the face-painters or 3D street artist or catering until the start of the next hour.
One week before the event, I started to receive complaints from my media contacts (four newspapers, two radio stations, 1 TV station and an airline inflight magazine) that despite my requests for them to publicise the event beforehand and cover it on the day, they were being turned away …. and the hosts then phoned me and chastised me for hassling them unnecessarily with so many journalists and reporters, because they had already taken it upon themselves to sign an exclusive deal for all media coverage with Gulf News (although they breached that deal themselves a few days later with an article in a local magazine) …. hence media coverage for this event was minimal, which obviously negatively impacted the number of people who would attend.
When I arrived at the Centre on March 15th, I was informed that no projector or large-screen TV was available, and that I had to set up my laptop, amplifier and loudspeakers in the middle of a piece of waste ground about 50 metres from the main building (with just a few bushes to provide shade from the strong sunshine), so no-one could see any of the videos on my 17” laptop screen. As the visitors arrived and paid their entrance fees (which were collected to finance the lions in the Wildlife Centre), they were instructed to simply walk around the Centre in their own time and at leisure, and to visit the catering and gift shop on their way out. The face-painting was done by children from a local school that also regularly help clean out the animals enclosures, so were only very basic patterns rather than lion-themed painters that I had arranged. The same children painted 8 nice posters, 4 of which were the sole imagery that referred to GMFL and canned hunting at this location (supported by my laptop playing out the GMFL songs and videos loudly). I then realised that the event had been very effectively redirected away from making people aware of GMFL and CACH, and into a fund-raising open day for the Centre instead – although the visitors did all enjoy themselves.
Unfortunately, I am not able to supply any of the photographs or video that I and my partner shot at this event …. although I was given verbal consent to take photographs on my first visit on 20th February, then written permission to take additional photographs on my next visit on 6th March, and I was walking around (very high-profile and without a single word of complaint from the hosts) from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm on 15th March with a professional full-format digital SLR camera, telephoto zoom lens and flashgun whilst my partner was wielding a professional Sony camcorder with tripod, the host informed us 2 days later that because we never obtained prior written permission from them to photograph and video on private property, legal action would be taken against us if we circulate any of our images (they obviously don’t want anyone to see the evidence that this was not a GMFL event). The Patron of the Wildlife Centre is a member of the ruling family in Abu Dhabi, so I have to take this threat seriously.
However, all was not lost - I grabbed the opportunity to speak on a one-to-one basis with about 20 of the 174 visitors on the day, so at least these few people are now well aware of the situation and plight of the lions. I also learnt a very valuable lesson here …. do NOT let anyone else “host” an event, because they can then manipulate this event to their advantage and at the expense of GMFL and CACH.
Organiser: Rosana Ng
From the original plan of marching in solitude, to what we have achieved on last Saturday, I would like to say we had a successful march in Hong Kong.
At first I was skeptical of the turn out, because who in the world would expect people who live in a concrete jungle to care about animals who live in the real jungle. Most of us here have never been to a jungle before!!! But much to my surprise, we do have many people who care, when we are given the right information.
Hunting is not a popular game in Asia, yet. We must make sure that this so-called sport do not become popular here. However petting zoos are already in many parts of China and Asia. We can also help to stop the demand of using animal parts in traditional medicine, thus become part of the solution in the killing of wildlife and in this case especially our lions.
We had about 180 people who turned up in our march. We had drummers, musicians, celebrity and children attended the ceremony. We delivered our memorandum of protest to the South African Consulate and a Vice Consul came out to receive our memorandum. We have achieved what we have set out to do and a whole lot more in raising awareness.
As an organizer, this march have united Hong Kong with rest of the world in the fight against animal cruelty. I feel empowered and will continue to make positive changes with the people from Hong Kong.
Organisers: Louis Salas
I'd like to start off by saying that this was one of the most rewarding and fun experiences I have ever had the pleasure and good fortune to take part in. The amount of random people who rallied with and around us restored some faith in humanity in me, of which, honestly, I normally have very little. I sort of stumbled into doing this, having never even been to a protest/march let alone organized one, but I am so glad that I did. One of the best decisions I have ever made.
