In the news…
A lot has happened at the Kevin Richardson Foundation in the last three months. In this issue we are going to fill you in on the amazing results of our #LandforLions crowdfunding campaign, reveal some of the drama that has unfolded at the Kevin Richardson Wildlife Sanctuary, catch up with our friends AfriCat in Namibia, show you a video of one of our directors skydiving and give you a 101 Lesson in How to track leopards with our foundation ambassador, Rodney Nombekana. Enjoy!
Land4Lions: Our community breaks records!
On the 6th of July the foundation launched an ambitious campaign to raise money to secure the Kevin Richardson Wildlife Sanctuary and protect surrounding wildlife habitat in perpetuity. No one expected the response we received; meeting our dream goal of R1,900,000 in just one month!! Not only did we meet our goal but we surpassed it, raising just over R2,7 milion over the course of ninety days. We began this campaign not knowing what to expect and whether anyone would even participate and in the end we broke the record for the largest crowdfunding campaign on Thundafund – Africa’s leading crowdfunding platform. To those who supported with donations, or with simply sharing this message – thank you!
FIRE AT THE SANCTUARY!
On 5th September a fire broke out in the Dinokeng Game Reserve and within a few hours it had changed direction and began moving towards the Kevin Richardson Wildlife Sanctuary. The staff and volunteers looked on with horror as the sky lit up with furious flames. With Kevin traveling abroad he anxiously awaited updates from his team and was relieved and proud to hear that his team had handled the crisis superbly. Tragically a neighbor was badly burnt by the fire and succumbed to his injuries. Our condolences and thoughts are with his family. Foundation Director Caroline Edmonds was on site at the time and along with camp Manager Edward de Kock, they recall the drama of this day.
How to Track a Leopard.
Our ambassador Rodney Nombekana is a field guide in South African national parks and game reserves as well as an aspiring photographer. Rodney is getting pretty famous for his successful leopard sightings with his guests, and with leopard being the master of elusion, we sat down with Rodney to get the inside scoop on how to track this exquisite cat as well as see some of Rodney’s favourite leopard sightings.
Foundation Director jumps out of plane for lions!
Since coming on board as a director to the foundation, Caroline Edmonds seems to have developed a taste for adrenalin. This summer she visited former Kevin Richardson Wildlife Sanctuary volunteer Sarah Lenza in Colorado Springs, USA and the two decided to do a skydive to raise awareness for the foundation amongst their friends and family. We didn’t really believe Caroline when she told us she had just freefallen for a whole of 45 seconds – and then we saw this video! Caroline is definitely committed to the cause and the two brave ladies raised US$2,000 for the foundation! We will keep you updated on what she gets up to… there are murmurings of some #bobsledding4Bobcat happening next year!
There is a man, protecting lions… day and night.
If you think we are talking about Kevin, you are wrong! Kevin enjoys an early night in and prefers the familiar landscape of bushveld and rivers to the harsh Namibian desert. Nonetheless Kevin set out for the Okonjima Reserve and Hobatere Concession of Namibia to visit our friends and partners at AfriCat Namibia and meet their incredible lion guards.
A National Embarrassment: South Africa sells bones to the East.
Last month our foundation manager and one of our directors made their way to South Africa’s parliament in Cape Town to attend a colloquium held to discuss the issues surrounding the captive lion breeding industry. The colloquium followed the shocking news that South Africa’s government had almost doubled the legal export quota of lion bones from 800 skeletons in 2017, to 1,500 skeletons in 2018…
One of our directors visited the Kruger National Park last month, she saw the above scene and had the below thought:
“I have just spent 5 wonderful days in Kruger Park. I saw huge herds of elephant and buffalo, so many giraffes that I lost count and 8 leopard including two that were mating. What a privilege! The traffic was not bad either and there wasn’t an overwhelming number of trucks at these sightings, until I saw this. What caused the jam? Everyone wants to see lions and were not disappointed by these beauties chilling out after a kill. However, how many people stuck in the traffic know of the plight of lions, or realise that perhaps sightings like this one could have a ‘short sell by date’?