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Nyanga, the White Lioness: City of Jo’burg spares her life.

 NOW: The Quest For Sanctuary

 A huge THANK YOU to our inspired and activated network and community of supporters and lovers of Mother Earth and her creatures, for your adding your voice to the petition calling to spare Nyanga’s life and to grant her sanctuary at Tsau White Lion Sanctuary, which exceeded 5 000 signatures from over 55 countries. Thank you also for adding your prayers to the prayer-appeal, which culminated on Freedom day, the 27th April 2012 at midday.

The wonderful news is that the City of Jo’burg resolved to spare her life last week. We would like to acknowledge the responsible and insightful action undertaken by the City of Johannesburg, Executive Mayor Tau and Counsellor Vondo and their team in granting the White Lioness Nyanga preservation and sanctuary.

 What is now of critical importance is the decision around the choice of sanctuary Mayor Tau and Counsellor Vondo will make for her relocation.

 In an email to Executive Mayor Tau and Counsellor Vondo, the Global White Lion Protection Trust (GWLPT) has reiterated our appeal and offer to relocate Nyanga from the Johannesburg Zoo’s Parys facility to Tsau White Lion Sanctuary, under the strictest protocols and standards as aligned with the guidelines of the NSPCA’s principles of excellent animal welfare sanctuary.

 Given the background of widespread, unpoliced canned trophy malpractices and mercantile animal trading in South Africa, our organization has grave concerns that she may endup in one of many disreputable operations posing as a “sanctuaries”. Our community of supporters has risen to the occasion spectacularly, with 15 000+ signatures gathered demanding Nyanga’s relocation to Tsau White Lion Sanctuary and an end to canned hunting practices.

 In one of our letters to the Johannesburg City Council, we cautioned that South Africa’s Canned Hunting and Captive Breeding industry is a “dangerous accident waiting to happen”.

 “By killing a staff member after a gate to her cage was left open, Nyanga has highlighted the high risks of having lions in captivity public access and commercial gain.”

 We pointed out that it is notable that the Johannesburg Zoo is one of the most responsible and ethical operators dealing with captive animals today, and has a specific non-breeding non-cub handling policy. By contrast, the captive breeding – Canned Hunting industry has no such qualms.

 We warned that unless a prohibition is placed on this reprehensible industry, as the public have been promised by no less than three Ministers of Environment over the past decade, it is inevitable that another fatality will occur – and soon. The next time a human life is taken, it is unlikely to be an experienced zoo official, but instead an unwitting member of the public, and most likely of all, an innocent child who has been badly advised by their parent or their school to go “pet” or “walk with” a lion.

These pressing matters intersect with critical protection of cultural heritage issues. Harmony Khosa made an impassioned plea to Mayor Tau and Counsellor Vondo, informing them that White Lions are a cultural heritage celebrated in this specific region, and Nyanga the White Lioness is known by reputation and regarded as family because she is named after a famous Tsonga Medicine Woman, Maria Khosa, whose family are well-known local community leaders. 

See his plea here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oO-QvztSEvE

 In protecting the White Lions as an environmental and cultural heritage, our organization upholds section 24 in the Constitution which states:

  1. Everyone has the right to have the environment protected, for the benefit of present and future generations, through reasonable legislative and other measures that ….
  2. promote conservation
  3. secure ecologically sustainable development and use of natural resources while promoting justifiable economic and social development.