From the get go the Chicago march hit road blocks. The vastness of the St. Patricks day parade, (literally one over 500,000 screaming drunks of all nationalities) which was to go basically on our exact ideal route past the consulate, nixed any hope of actually marching. The city was not about to let a bunch of lion lovers get in the way of their sanctified day of debauchery. So our protest was doomed to be static from the start. To my further dismay, not one chicago news outlet wanted to pick up the story. But we made flyers, put them up in college campuses and public forums and waited for the day.
On march day, we fought the wild, unruly and oppressive crowds to meet in Chicago's famous millennium park near the South African consulate and the equally famous lion statues outside of the Art Institute of Chicago. I was discouraged at first, thinking that none of these people, too preoccupied with thoughts of guiness and screaming YOLO as they downed Jameson shots, would stop to sign our petition. None would care to help to stop the cruelty and ban the canned hunt that threatens our great king of beasts. But how wrong I was. The very thing that had at first hindered us turned out to work strongly for us in the end. The amount of people who stopped for us was stunning. Over 500 signatures in a matter of hours. We ended up being stationed right at the end of the parade route so foot traffic was busier than anywhere else in the whole city. We couldn't have asked for more. Not only that but despite many people not being able to show, the team of people who did show up were the most passionate, educated and dedicated group I've ever had the pleasure to work with. I made some great friends that I won't soon forget. We are all eagerly looking forward to the next event, taking us further into the trenches of this noble fight for lions.
A quick side story not how man eating lions might have helped save or protest:
At some point, while in millennium park, a huge, drunken brawl broke out right next to us. The Chicago police quickly pushed everyone out of the park, except us. It was nice that we were left alone, but now there were no potential signers. So I went to talk to an officer, first asking her if she'd sign our petition. She declined, saying she shouldn't sign while in uniform, but told me she loved big cats and volunteered at a sanctuary in Wisconsin on her days off. I told her, in turn, that I volunteer at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago and sometimes get the pleasure of working with long dead cave lions and saber tooths. Her eyes lit up with recognition for a moment and she told me that years she used to go to the Field after hours and hang out at Friday night happy hour (which inattend every friday!) and hang out with her friend Tom who rediscovered the cave of the Tsavo maneaters described by Colonel John Patterson. I almost passed out. That particular Tom (Gnoske) is my uncle. We exchanged disbelief that we had somehow managed to run into each other amongst this massive crowd of people and here I saw our chance to extend our lion protest. I asked if she wouldn't mind if we, though permitless, could venture onto Michigan Ave where all the foot traffic was. She smiled and said, "yeah tell those guys down there I said it's cool". So there we were on famous Michigan Avenue, with a personal body gaurd of 20 chicago police officers overseeing the whole thing, keeping any riff raff from bothering us. Keeping anyone who might stop to accuse us of being vegan, hippy, tree huggers from sticking around for too long. So in a way, lions saved our day, returning the favor, perhaps, for trying to save them.
Organiser: Ingrid Sermeus
While we were with only 60 people standing outside the South African Embassy we made noise for at least 120. We had wonderful yells which we were shouting out extremely loud. On Saturday the police commissioner was kind enough to give us permission to walk down the street while we were still yelling. The speech in English was given by Sonja De Meyere, and the speech in French was given by Christian Michel project coordinator and Board member from the Jane Goodall Institute Belgium. After the speeches we had a moment of silence for all the abused and killed lions holding candles while playing a few songs like Born Free etc. We had 60 extremely passionate people who attended our march.
Organising the march was a bumpy and exhausting road. But it was and still is a wonderful feeling to see people from around the World gathering together and speaking up in ONE voice against this cruelty.
Please what this delightful video of the marches in Brussels:
We received an email with this picture that said - I am a Norwegian girl and i went into the forest to have a vigil for your lions because no one would march with me.
If anyone knows her name please let me know. She deserves her place here.
I knew someone would find her for me. Let me introduce you to Janine Morris Opheim.
