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Blood Lions wins prestigious international award and acknowledgement

THE Blood Lions campaign continues to go from strength to strength both locally and abroad. And in recognition of this, the film and campaign have been honoured twice in the last few months.

In April, Plett resident Ian Michler travelled with producer Pippa Hankinson and executive producer Dr Andrew Venter to New York to attend a gala fund-raising event that lauded them for Blood Lions, alongside Dr Craig Packer – one of Africa’s most experienced lion scientists.

This was followed by the film winning a Genesis Award from the Humane Society, USA, of which films such as The Cove, Blackfish and Virunga have been past winners.

Ian also spent a week in Washington DC in March to attend the National Geographic sponsored Environmental Film Festival where Blood Lions was being screened.

On both these trips, Ian and his fellow campaign leaders were involved in presentations and discussions lobbying government officials and the wider conservation community, as well as members of the travel industry.

Late in May, Ian heads back to the USA to at-tend Telluride Mountain-film (www.mountainfilm. org/festival) – one of the world’s most acclaimed environmental festivals.

And then later in the year, the campaign swings back to Europe where there will be parliamentary screen-ings in a number of coun-tries including Spain, Italy and Finland.

The European campaign was given a massive boost recently when The Neth-erlands became the third country after Australia and France to ban the importation of lion trophies.

Locally, after the Conservation Lab held at Spier in Stellenbosch recently, almost every major safari and ecotourism operator committed to supporting a pledge against all predator breeding and the range of exploitative tourism activities using lions and other predators.

The film was screened at Indaba in Durban last weekend, and will also be represented at WTM in London during November.