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Old Sep 22nd, 2006, 04:52 PM
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once again, thanks for the info Predator.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2006, 07:21 AM
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I too wish to thank PB for looking into this further. Actually I first found the info about the Lion Walk on the Africa Impact website - but being a newbie to Africa and this forum I really wanted to hear from those of you more experienced.
Dennis - I hope your trip is wonderful and I can't wait to hear your impressions of the Lion Walk (and everything else of course)
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Old Sep 24th, 2006, 11:55 AM
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Hi All,
I did the Lion Walk last year. It was very disturbing for me! I walked with lions the same age as I had seen out in the bush fending for themselves, and these lions were "moved along" in the heat of the day with long bamboo type sticks that they had obviously been hit with on other occasions. My guide in Botswana's wife works for the Lion Walk company, and he said that it is not exactly what they make it out to be. They certainly would not need so many males to breed with the females for a breeding colony, and canned hunting IS quite legal and profitable in S.A. I would advise anyone who is going to make up your own mind, however my dollars will not be supporting this endeavor. When I was there last year, they told us that they had a facility for the phase twos already active- hhmmmmmm now they just got one.... quite interesting! What happened to all the lion "cubs" that have grown up in the mean time???I am quit esure that the beautiful male that I was with has been shot to death by some hunter, after being bottle fed by a human- OKAY off the soapbox for me- somebody push me quick!!!! Suzi
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Old Nov 21st, 2006, 07:43 PM
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I did the Lion Encounter Walk two weeks ago and LOVED it!
The van from Safari Par Excellence picked us up at six thirty to take us to the Lion Encounter. We were shown a short video, signed waivers and told of the dangers we would face, then off to see the lions! Some of you reading this think itís politically incorrect or whatever to be doing this, I saw it as a chance of a lifetime, didnít know all the answers as to right or wrong, but I wanted to do it and I did. It was an incredible time and I enjoyed every minute spent with the lions, donít regret it and would do it again. There are four stages in this rehabilitation/release program. First stage is breeding and the Lion Encounter walks where they get the money for to support the program. Second stage is the lions go to an area with game and human contact and are taught to hunt. Third stage is the lions are put in a ten thousand acre area with game and no human contact. Fourth stage is the release. They currently have fourteen lions ready to be released. Seven into Zambia and seven into Zimbabwe are scheduled in the near future. CITES is watching the release program and if successful will offer grants to keep the program going. Any area or country that then needs lions will be offered them. The lions who donít make it past stage two are sent back to the breeding program. They said they donít sell to zoos or canned hunts, but I didnít understand what happens if they have too many that donít make it past stage one. Anyway, it was great! Came upon our first three lions aged twelve to fourteen months old. We all got to pet them, hug them and take our pictures with them. We spent about a half hour with them, then walked around (holding their tails) for awhile. Most of the time the lions were laying down trying to sleep as they do in the wild, and as most house cats do too. Then to the other part of the compound where there were two cubs four months old. They were the cutest things! Just like house kittens, playing with each other and full of mischief! We got to play with them, take pictures and enjoy watching their antics! Their fur is rougher than I thought it would be and they purr. Cute, cute, cute! They walked with us for a short time, then to the lodge for breakfast and back to the hotel. It was fun, exciting and I can say I petted lions, one of the highlights of this trip. Such beautiful animals, I hope the program is successful so more of these creatures can be released back into the wilds of Africa.
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Old Nov 22nd, 2006, 12:21 PM
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THANKYOU for coming back on this post Dennis - it sounds AWESOME! I have been buried of late under staplers, hiliters, pencils and accounting records, so I have not finished your report yet, but plan to finish it on the bus this week. Can't wait to look at your pictures of the Lion Walk also - I glanced last night at midnight, but was so tired I couldn't quite see where the lions were. (hmmm, song comes to mind....'wonder where the lions are'....).

I will look in detail tonight!
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Old Nov 22nd, 2006, 03:04 PM
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Lynda, at midnight all the lions go to Angola!
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Old Nov 22nd, 2006, 04:36 PM
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HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Safarimama! You made my day!
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Old Dec 18th, 2007, 12:51 AM
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Hi

My name is David Youldon, Chief Operating Officer for ALERT, the organization that is behind the Lion Encounter in Victoria Falls. There are a lot of posts on this site, and clearly a lot of misinformation about we do has gotten around.

If you do have any questions at all you can download our information pack at www.lionalert.org, read updates on the facebook group African Lion & Environmental Research Trust on www.facebook.com, see our blog at www.safaritalk.net or just email me direct at [email protected]

Thanks you
David
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Old Dec 18th, 2007, 09:01 AM
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David, I am fairly new to this site compared to many others, however you may want to start a new thread versus your reply here as more people may see it. There have been numerous comments on a variety of other threads, so thanks for coming in with some representation.

I am only sorry I did not know about the Lion Walk when I was in Vic Falls last month. Ironically, caught the movie "Walk with Lions" last night, and wish I had visited your program.

Good luck, tours like yours and Gerald's at Elephant Outreach do help educate people on many issues surrounding these and other animals. Everyone has different opinions on what both of you do, so hang on for an assortment of mindsets.





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Old Dec 19th, 2007, 04:53 PM
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I looked into the Lion Walk project awhile ago, searching for wildlife volunteer programs. African Impact has two seemingly identical lion rehabilitation programs: the one in Victoria Falls and another in Antelope Park. Both require a 3-8 week volunteer commitment. The url is:
http://www.africanimpact.com/projects/ZIM-VF1/
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