My experiences of the Global March for Lions – Janine Morris Opheim
I’m a participant at the White Lion Leadership Academy in Timbavati, South Africa so lions have become an incredibly important part of my life. During the Academy I’ve learned to face those things I once couldn’t bear to face (animals in pain – especially pain caused by humans) and to take responsibility for those things in whichever way I can. Subsequently I felt really deflated at not being able to find anyone to march with me. Knowing so many people who were marching that day, all over the world, in London, Calgary, Vancouver, Washington DC, Cape Town and believing in the power of spirit I felt, even though I was on my own, just meditating and holding those people in my hearts for an hour during the march was almost as good as being there with them in person. I had planned to light a candle and meditate in my meditation room. But on the morning of the March I started to get the yearning to go and sit in the forest. I’m often dismayed at the lack of the animals in this amazing forest. Knowing it was once the home of wolves, moose and bears (but still the home to and not surprisingly abundant with deer and also the odd lynx). I love the energy in the forest here. I don’t have the words to describe it’s magnificence but I knew the energy of this forest added to my prayer would be incredibly powerful! So as I was preparing to go outside (and at this point it had started to snow) ideas of what to take outside with me kept popping into my mind. I have many photos of lions in my house and have laminated several which are in my bedroom so I grabbed some of those, candle, incense, a beautiful fairy that I bought from Gozo in Malta (because it also connected me to the animals because of an experience I had on Gozo), I took some small rocks I had bought back from Timbavati also. I had several layers of thermals on plus my ‘kindergarten’ suit (a one piece padded jumpsuit for wearing in the winter). And I went out searching for the perfect place. I didn’t have to walk far before I found ‘the’ spot, right beside the stream that runs past the back of my property in a mixture of beech and pine trees, old and new energy, deep and mystical forest and the playful stream. I felt so at home there. It’s SO alive! I hadn’t even planned to document it but I just got this surge of needing to share it. I even recorded a prayer and posted in on Facebook. NOT something I would normally do!!! But I felt SO incredibly guided by the Lions and could not have fathomed so many people would see it. I can never say again ‘one person can’t make a difference’. I’m close to tears writing that. It’s so powerful and beautiful.
Maybe you’re wondering why I couldn’t find anyone to March with me. Well, I only came to Norway 7 years ago. I grew up in Australia and lived 10 years in England before I came here so don’t actually ‘know’ that many people. And of the people I do know very few are actively interested in standing up for animals, sadly. Most of the people I know in Norway who do stand up for animals live in Oslo, I live in Bergen, on the other side of Norway. Of the people who do live in Bergen and who are animal activists, three were out of the country, one had a previous engagement. I was destined to be on my own on the 15th of March.
I´m sorry the police did not give permission for the march in Stockholm. But I met Tilda (to the left) and her friend at Sergels Square and I and my husband signed the list to ban canned hunting.
It´s really awful! I hope your government will listening and ban it. They must.
Core Team: Jenn Pretious Koh, Pauline Dudus, Mel Larsen and Camille Mackenzie
As a Swazi/South African living in Canada, when I heard about the Global March for Lions, I couldn’t sit back and do nothing. Especially as I had just spent a month at the Global White Lion Protection Trust, I felt compelled to raise awareness in Calgary. I gathered together a group of lionesses to help organize the march. Our greatest challenge was convincing people thousands of miles away, why this is not simply a South African issue, but a global one. With lots of positive intentions, determination, belief in the cause and our love of lions…we pulled it off. We even had Global TV interview us for the 6pm news!
We experienced many unexpected blessings: Circles of Rhythm drumming company offered not only to bring their team of drummers and extra drums to the march, but also a special prayer and an opportunity for us to speak at their regular Friday drumming circle of 120 drummers the evening before the march. We also had Vermilion Energy Inc. sponsor the printing, which was a real gem.
When it snowed the night before the march, we all held our breath and wished for true Calgary weather to come through for us (i.e. blue skies and sunshine). Sighs of relief all around when we got the weather we ordered!
On the Saturday we started the march at Calgary City Hall in front of a 1791 Lion statue and drummed around downtown Calgary. Halfway through, the City Police joined us as escorts ensuring we were safe, which was a bonus. They even tried drumming….So cute! We played Archbishop Tutu’s prayer and then ended the march with loud roars and a drumming finale. The drumming quadrupled the energy field and reverberated all the way to South Africa (we believe!). We signed a petition and intend to write letters to our MPs to have imports of lion trophies to Canada banned.
The day after the march, the Art of Living Foundation gave me a slot to conduct a special wildlife yoga, meditation and ‘lion Nidra’ session in honour of the lions and all wildlife. People felt very energized and lion-hearted after the session and for the remainder of the week.
Our lioness-hearted team was awesome in making this happen, as were the marchers, the drummers, meditators and sponsor. It felt roaringly good to be a part of this movement!
