Sacred and Wild
A Campaign for the Freedom of all Lions
Expert interspecies communicator and founder of AnimalTalk Africa, Wynter Worsthorne, has been advising and supporting wildlife organisations such as the Global White Lion Protection Trust and Baboon Matters Trust for nearly 20 years. She is also a member of the Lion Coalition with 43 international organisations working together to bring an end to the Captive Lion Breeding Industry in South Africa.
After a tragic incident where the owner of two mature white lionesses was killed by them, an appeal was made to the Global White Lion Protection Trust to take the lionesses, Alpha & Omega, in for safekeeping. These lionesses had been part of a commercial “Walking with Lions” operation – a controversial practice which is now widely offered across South Africa.
Although the Global White Lion Protection Trust has been campaigning against the commercialization of wildlife for decades, and does not keep habituated lions, Linda Tucker agreed to take temporary custody of the lioness sisters to ensure their best interests. After long deliberations, and to secure their dignified future, the leading conservation organization made the decision to take full responsibility for them.
Message to Humanity
Wynter Worsthorne (founder of AnimalTalk Africa) supports the Global White Lion Protection Trust’s decision to keep the lionesses, so that their true message can be shared and heard. Their message to humanity is a demand that the apex predator be respected as Sacred and Wild. No wild animal should be allowed to be tamed and/or used as a commodity, no matter how physically loved and cared for they are by humans.
Wynter, along with the HEART Pride (an international group of experienced interspecies communicators) actively tuned into the lionesses’ message – and this is what they picked up:
G – HEART Pride member, USA:
“I feel a lot of sadness – with this is the awareness that for such kings/royalty to be so disrespected, so deeply disrespected is very sad and ‘out of order’ out of alignment with Nature… One of them almost ‘gave up’ and her sister helped her through this. The treatment (exploitive/disrespect etc.) in the past aged her, took a toll on her physically. She felt like fighting back and wanted to. She wants justice. I feel now questions coming: ‘What are you going to do? Are you going to act? Are you going to right a wrong?” It is really going deeper than what they went through – it is justice for all life, it is about bringing back respect for the great mother/father, for Nature. This is about man’s inhumanity to all Nature.”
A – HEART Pride member, UK:
“…I felt that the lionesses want closure and a new start… From a position of respect, not exploitation.
The sense I received from Omega was that these false structures create harmful conflicts – not just those we can see, but inner conflicts that can be just as damaging. She was never allowed to express her natural instincts in an appropriate way and was punished when they came out in a way that humans didn’t like, she has conflicting emotions about her keeper, and ultimately expressing who she is as a wild animal led to her current grief – all of which creates confusion and emotional turmoil for her. Perhaps humans have created similar conflicts within ourselves.”
Captive Lion Breeding
“Canned-hunting” refers to the practice of breeding wild animals who are hand-reared, tamed and often sedated, when they are hunted in a fenced-in enclosure. While these set-ups often have a “wildlife” appearance, the animals have absolutely no hope of escape.
In this notorious industry, lions are taken from their mother at birth, and habituated to humans through cub-petting and other interactions. These lions can never find their way back to the wild, and most are shot by trophy hunters and/or exported as skeletons to the East where they are used in “tiger bone wine” and other pseudo traditional medicines (known as the “lion-bone trade”).
By taking her cubs away within days of their birth, the breeders force the lioness mothers back into estrus, resulting in them becoming “breeding machines”. By contrast, lionesses in the wild generally only come back into estrus when their cubs reach maturity.
Alpha and Omega were born into the canned-hunting industry, before being removed and used for commercial lion walking.
Alpha and Omega’s message of zero tolerance started the “Sacred and Wild” Campaign.
No wild animal should have the past that they have had – one of captivity, exploitation and tragedy. They are white lions, the apex predator of the African Bushveldt, held sacred by the indigenous people who live in their endemic homeland.
The greater Timbavati region in South Africa is the only place in the world where these rare white lions occur naturally.
Alpha and Omega showed humanity just how dangerous it is to cage wild animals and to assume that the conditional human love that they have been shown, will keep them tame and negate their true wild nature. Genuine love for Nature does not mean smothering with hugs and kisses and wanting to own and keep them for human playthings – it means letting wild animals be wild and free.
Because they are habituated to humans they cannot be allowed to be released into the wild with the other pride members. However, at the Global White Lion Protection Trust, they will be able to be live out their days in a large wild space, where they will be able to do their sacred work and share their message, which is to end the commoditization of all lions.
Some words from Wynter:
“Alpha and Omega’s message of ‘No More!” is clear. We need to support their message and honour their presence by giving them the best possible space and care. It is no accident that this incident happened in the Greater Timbavati area, where White Lions have been removed from their endemic homelands for decades, to be used for the Captive Lion Breeding Industry.
Please support them and their message by contributing to their care and welfare costs. The Global White Lion Protection Trust is dedicated to the freedom of all lions and has never been a sanctuary for habituated lions. Alpha and Omega will be the first ambassadors there for all lions who have been shown such disregard of their sacred and wild natures.”
The timing of the launch of the Sacred and Wild Campaign to support Alpha and Omega and to share their message was just before Minister of environment, Barbara Creecy, announced that South Africa must end their Captive Lion Breeding industry.
Divine Timing indeed.