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Posts tagged ‘lions’

Massai Kicked Out of Homeland?

Dear friends,

Within hours, Tanzania’s President Kikwete could start evicting tens of thousands of the Maasai from our land so hunters can come and kill leopards and lions. Last time Avaaz raised the alarm, the President shelved the plan. Global pressure can stop him again.

We are elders of the Maasai from Tanzania, one of Africa’s oldest tribes. The government has just announced that it plans to kick thousands of our families off our lands so that wealthy tourists can use them to shoot lions and leopards. The evictions are to begin immediately.

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Last year, when word first leaked about this plan, almost one million Avaaz members rallied to our aid. Your attention and the storm it created forced the government to deny the plan, and set them back months. But the President has waited for international attention to die down, and now he’s revived his plan to take our land. We need your help again, urgently.

President Kikwete may not care about us, but he has shown he’ll respond to global media and public pressure — to all of you! We may only have hours. Please stand with us to protect our land, our people and our world’s most majestic animals, and tell everyone before it is too late. This is our last hope:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/stand_with_the_maasai_loc/?bMPbqab&v=23732

Our people have lived off the land in Tanzania and Kenya for centuries. Our communities respect our fellow animals and protect and preserve the delicate ecosystem. But the government has for years sought to profit by giving rich princes and kings from the Middle East access to our land to kill. In 2009, when they tried to clear our land to make way for these hunting sprees, we resisted, and hundreds of us were arrested and beaten. Last year, rich princes shot at birds in trees from helicopters. This killing goes against everything in our culture.

Now the government has announced it will clear a huge swath of our land to make way for what it claims will be a wildlife corridor, but many suspect it’s just a ruse to give a foreign hunting corporation and the rich tourists it caters to easier access to shoot at majestic animals. The government claims this new arrangement is some sort of accommodation, but its effect on our people’s way of life will be disastrous. There are thousands of us who could have our lives uprooted, losing our homes, the land on which our animals graze, or both.

President Kikwete knows this deal would be controversial with Tanzania’s tourists – a critical source of national income – and does not want a big PR disaster. If we can urgently generate even more global outrage than we did before, and get the media writing about it, we know it can make him think twice. Stand with us now to call on Kikwete to stop the sell off:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/stand_with_the_maasai_loc/?bMPbqab&v=23732

This land grab could spell the end for the Maasai in this part of Tanzania and many of our community have said they would rather die than be forced from their homes. On behalf of our people and the animals who graze in these lands, please stand with us to change the mind of our President.

With hope and determination,

The Maasai elders of Ngorongoro District

The Lion Lady

Gabriel –

I think I’m starting to be known as “that Lion Lady”. First, I started a petition to get a restaurant in Kansas to stop serving lion meat (we won!), and then I started another to get the FDA to ban lion meat throughout the country. But I can’t help it — I do this all because lions’ very existence is at risk.

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Now, I’m ecstatic: we have an unprecedented chance to save African lions by getting them on the Endangered Species List. Listing them would not only keep lion meat off American plates but would save thousands of lions by addressing one of the biggest threats to the African lion population — trophy hunting.

But just like restaurateurs opposed my petition to get lion meat out of a Kansas restaurant, wealthy American hunters are fighting to keep African lions off the Endangered Species List so they can continue to bring their bodies home as trophies. Our time is short — the government body in charge of the list is factoring public opinion into its decision and the public comment period ends on Monday.

That’s why I started a new petition on Change.org calling on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service not to bow to pressure from hunters and to place the African lion on the Endangered Species List. Click here to sign my petition now.

In the past fifty years, the African lion population declined by as much as 90%. Many of the lion prides that do exist today are so genetically weak from being small and isolated by international borders that they can’t promise a future for African lions.

Legal trophy hunting is a major cause of African lions’ decline — and two thirds of the African lions killed by trophy hunters end up in the U.S. That’s thousands of lions!

Americans hold the key to saving the African lion. An Endangered Species listing would ban any lion parts or bodies from being imported into the U.S. — a huge deterrent to hunters who want to go on safari and bring back a trophy — as well as stop the sale of lion meat nationwide.

Click here to sign my petition, calling on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to designate the African lion as an endangered species now before its public comment period ends on Monday.

Thank you.

Cheryl Semcer (aka “The Lion Lady”!)
Hoboken, New Jersey
Change.org

Killing Lions for Profit

Dear Friends,

Hundreds of South African lions are being slaughtered to make bogus sex potions for men. But we can stop this cruel trade by hitting the government where it hurts — the tourism industry.