Organiser: Candis Haak
It was a bitterly cold day (-20 degrees) with wind chill making it even colder. We took turns going into the mall to warm up. We staged the action on Yonge Street at Dundas (Dundas Square) which is the heart of downtown Toronto- in front of the Eaton Centre (largest indoor mall in Toronto)
There were about 80-90 protesters which included all ages (small children to elderly and even a dog) from a variety of ethnic backgrounds. A lot of protesters were from International March for Elephants as these were the main organizers of the action.
We were there for two (freezing) hours approx 5:30-7:30pm. The first hour and a half was comprised of protesters holding signs and handing out information flyers to passers by. There were an amazingly large number of people walking by on the street despite the frigid weather and late-ish hour- so we were able to reach quite a lot of people this way. There was a brilliant friendly man on a megaphone clearly and simply telling people why we were out on the street and what they could do about helping the lions.
We collected a lot of signatures this way! Towards the end of the action we were handled LED candle lights and we turned them on and crowded around a human dressed as a lion in a cage- to create a kind of vigil. Lots of cars passing along beeped in support to us. At the very end we had a group picture taken. Despite the weather it was a very successful action!
Do take a look at the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/events/1414771305431155/
you will find more pictures of a very cold day.
Los Angeles CA, USA
Organisers: Susan Campisi, Janet Ehrlich, Georja Umano.
Over 300 Los Angeles lion lovers gathered in front of the statue of two lions at the La Brea Tar Pits, where fossils of saber-toothed cats and other extinct species are excavated. We marched to the South African Consulate in a funeral procession carrying a stuffed lion on a stretcher as a symbol of all the lions murdered in canned hunts. Then we returned to the park for a ceremony and rally.
Our Mistress of Ceremonies, actress and animal activist Georja Umano from Elephants LA, spoke about her trips to Africa and delivered a moving eulogy for all the murdered lions while everyone in attendance joined in the ceremony and put a flower on our “dead” lion. With the lion buried under a pile of flowers, Georja talked about the canned lion hunting industry and how we need to get lions listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act to stop the import of lion trophies into the US.
Our other distinguished speakers each provided a different perspective on the threats and exploitation lions face around the world. Speakers were Hollywood icon and wildlife advocate Tippi Hedren, founder of the Shambala Preserve; Tawanda Kanhema, investigative journalist from Zimbabwe working on a documentary about rhino poaching, who spoke about the wildlife trade; Martine Colette, Wildlife Waystation founder; Catherine Doyle, Director of Science Research and Advocacy at PAWS; Lynn Cullens, Associate Director of the Mountain Lion Foundation; and Matt Rossell, Campaigns Director for ADI.
ABC News aired part of an interview with Tippi Hedren on the afternoon and evening news, and Tippi Hedren, Tawanda Kanhema, Lynn Cullens and the three march organizers, Georja, Janet and Susan, participated in a panel discussion that evening on KLRA radio about canned hunting and the threats to lions and other wildlife. On March 24, we met with Mr. Cyril Ndaba, South African Consulate Consul General, to deliver the Memorandum of Protest from CACH.
Save Our Wildlife LA, a new Facebook group, is keeping the community connected and the momentum alive. We’ll do something for World Lion Day and continue to raise awareness as we fight to get lions listed as endangered. It was an honor to be a part of the Global March for Lions, uniting with people around the world to stand up for our majestic lion and in protest against the shameful canned hunting industry. The journey continues.
Video clip of the march and rally: http://youtu.be/eYBLVBNQnG4
Photo Album of Los Angeles March: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=oa.483318931772169
KLRA radio podcast: http://www.am870theanswer.com/markisler.aspx
Save Our Wildlife LA:
Leo at the L A March covered with flowers.
This is who we marched for.
And we marched to stop the cruelty and give them back their dignity.
We marched to put an end to this.
We marched to save the beautiful from the ugly.
Beverley Pervan, CACH
Whilst reading all these reports, looking at pictures from around the world, I must admit that I was very moved. I am so proud, humbled and overwhelmed at what the organisers have achieved and how many people came out to stand with us against canned hunting. This march was for one thing only. FOR OUR LIONS AND TO END THE DAILY CRUELTY.
