Who are the Saviours of Big Cats?
It’s a question we all must ask ourselves… who will step up and help big cats?
Over the years our team at Captured In Africa has been committed to responsible tourism, whilst raising awareness about various issues that directly affect the conservation of big cats, both in the wild and bred in captivity. We feel it is our duty to use the opportunity we have been given to make a difference in this field.
With this philosophy in mind, the Captured In Africa Foundation was launched in 2016 to support ongoing efforts for the protection, relocation or rescue of vulnerable big cats and other wildlife, both in the wild and exploited captive situations. To help further the reach of the Foundation, we have recently partnered with KDT Communications, Kerryn and Kirsty Du Toit, along with celebrity Foundation ambassadors actress & model Anji Woodley and Professional Rugby Player Robbie Coetzee.
On Sunday 17th July, the foundation set out at the rather dark and early hour of 4am along with Kerryn, Kirsty and Anji to head for Lionsrock Big Cat Sanctuary in the Free State. In doing such educational trips, Captured In Africa hope to enlighten not only our ambassadors and sponsors, but the subsequent wide spread public awareness achieved by having such passionate people and companies join us in our mission to create Conservation Awareness.
LIONSROCK, a lifelong home…
Lionsrock a project headed up by Fourpaws International, which provides a lifelong home for big cats that were kept in inadequate conditions in zoos and breeding facilities worldwide. Fourpaws International have been to some of the most remote locations and facilitated the rescue of some of the most poorly treated big cats around the globe. Their facility in Bethlehem, South Africa envisages everything Captured in Africa supports in ethical sanctuaries – of which there are sadly few.
Once at Lionsrock we were welcomed with great hospitality and met with a lovely breakfast and coffee to help warm us up and get us going, we were also honoured to not only meet Islam Sadaawi, the GM of Lionsrock, but to have him join us on part of the drive through the sanctuary. Between him and our guide Donald, we were given a day that will surely not be forgotten. Needless to say, the day was a highly emotional one, and words don’t adequately describe what was felt by all.
- Irresponsible and dilapidated zoo’s around the world, resulting in a lack of care & standard for big cats
- Captive breeding of big cats in South Africa for the canned hunting industry (lions & tigers are both bred in South Africa)
- Captive breeding of lions & tigers for the tourist cub petting & walking with lions industry
- Lack of responsible legislation and permitting systems which allow private individuals to own big cats
- Tiger bone market has already helped decimate the tiger population
- Lion bone market is now a major threat to lion populations, with a ‘legal’ lion bone trade in existence supplied from captive bred lions and fuelling this gruesome captive breeding industry
Lions in the wild = 20,000
Lions in captivity (in South Africa alone) = 7,000
Tigers in the wild = 3,600
Tigers in captivity (in USA alone) = 5,000
“It’s a pull; a calling and an awakening. This trip was full of education to me. Thank you to the staff at Lionsrock for treating us like real VIP’s and allowing us to see more than what the public normally do. To the Captured in Africa team – THANK YOU. My calling is back and the fire inside ignited – I am READY TO TAKE ON THE WORLD for these animals!” ~ Kerryn Du Toit, KDT Communications
“You hear the stories and you see the pics, but being able to stand in front of an animal that you have heard so much about is priceless. To know what they have endured in their lives before Lionsrock is gruelling, but to then stand and see them at peace, relaxed and to see them in a space that I know to be happy, is indescribable. Lionsrock as a whole was mind-blowing!” ~ Kirsty Du Toit, KDT Communications.
Ideally all big cats and all wildlife; should be wild & free, but unfortunately that is an ideal we have not been afforded. With this in mind Captured In Africa will continue to promote conservation through responsible tourism and support ethical & responsible sanctuaries such as Fourpaws Lionsrock and the incredible and often heartbreaking work they do.
Captured In Africa wish to thank Lionsrock & Fourpaws for their continued efforts for wildlife, along with welcoming us on the day. Thank you also to KDT Communications, Anji Woodley and Robbie Coetzee.
To learn more about our non-profit Captured In Africa Foundation, please click here