Marnus loves lions.
So much so he walked and bicycled to raise funds to protect them.
When that wasn’t enough he started his own project. For three years he lived in the bush in Botswana working with farmers to find solutions to keep lions away from their meager livestock.
We spent a day with him exploring the vast terrain back in October 2015.
We interviewed two of the many farmers, who with Marnus’ encouragement and direction, were using specialized lights to keep the lions away.
For the most part it appeared to be working. Fewer lions were being killed by irate farmers.
The farmers were happy, the government seemed impressed and most of all entire lion prides were being kept safe.
Then in 2017 things changed.
Marnus found himself among those whose permit wasn’t renewed. Heartbreaking!
After months of trying Marnus let go and accepted an invitation to assess the viability of similar work in a far more remote area in the north eastern part of Namibia.
After an extensive spoor tracking survey to determine the presence of lions and other predators, and traveling from village to village to get to know the local San People… the conclusion was affirmative.
The Present – 2019
With the support of the Nyae-Nyae Conservancy leaders and the pertinent Namibian government authorities Marnus is spearheading a course correction to save an entire ecosystem.
During our recent visit a lioness was saved by redirecting her to safe area with the use of a drone. Then, with the help of Dam (Marnus’ master tracker who did a marvelous job gathering intelligence from villagers) two lionesses and cubs were identified and are now being monitored.
Although amazing… this is only a start.
Much needs to be done to stop the poisoning, illegal hunting and snaring of lions and other predators. To do this Marnus needs the consistent help of Dam and other SAN people. He needs a whole group of Wildlife Shepherds.
To get this started Marnus is constructing a simple camp. With the help of local SAN women beer bottles will be filled with sand. The men will use these to build a simple basic hut. Along with Marnus’ existing tents this will form the base camp for him and Dam (his wife and family.)
From this very simple beginning a team of Wildlife Shepherds will be trained to increase the reach for protecting lions and their home.
Although Marnus is the most frugal and resourceful person we know money is of course needed.
The Needs: Fuel (the distances are vast); Remuneration (for Dam and his trainee Wildlife Shepherds); Food (to feed all while in camp); Basic camp equipment (from tents to water jugs); Basic tracking supplies (like cellphone credit to share intell.)