This was a day I will never forget, it was a day of unbelievable emotion and feelings I have never had before. This was a day that gave me hope that WE will end this cruelty. So I thank you all who have supported us, who have stood with us, who marched with us, with sincere gratitude.
Buhusi Bacau, Romania
Organiser: Babi Sava an English teacher at the Technical College.
Here's how our march went.
Around 150 children of all ages, from 6 year-olds to 19-year-olds, took part in the March for Lions organized by the high school students of the local college - "Ion Borcea" Technical College in Buhusi, Romania. They gathered at the memorial square in the centre of the town and marched up and down the main street to the sound of the official song of the march, "Lionhearts," and other songs, carrying toy lions (other wild animals too just to show they all belong together), balloons and banners with specific slogans.
The local television was present and interviewed some students (the interview will be posted on youtube next week, after they show it on the cable TV next Saturday (they only broadcast once a week) and a newspaper article will be published one of these days.
I think the event was a success, considering the fact that it was organized by children, it was the only one in Romania and it took place in a small town with its prejudices and its own social and economic problems. Let us hope there will be ears to hear us!
There's a one-minute video of the march on my facebook page:
Tomorrow the local cable TV will be broadcasting something of the march and after that they'll upload the recording on youtube, so I can send you the link to it.
Tampa Florida, USA
By all accounts, the 2014 Tampa March for Lions was a huge success!
We had over 570 people show up for the march, plus 60 or more of our own volunteers to manage it. We were sold out at 500, and let 70 more squeak in, but had to turn away scores of people, so I think we could double the size of the event next year.
We had news coverage on Fox, NBC and TBO.
We had some major organizations fundraising for us, including the Girl Scouts, Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Invest Financial Corporation and C1 Bank, so that was a lot of exposure inside their organizations as well.
We grossed over $17,000 so the net should be about half that, as a lot of that figure was in tee shirt sales, and the sale of plushy lions. Some of the income came from the food trucks who donated part of their proceeds, from charging people to Dunk the Poacher in a water tank and the sales of other Lion themed gifts.
In addition to the above, we had 108 supporters call their lawmakers in support of the Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act. Big Cat Rescue volunteers were able to compose half an hour of supporters talking on camera to their lawmakers asking them to protect lions and other big cats by co sponsoring the Big Cats and Public Safety Protection Act. We haven’t counted the written letters, petitions nor the post cards filled out and colored by children yet, but there were lines to do it all day, so it should be impressive. We had specially created coloring books, that taught about why pay to play is wrong, that were given away to children at the event.
The proceeds from our event will be distributed to those organizations who are working to end the canned hunting industry and the pay to play schemes that fuel it. I don't know anyone who does more on that front that Chris and Bev from the Campaign Against Canned Hunting.
Remember: “The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.” Albert Einstein
Carole Baskin, CEO of Big Cat Rescue
Here is a link to footage of the march.
Organiser: Nadine Visagie
More than a dozen animal activists gathered in a small town called Pau, in southwest France, to participate in the Global March for Lions on the 15th of March 2014.
Approximately 750 leaflets were handed out and many people approached us to find out more about what they could do to help the lions. Some people thought that the issue didn't concern them as it was a South African problem, and were therefore surprised to hear how many lion trophies had been imported into France and Europe from South Africa over the past few years.
The regional newspaper also published an article about the march and the journalist interviewing me was shocked to hear that the lion bone trade was legal in South Africa. I also created a Twitter account for the march in France and therefore awareness about the cause is spreading every single minute.
Organiser: Simone Nemra (March Leader)
Annemarie Potgieter (Chief Marshall)
Rian Geldenhuys (Convener)
Alice Adendorf, David Nicoll, Kats Swanepoel and all other marshalls.
It was a very easy task to organise the George leg of the Global March for Lions. Georgians came in droves, drummed, marched and supported the cause. We gathered at the aptly named UNITY Park, signifying that the entire Garden Route is UNITED against Canned hunting. We got loads of press in several newspapers, and were extensively quoted. We also granted interviews to scientific journals, which will go a long way toward shaming authority to do the right thing.
We were mandated to petition the National Council of SPCA's to take cognizance of the incorrect application of the laws that result in lifelong cruelty to lions.
