DIRECTOR AND SPECIAL CONSULTANT
Ian Michler is a safari operator, specialist wilderness guide, consultant and environmental photojournalist. He has lived and worked across Africa for the last 29 years. His feature articles, diaries and blogs documenting the major conservation challenges facing Africa, and especially those on predator breeding and trophy hunting are well known to readers of a number of award winning publications and magazines. He is an ecotourism consultant for both private and government sectors, and currently channels his conservation work through The Conservation Action Trust. Ian is also a member of the International League of Conservation Writers, and is author of seven natural History and travel books on various African countries. Prior to his life in the wilderness, Ian was a partner in one of South Africa’s leading stockbroking firms. He is a co-founder and owner of Invent Africa Safaris (www.inventafrica.com), a specialist safari company that runs trips to 15 countries across the continent, and is a Director of Eden to Addo (www.edentoaddo.co.za), a successful regional corridor conservation initiative. He is currently enrolled at Stellenbosch University where he is a part-time student for a Masters in Sustainable Development.
Pippa’s career in high-end eco-tourism across Southern Africa spanned more than 20 years. After working with a number of well-known large hotel chains, she soon discovered her interest lay in smaller, privately owned game lodges and hotels. Her company, Classic Portfolio, was responsible for the international positioning and branding of a select collection of high-end, privately owned properties across Southern Africa. For the next ten years following the sale of the business in 2001, she served as a Trustee on the boards of a number of conservation organisations in South Africa, whilst simultaneously supporting various environmental initiatives close to her heart. Eighteen months after her first visit to a captive breeding farm in 2011, Pippa founded Regulus Vision Pty Ltd to produce the feature documentary, Blood Lions®, which premiered in July 2015. She is now actively involved in the Blood Lions Campaign which was launched immediately after the film’s release, and which is aimed at creating global awareness and to help bring an end to captive predator breeding and ‘canned’ hunting in South Africa.
DIRECTOR AND MARKETING MANAGER
Nicola has worked in the travel and tourism industry for over 12 years and, with formal marketing honours qualifications, has found a niche in communicating the attractions of Southern Africa to a global audience. With a deep passion for Africa and its wildlife, she expanded her focus into the conservation sector where she works to raise awareness about this spectacular continent while also highlighting some of the major threats facing it’s great wilderness. Nicola joined the Blood Lions team in the post production stages of the documentary to manage the digital media marketing of the film and drive it’s global campaign.
YOUTHFORLIONS DIGITAL MARKETING MANAGER
Janelle was hands-on and fully involved in the initial launch of the Blood Lions Documentary back in 2015 whilst she was still completing her studies. She then went on to work for some renowned corporate companies in the marketing space and committed herself to climbing the corporate ladder. Although happy with her line of work, she missed the fulfillment of working in the conservation space. She has recently rejoined the team where she now runs the digital marketing for YouthForLions.
Dr Louise de Waal
With an academic and research background in environmental management and a passion for Africa and wildlife conservation, Louise’s career focus has evolved over time. Starting her career in 1990 in academia, she later founded Baobab Travel in 2002, a tour operator fully dedicated to providing sustainable tourism services in Africa. Following the sale of the business 12 years later, she continued as a freelance sustainable tourism consultant with Green Girls in Africa assisting tourism businesses to travel the road to sustainability. During this time Louise spearheaded the #HandsOffOurWildlife campaign in response to the many unethical and often cruel captive wildlife encounters on offer in our South African tourism space. The campaign aimed to create greater awareness around these issues by educating the public and the tourism industry at large. During this time, she already started to work with the Blood Lions team. More recently, Louise became instrumental in the establishment of the Coalition “To Stop the Captive Breeding and Keeping of Lions and other Big Cats for Commercial Purposes”. She is the Coordinator and sits on its Steering Committee, lobbying with Governmental and other stakeholders involved in this space.
Cath is a Criminologist who recently completed her Masters research on rhino poachers in KwaZulu-Natal. Born and raised in Durban, she has an inherent love for wildlife and conservation having spent many family holidays at game reserves across South Africa. She is passionate about wildlife conservation, research and educating the youth about ethical conservation and wildlife crimes such as lion and rhino poaching. Cath fulfils the role of the Blood Lions and ‘YouthForLions’ campaign coordinator.
BLOOD LIONS TRAILER
A documentary feature film that blows the lid off claims made by the predator breeding and canned hunting industries.
Breeding magnificent wild creatures like lions in camps so that they can be slaughtered for ego and money is unconscionable and should be outlawed. Lions have the right to live in the wild and to continue playing their unique role within the ecological communities of Africa. The continued existence of the canned hunting industry is a moral outrage that diminishes us all. This important film shines a light into the dark corners of this ugly business.
Cruel, barbaric, macabre – all words used by Australian MPs about lion farming and the canned lion hunting industry in SA. Our campaign was glad to be able to assist and participate in a full length documentary that aims to expose a brutal industry whose whole business model is routine, egregious cruelty to helpless animals – for fun.
“As a travel and conservation based organization, we find the “Blood Lions” documentary deeply disturbing. Despite being hard to watch, we urge people to get out there and see it. It is important to shed light on the dark and corrupt business of rearing lions for the purposes of hunting, in hopes of making a positive change. As we polled our membership, we found that individually each of our companies have chosen to stop booking all activities that contribute to this industry.”
South Africa’s failure to address the canned hunting industry has emboldened those who make a living out of the death of lions bred, raised and slaughtered on a ‘no kill, no fee’ basis. The canned hunting industry is unnatural, unethical and unacceptable. It delivers compromised animal welfare and zero education. It undermines conservation and creates a moral vacuum now inhabited by the greed and grotesque self-importance of those who derive pleasure in the taking of life.
Blood Lions lays bare the truth behind the canned hunting industry that, far from contributing to the future survival of the species, may, in fact, accelerate extinction in the wild, leaving behind a trail littered with rotting corpses of its helpless and hopeless victims.
The Marchig Animal Welfare Trust, in providing support for the making of this Documentary, does so in the firm belief that it is important that the true facts behind captive lion breeding and canned lion hunting in South Africa, is brought to the attention of a global audience in order to create awareness which in turn will lead to much needed change.
With the constant pressure on wildlife, every effort must be made to keep our last vestiges of natural fauna and flora protected. Canned hunting of any kind, along with the related consequences, must be condemned by humanity as not only a travesty of nature but also an utterly inhumane practise. Taming lion cubs only to later hunt them is an utterly inhumane practice. It is pseudo-hunting, a complete sham and does not even qualify as hunting on a sustainable use basis. Wildlife conservation has to evolve into practices that are ethical, humanitarian and sustainable. This will not be achieved if there is not real and fair community involvement which has not been part of the hunting fraternity’s evolution.
“Canned lion ‘hunting’ is nothing less than a bargain basement opportunity for foreign hunters to engage in one of South Africa’s most sordid practices. Hunting of captive bred lions entirely dependent on human fingerprints from cub to trophy is immoral, unethical and against all animal welfare concerns. The fact that it still continues as profitable commerce is a damning statement against all of us who have not properly engaged to snuff it out. Blood Lions is a good start to bring change.”
Dr Pieter Kat – Director: LionAid