A chance meeting leads to a warm friendship between Nikela and Walking For Lions.
It was totally by accident that Marnus Roodbol with Walking For Lions and I met at the Mugg & Bean in Johannesburg in early 2014. I was impressed by his dedication, enthusiasm and knowledge right away. We simply had to support his work saving wild lions in Botswana.
A year ago we ran a matching campaign and again in the spring of 2016 we contributed additional funds totaling around $3,500. Not a huge amount, but one of the things I like about Marnus is his ability to operate on a shoe string and get results. Then we had the pleasure of spending a day in the bush with him last October.
For the past couple of months Marnus and I have talked regularly. Changes were in the wind and he was keeping us informed. After a successful three years protecting lions from irate farmers it is with mixed emotions I share the following with you.
Direct from Walking For Lions
Greetings lion lovers,
After our three-year project in Botswana where we focused on reducing lion conflict between farmers and free roaming lions have come to an end. Generally study permits are granted over a certain time frame and by the end of completion, the footsteps left behind should have supported or empowered local people living with lions.
Our data has shown a large decline of predation on livestock by lions and most of the farmers that we worked with have adapted the deterrent too what suits them. The ultimate goal that any organization would like to reach is to have empowered local people and in trusted them to do the right thing. We believe that most farmers have adapted a new mindset towards carnivores and with the tools provided to them (education and deterrent systems) we hope that they will continue this mind set towards predators and take care of their historical heritage.
Walking for Lions is an organization that has walked, cycled and supported local communities and lions in the field. The journey thus far has broadened our horizons and showed some horrific and real ‘ day to day’ problems that will never be solved overnight.
The picture you see and the picture we see is difficult to bring together as they differ greatly. We will take a few drastic steps towards changing our aims and goals as what we saw requires different steps which we would like to embrace in due time. We will re structure several aspects as mentioned and will let you know when the time comes when you can act and where YOUR voice will be heard more than you might think.
But before we say to much we will be in touch shortly, just need a short break before we return to the action where we do our best to project the free roaming lions of Africa.
Marnus, we wish you and Lucy well. Rest assured that we will be here and ready to get back in the action upon your return.