Vancouver, Canada Organisers: Catherine Albertson, Colleen LaCroix, Tessa Vanderkop, Angela Helgesen, Vona Priest
Spokesperson: Catherine Albertson
Vancouver had an amazing group of people for our march, though the process was not without its challenges! Although competing with St Patrick's Day festivals and film crews, we had wonderful negotiators on our side who were able to allow us our first choice gathering point, a location well-known in the area for this type of public demonstration, complete with large lion statues, and right near the South African consulate. The consulate representative was not reachable for the Saturday, but we submitted the
The morning of, we were met with grey skies and threats of rain, resulting in some cancellations, but we had approximately 50 lionhearted marchers show up, including many children and quite a few canines as well. Once we distributed the t-shirts that had been ordered, we gathered together for an introductory message and debriefing of why we were here today and what we were hoping to achieve. Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu's prayer was played over a small speaker (just loud enough for all to hear), and to further lighten spirits and camaraderie, a sound clip of "real" lion roar (as opposed to the hollywood version) was played, followed by a chorus of everyone's best roars, before heading out on our route.
We carried a portable speaker to play themed music, David Chabeaux's 'Lionhearts', and a few versions of 'The Lion Sleeps Tonight'. Even though many were equipped with umbrellas, the placards were already water-logged and loosened from their sticks, which made displaying them difficult. A selection of marchers also had leaflets to hand out to people, but the
streets on this cold, wet day were very quiet! We paused briefly at three transit station centres along the way, although the stream of pedestrian traffic even here was minimal. There were a steady stream of cars, and we garnered a great deal of interested looks, some supportive honks, and even some interested passerby's on foot.
Through fundraising efforts from t-shirt sales and donations, we not only covered the costs of banner and leaflet printing, but left us with extra to donate back to CACH. Lion-themed sugar cookies were also made, individually wrapped with detailed labels full of information about the GM4L cause. Due to the rain, we weren't able to sell as many on the day as we'd hoped, but our hungry marchers contributed to donations.
There was a general consensus that March was not the ideal time of year for this type of event in our location, but a good effort was put in and a good time was had by all, participating in the global effort to raise awareness and create a better future for lions. It was an honour to be a part of helping to include Vancouver's voice and presence.
Las Vegas, USA
Organisr: Raquel Van de Venter
We started the Las Vegas chapter a little late in the game by discovering the CACH organization via the Lion Whisperer a.k.a. Kevin Richardson. After learning what canned hunting was all about we simply had to participate.
Our event stared mid January and immediately we had 35 people sign up for the cause. We had Auntie Sharron a local radio celebrity, offer a small segment of airtime. We also had a local business Game Over Merch with owner Josh Stokes, offer his tee printing at a very a low cost to support the cause. As word spread and people learned what the event was about our numbers slowly grew into the 70s. By the week of the march our group had invited over 1500 people plus we had 100 people join in the sharing of pictures and news clippings via Facebook and Twitter.
The day of the march was a sunny and happy day. A total of 42 showed for the march. Some came from California, Utah, and even the East Coast!!! Some came with faces painted, homemade teeshirts, signs, and flyers. We were small, but ROARED loud! We stopped our march in front of the amazing Bellagio fountains were an amazing local artist, Rene Caudillo, body painted a Lion to draw in crowds and attract attention.
There were many people that cheered as we passed, or stopped us to ask questions. Many held their thumbs in the air as a sign of approval. On the whole we were able to speak to many internationals who had never heard of canned hunting. A few took pictures of our flyers and asked if it was okay to send them to others or post on social media. Some took pictures with our ‘live lion’ while he held a flyer. We even had super heros drop in, specifically Thor, Captain America, and Ironman. They supported us by asking to take pictures with us and calling on all citizens to stop the deplorable ‘sport’. Thank you so much to those that take notice and even more thanks to those that take action.
Chris and Bev you have inspired us all!
This was the reason we marched.
We marched for their freedom.
We marched so the next cubs born would know a mother not a cage.
We marched to save our heritage from this.
We marched in 62 cities around the world to ask S.A. Government to ban canned hunting.
Chris Mercer, CACH
To all those that helped us organise this march, I thank you. We have a lot of work still to do. With your help we can go forward and change the future for lions in captivity.
We now need to focus on cutting off the source of funds for the canned hunting industry. That means educating people about cub petting, lion walking and fraudulent volunteerism. It means working with overseas NGO's to get the import of lion trophies banned from both EU and USA.
We can do this, but only all together.