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Zimbabwe??

Yes. Zimbabwe! Since the Cecil Safari event in August of 2017 was announced, we have had an amazing response. There are still a few openings for those lucky enough to be able to join us. In addition to the enthusiastic responses we’ve received to providing the opportunity to visit Cecil’s territory, see his pride and the other magnificent game at Hwange National Park, we’ve had a number of Community members question our decision to go to Zimbabwe. After all, we’ve heard (i) the government there is corrupt, (ii) they do little to protect their own threatened and endangered species and in fact sell them to be shipped abroad, (iii) hunting is a significant part of the economy surrounding Hwange and (iv) they let both Palmer and Bronkhorst get away with killing Cecil. All true. Very regretfully true. So what, you might ask, would make us return to Zimbabwe and invite others to join us? Why would we promote tourism to a country with such a dismal record in animal welfare? How could we encourage travel there? We are happy to have the chance to address these questions, as our return is the direct result of all of the above truths. […]

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Cecil, one year later….

“It is said that the male lion will often sacrifice itself for the good of the pride. Lions live in a very spiritual world” – Somalisa Concession guide’s words to Mark and Pamela Robinson, August 2014 in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe. And so began our introduction to Cecil the Lion and pride on a warm afternoon on Day One of our visit to Africa and Hwange National Park. Words that have taken on far greater significance in light of events that took place less than a year later. We were relaxing in Italy after a friend’s wedding in the beautiful Piedmonte region when we received a text informing us that Cecil had been killed. We had spent two afternoons the prior summer filming and photographing Cecil and pride. We were absolutely crushed. We still are. Of all the memories of three amazing weeks traveling in Africa, none had the impact that our time with Cecil had. On the first outing, Cecil’s partner Jericho was roaring in the distance and Cecil, resting while the females lay behind him with the cubs hidden under a large branch pile, got up to see what Jericho was up to. Slowly he walked from 100 […]

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Brent Stapelkamp’s response to our Facebook post, “Ask an Expert.”

He replied to the questions on the page. Brent Stapelkamp: Hi everyone, sorry for the delay but I am on some well deserved time off after several weeks of mayhem and didn’t see this post till now. I am aver whelmed by all the questions and can’t possibly answer each independently but thanks to you all for your asking. In order to cover as many as I can perhaps a little essay! Hwange is Zimbabwe’s largest park and is part of the worlds latest transfer-frontier conservation area. The lions and every other animal here are wild and free ranging and so we study them wild and with as little bias and interference as possible. Jericho is just a kilometre or so from Cecil’s cubs and the three lionesses today and is with cathy. The two prides won’t mix but for the first time since Cecil died Jericho may be with that pride soon. I will keep you informed. I am a Zimbabwean and my absolute passion and commitment is to lions. Having said that I am here on the ground where I see all of the complexities that conservation in Africa faces and therein lies the seemingly contradictory statement you […]

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The Ongoing Saga of one Dr. Walter Palmer… and what he has created…

It is typical on any given day to get dozens of comments about the frustrating lack of news or progress with regards to Dr. Walter Palmer, the American dentist who slaughtered Cecil the Lion. We also live with this frustration. As such, we thought it would be helpful to share what we DO KNOW today about this saga. A trial is scheduled to begin in Zimbabwe on September 28th. Palmer’s guide, Theo Bronkhorst has been charged with “failing to prevent an illegal hunt”. The trial has been postponed once at his lawyer’s request until the 28th. The landowner on who’s “farm” Cecil was shot by Palmer, Honest Ndlovu, has been charged with allowing Cecil to be baited and lured onto his property. Ndlovu’s property borders Hwange National Park. He is scheduled to appear in court to answer these charges on September 18. Dr. Palmer has not yet been charged with any crime, either in Zimbabwe or the U.S. While it has been reported that the Zimbabwean government asked U.S. officials to extradite Palmer to face charges, the necessary documents to commence a formal extradition request have not been submitted. Keep in mind, Palmer has not actually been charged with a […]

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The Mission

Cecil acted like, and was, a celebrity before most of the world ever heard of him.  He was regal, and carried himself like royalty. I think there was a bit of a diva in him. None of the dozens of other lions we encountered in Zimbabwe or Botswana seemed to love the camera like Cecil did. We first heard of Cecil while heading off on our initial game drive in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe in August 2014. A really large, black-maned lion, older now, he had been chased out of his territory and had his pride taken over by a younger rival. Not content to sulk about at the edge of his former domain, Cecil teamed with another older male, Jericho, and they charged back in to reclaim his territory, vanquish his rival and win back the pride. Determination, teamwork, and never surrendering, never letting go of what was his. And he even gets the girl(s) back at the end. Totally Hollywood, and it was as if he knew it. We first saw him from about 60 or 70 meters away, lying in the grass, the cubs and some of the females behind him under heavy branch cover, one female […]

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Selfies for Cecil

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Cecil was a peaceful lion…

Cecil was a peaceful lion. We hope that the anger and outrage, and the global response fueled by his senseless killing will be a force for positive change. Rather than wishing ill on the individual who committed this horrific act, let’s all focus on ways to promote positive tourism to his home. We will be providing opportunities to donate to organizations involved in conservation and promoting the safety of Africa’s wildlife. Let’s ignore the dentist and what he did, karma will take care of that. Go to Zimbabwe and see the beautiful lions there and become a force for change. Cecil will not have died in vain if we act as a force for good and for change. Thank you.

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