A global ban on tiger bone sales has traders hunting a new prize — the majestic lions. Lions are farmed under appalling conditions in South Africa for “canned hunting”, where rich tourists pay thousands to shoot them through fences. Now experts say lion bones from these killing farms are being exported to phony ‘medicine’ makers in Asia for record profits. Trade is exploding and experts fear that as prices rise, even wild lions — with only 20,000 left in Africa — will come under poaching attack.

If we can show President Zuma that this brutal trade is hurting South Africa’s image as a tourist destination, he could ban and punish the trade in lion bones. Avaaz is taking out strong ads in airports, tourism websites and magazines, but we urgently need 1 million petition signers to give the ads their force. Sign below to build our numbers fast:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/1_million_to_ban_the_lion_trade_fbb/?bMPbqab&v=15583

‘Tiger bone wine’ and other tiger-part medicines were banned after massive international outrage — now traders have shifted their attention to lions’ bones to make all kinds of bogus remedies. Experts say unless governments act now, lions could be the next in line — after tigers and rhinos — to face extinction.

There is a solution: banning and punishing the trade of lion bones and organs. South Africa is currently the largest exporter of lion trophies, bones and organs — it is also the only African country actively breeding lions in large numbers to supply trophy hunting. But if we can show that allowing this senseless trade can hurt South Africa’s booming tourism industry and make visitors flee, President Zuma could be forced to act.

Let’s build a thunderous global roar for the lions. Avaaz will show the cruelty of the lion bone trade with stinging ads — sign now:

http://www.avaaz.org/en/1_million_to_ban_the_lion_trade_fbb/?bMPbqab&v=15583

Avaaz members across the world have come together to demand strong protection for elephants and rhinos, save the world’s bees from poisonous pesticides and achieve huge marine reserves in Chagos and Australia to safeguard vulnerable marine species. Lets come together once again and stand up for Africa’s lions.

With hope, and determination,

Jamie, Alex, Antonia, Mia, Alice, Ricken, Luca, Emily and the entire Avaaz team

Three Weeks In December

Three Weeks In December by Audrey Schulman
Reviewed by Gabriel Constans
New York Journal of Books
January 31, 2012

Like the plants, people, seasons, and animal life of Africa, Three Weeks in December will stay embedded in your memory for many years to come. Once you’ve touched ground with the antagonists, there is a feeling of intimacy and knowing that rarely occurs in a novel. This vibrant creation is actually two novellas wrapped in to one volume, with the stories alternating between Jeremy in 1899 in East Africa and Max in Rwanda in the year 2000.

The contrasts between the characters are extreme—yet there is also a similarity between them. Jeremy is hired as an engineer to help build a railroad through what is now known as Tanzania, in British controlled territory, while Max is engaged as a botanist by a pharmaceutical company to find a rare plant (for commercial purposes) in the gorillas’ sanctuary of the Virunga National Park.

Jeremy is a white man who is part of “progress” and “modernization,” while also hunting and being hunted by people-eating lions. Max is a black woman who arrives in Rwanda seeking to learn, observe, discover and appreciate the people, gorillas and life she finds. Both are completely out of their element.

Jeremy and Max were alienated and ostracized in America. Jeremy, because of his sexual preference and Max because of her Asperger’s (autism). Whereas, Jeremy’s family and community shamed and ostracized his very existence, Max’s mother fought for her tooth and nail throughout her life. Her mother’s determination is described as, “She was worn down as a rock pulled from the sea. All weaknesses battered away.”

In many respects, Max’s behavior and the description of her reactions, thoughts, and feelings as an “Aspie” closely resemble the real life professor, Temple Grandin, whose life has been popularized in book and film. A superb line offers a glimpse into how one woman with Asperger’s lives within: “The loneliness of her skin.”

Once in Africa, Max and Jeremy’s social anxiety and fears are confronted with torrential monsoons of choices in their individual environments and cultural situations. In order to literally survive, they must take chances, step outside themselves and trust others—a difficult task in the best of times, let alone in the worst.

Their past realities and moral compasses are continually questioned. At one point, Max is thinking, “She marveled once again at how chameleon was the human mind—capable of shucking off a lifetime of values fast as a dirty shirt—able to angle the facts toward whatever it found convenient.”

Read complete review at New York Journal of Books.

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