AMBASSADORS FOR THE WILD
We aim to work with zoos and their lions to combine fundraising and awareness efforts to make a bigger impact overall.
We believe that these lions can become 'Ambassadors For The Wild' raising funds and awareness for the protection of their wild cousins and we are proud to have worked with a number of UK zoos to see this turned into a reality.
'Ambassadors For The Wild' was our first project launched to work with zoos across the country to raise funds to send to protect lions in the wild. We believe that by giving the public the opportunity to get an insight into the lives of the lions that live in these zoos in near natural surroundings that showcase high welfare standards that zoos and their lions can contribute to the conservation of wild lions by:
Advancing education efforts, particular in children to raise awareness of the problems that lions and other wildlife face in the wild. There are no better ways to inspire people to take an interest in wildlife conservation than when they can see the animal face to face.
Taking part in conservation support. Zoos around the globe have sent millions combined to various different conservation organisations, many of the larger zoos run programmes themselves. We deliberately work with smaller zoos to combine the support that they can offer into donations that can make a bigger impact.
We believe that zoos may not be perfect but they can play a role in preserving endangered species, raising awareness and providing another line of support for conservation organisations working to protect and monitor these animals in the wild. In the UK zoos legally have to contribute to conservation work. Many larger zoos actually run their own conservation programmes in the field. Smaller zoos who are unable to fund such work will raise money for smaller organisations that work directly to save animals in the wild, we are honoured to be considered as one of these organisations and receive support from several zoos across the UK.
Without zoo lions our charity wouldn't be here...
Our charity name-sake Safina and her companion Zuri (pictured left with our chairman) descend from a long line of lions held in zoos throughout the UK, these zoo lions are incredibly important to us and we believe that they are better to have than to not, and represent another tool in our toolkit that we can use to raise awareness and funds to protect their wild cousins. For more information on how we are inspired by these zoo lions please click here. Here at Safina we also believe in a positive approach and we believe that zoos can do and do carry out very important work which benefits species survival programmes throughout the world. We believe that only by working together can we achieve what is best for the wildlife in need of our help and that we should work with all well meaning people we can.
The project was launched at Noah's Ark Zoo Farm on World Lion Day 2017
We launched the project on World Lion Day 2017 at Noah's Ark Zoo Farm near Bristol. We used the opportunity to spread awareness about the conservation of wild lions with zoo lions at the face of it as well as educating the public on all forms of lion life. We were delighted to be invited by the Big Cat and South American Team to assist in their celebrations. On the day the Noah's team were busy selling animal goodies - book marks, keyrings and bracelets while we were next door with a display talking about lions and their conservation handing out the leaflet seen to the right. Our founder James was delighted to be asked to finish off their daily Big Cat talk to talk about the conservation work we are hoping to support very soon and the plight of wild lions. The talk, testament to keeper Ben was very busy with many fascinated by the training Ben was demonstrating between him and the tigers Khan and Tiana. Feedback from the end of the talk was great with many people asking for information leaflets or wanting to know with more detail about the plight of African lions in the wild.
There was of course a huge significance of our trip to Noah's Ark. African male lion 'Masai' is the son of our namesake Safina and her companion Zuri. It therefore seemed very fitting to us that he should head our first awareness event and become our first Ambassador For The Wild. At the end of the day James gave a presentation to the Noah's Ark Big cat team explaining how the fund began, our objectives and future plans as well as the links between Masai and our name-sake Safina. We are proud to continue our association with Noah's Ark Zoo Farm into 2018 when we joined them for World Lion Day celebrations once again.
Since then many zoos and zookeepers have reached out to support us...
We have been truly amazed by the number of zoos and their keepers who have approached us to support us in our work to raise funds for conservation organisations and raise awareness. This support has varied from handing out our educational events during summer holidays to organised fund raising events, talks and even sponsored runs and marathons! One of these sponsored events was run by Rosie Badger who took part in a sponsored Ironman in 2018. Rosie is a keeper at Folly Farm and can be seen below with one of the zoo's lions and our educational leaflets. We have also run several talks to different zoos to share our work and information about the threats that lions face in the wild and conservation practices used with their keepers, volunteers, supporters and visitors.
Some zoos have even organised regular donations such as Folly Farm Adventure Park & Zoo who now include us as a conservation partner for who they split 10% of the profits of their adoption sales between, this support has allowed our work to progress much quicker than anticipated, they have also created an educational sign about our work and lions in the wild for their visitors to see outside their lion enclosure. The enthusiasm of the keepers at Folly Farm and their support has caused our conservation impact to grow massively since 2018. To celebrate our fifth anniversary we presented them with an award for outstanding support in July 2022, below you can see our Chairman James with some of the Folly Farm Zoo team.
Without this support from a great many individuals and their institutions we would not have been able to hit the ground running on the conservation efforts that we have been able to support so far. This support from zoos and their keepers has been the bedrock of our fundraising success and we are indebted to their support. As well as working with zoos for the benefit of raising funds to protect and monitor wild lions we also provide zoos access to a 'Lion Keepers Resource Group' hosted on our website to share information on all aspects of lion care and husbandry that may be useful to them. The logos of our biggest supporters so far are shared below. If you are from a zoo and you want to get involved in our Ambassadors For The Wild project either through educational or fundraising means please don't hesitate to get in touch.