Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Global March for Lions ...

Last week, Friday 13th March, I joined many lion warriors to put an end to Canned Hunting in South Africa. This unethical practise is merely feeding the egos of trophy hunters and could speed up the process of extinction of lions in the wild. Lions are picked from a menu by rich business men seeking a thrill. Then, they import the trophy back to their living rooms and hang them up as an ornament and brag to their friends about how they shot a lion in the wild and pat themselves on the back. How sad. The money goes towards conservation - they cry. Erm, well... No, it does not. This business is booming because huge dollars / sterling pass hands and at the end of the day.. its business as usual. No compassion or thought for an iconic species and our natural heritage. 
 This vulnerable species has roamed the earth since the early Pleistocene time and is essential to the ecosystem. A carnivore that has a valid place within the cycle of life. An ancient cat that deserves respect and freedom. 
 The loss of males, due to their handsome manes, is wiping out generations and leaving massive gaps with weaker males distributing their genetic dearth. Cubs of stronger, healthy genes are being stolen out of the wild or killed by other competitive males ( infanticide ). The females are being used as breeding machines, only to be thrust back in to oestrus as soon as her cubs are snatched away. The cubs are then raised by humans and have a life span of around two years within an enclosed space. They are not wild, this is not conservation. Then released ( semi-tame, drugged and worst of all.. trusting the killer). They have no means of escape and are very likely to be shot a few times due to the killer avoiding the head - causing excruciating pain and suffering. This is Canned Hunting. It is a sure thing. Why else would the trophy hunters pay thousands  - they want their dollars worth.
 Think of all the stories as we grew up ... Folklore, legends, history... How lions have inspired us to pass the stories on to the next generation and preserve this magnificent and majestic cat. They evoke deep feelings in the core of our very being and we should be privileged to share the earth with the great king of the jungle. Save Our Lions, ban Canned Hunting! 

Not The End.

Our plight continues...

Photographs by Helen Ratcliff

#globalmarchforlions #wild #free #nature #heritage #kingofthejungle #conservation #ancient

Wednesday, 4 March 2015


Jaffa ...

You were the centre of my world,
Our connection unparalleled.

At three months old,

Our journey began,
Our bond was immediate.

Your name was born from your sweet tooth,

Your life began to unfold.

Your intelligence surpassing,

Your need to be close,
The joining of a union between hearts.

Your feline skills were ancient and honed,

 Your domestic skills were bold,
Grunting sounds as you removed washing from an airer,
The game of laundry day... 
Exploring the shopping bags,
Treats galore.

Raw steak and Petit filous,

Fresh prawns and mayonnaise,
Tongue and Prosciutto...
Cat food, at times, became a bore.

To hang from trees,

And roll in the grass,
The wind whispering through your fur,
Stretching out in the sun,
Chasing your brother, Otto, just for fun.

Tumbling and wrestling up on hind,

Then hugging and licking your brothers cheek,
Sometimes intertwined on the bed,
You would both lay down and sleep.

The comfort you gained from a kiss,

'twas treasured and never missed,
You loved to be folded in my arms,
And to share my pillow bestowing charm.

The feel of your velvet paws,

Gentle squeezing of the pads,
The scent from a rosemary bush
Or fresh cut grass and flowers,
The aromas of garden were your perfume.

Your voice evolved ...

I want, I need, I love.
The delicate tone when you felt nourished,
The snarl and growl descending from a wild place.

The greeting as you blinked,
The motion of meowing but still silent.
Your language - I understood,
We were affilliated.

You will always be in my heart.

Jaffa  1999 - 2015.

R.I.P my precious one. x