Return to GWLPT! 

Stephs first week at the GWLPT has been filled with bush adventures with our amazing volunteer coordinator dorothee , lion checks, game counts, supplementing the lions, meeting new people and farm maintenance and upkeep. Oh and of course meeting some new lions! 

Stephs days start bright and early! At the latest we need to be up for 5:45, for the first checks on the lions. Sometimes even 5AM, when we check the lions on the other property. 

Stephs been helping with some of the property maintenance over the week – Living in the bush and volunteering with conservation isn’t always as romantic as an African sunset! Diesel has to be provided to the farm, the next town is quite far away and not all vehicles can make the trip there.  So for Steph, that means a fun and bumpy ride into town on the back of the backkie! (pickup truck/ute)

Steph on the back of the backkie, making sure those diesel drums don’t fall over! 

Another job Steph has been helping with is filling up waterholes on the property! Valves have to be turned and water has to be directed to flow in the right direction.

A few times a week Steph needs to go out do game counts on the property. We always need to know numbers of animals for conservation purposes.

Sometimes on our way there ar cheeky branches that want to scratch our face! Oops! All part of the adventure though? Right? 

A very exciting trip was the one to Shidolo, a property further north of Mbube (where we are currently staying) On the 6th of September, just one day before Stephs arrival at the Trust, the trust were very pleased to successfully relocate 2 white lions back on their endemic land.
Assegaia and Gaia, brother and sister, 4.5 years old from a reserve in the Eastern cap were safely flown in and are currently climatizing in the boma.

Zihra and Nebu, the residential lionesses are luckily not too curious about the new arrivals. That gives them more time to get used to the new area.
One of Stephs first evenings here were spent with Lion ecologist Jason A. Turner, monitoring the new arrivals in the setting sun, talking about lion behaviour and waiting for possibly Zihra and Nebu to arrive. 
Ending the day…not always as early as you think. Lions are active at night, and the best research results are taken during the dusk/night hours. 

To say the least, stephs first week back at the trust was packed with lots of fun and hard work. “It’s good to be back!” Says Steph with a big smile! 

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HARRY POTTER QUIZ NIGHT

Hi big cat lovers, we are running a fundraising event on the 4/9/17.  A quiz night.  Proceeds from this Quiz Night will be for supporting the companion that will be supporting Stephanie while she is in South Africa volunteering at the Trust.

The quiz night is a Harry Potter theme.  Bring your wands and broom sticks and your Harry Potter facts.  There will of course be some lion questions in the mix.

It will be at the Paddington Ale House in Mt Hawthorn at 7pm

Get your tickets from Trybooking:

https://www.trybooking.com/RBOP    OR        https://www.trybooking.com/299847

Helping others

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On Saturday the 28th of January 2017, Sea Shepherd held their Australia wide Marine Debris Clean up Initiative.  Stephanie and Angy from SBCCQ were there eager to help. We cleaned up South Beach in Fremantle.  We stayed for an hour in the wind and the rain, and picked up mostly cigarette butts.  South Beach and it’s facilities are used by thousands of people.  Locals and visitors.  This is our home.  Please look after our home.  Pick up after yourself. Be accountable and Responsible.  Look at the big picture.  Not only is the local beach our responsibility, but so is our planet.  Be kind, be thoughtful, get involved.

Till Next week………………………………..

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to everyone.  2017 – New beginnings.

Last year flew by.  This year is zooming by again.  We are two thirds of the way through our first month and are making plans for this year.  Have you set your goals for this year?  One of Stephanie’s goals is to return to South Africa to do more volunteering.  We are looking for a support person to go on this adventure with Stephanie.  If you have a burning desire to help lions in their struggle for survival, then volunteering may be something you could consider doing.  Make sure you do your homework before going overseas and volunteering.  There are lion farms that breed lions for the sole purpose of selling their life to the highest bidder.  Hunting.  Canned Hunting – the legal business of breeding and killing lions.

Should you chose to volunteer at the Global White Lion Protection Trust or Love Lions Alive, which we recommend for you to do, you will be part of a team of people dedicated to the survival of lions.  These are not canned hunting facilities.  The GWLPT is about providing white lions with an endemic environment to live free and safe.  Love Lions Alive provide lions with a natural environment for them to  live out their lives in peace freedom.  Wherever you chose to go, you can rest assured these big cats will be looked after with love and respect.

SBCCQ will be working hard this year to raise funds to support the GWLPT and Love Lions Alive in their endeavours to give lions a life filled with love, respect and freedom.

Watch this space for upcoming fund raisers.  If you would like to get involved with SBCCQ, write to Angy (Steph’s Mum) at angyh@iinet.net.au

End of the road

This last week has been jam packed with visiting more schools, lion checks, game counts, night drives, painting, puzzles, mid day naps and lots of fun.

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Steph painting rocks for the garden

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Dog beds we made for Mbubi and Khanyi

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Steph doing a Cheetah puzzle

On friday Steph, Lara and I went on a trip to the Kinyonga reptile center where we learned about so many reptiles and even got to hold a few. We learned so much, especially about snakes and some common myths about snakes which definitely took some fear away from these beautiful reptiles.

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Steph and Lara holding a Burmese Python

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An Albino Nile Crocodile

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These lizards love hibiscus flours

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An Aligator

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An old Terrapin

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An Albino Burmese Python

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A large Rock Monitor baking on a rock

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The Ostrich that greets you at the center

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A beautiful Macaw

We have had an amazing month in South Africa, everyday spending time with amazing lions. As I write this I hear the Mbube pride roaring outside our window. With a heavy heart we leave this beautiful country, knowing we will be back. Thank you to everyone that has helped us get here and helped us while we are here. It is always so amazing being here and getting to experience what we do. We couldn’t do it without you all.

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What a great trip.  We are now planning our next trip for 2017.

Stephanie Haynes – SBCCQ Ambassador

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GWLPT week 1

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Week one at the GWLPT has been full of excitement. Supplementing the Lions on day one was eventful, the bucky carrying the supplement to Tsau broke down on the dirt road which had to be towed around for the supplement. The two lionesses at Shidolo had a wildebeest kill so we didn’t need to supplement them, and we had to tow the supplement bucky all the way back to Mbube in the dark along the long dirt road.

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George using the telemetry to locate the lions for the supplement.

Each morning and evening we do our lion checks which is always fascinating, watching the relationships and hierarchy between the newly released pride.

Hand  prints in the volunteer House.

Stephanie and i have gone to a few schools this week with the Star Lion Leeders which was lovely to see these kids being taught values and shown they can be whatever they want. Being helped to see and reach there potential. The GWLPT is doing amazing things with the communities here.

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We did a game count around Mbube on wednesday morning which was fun, we saw most of the animals at the farm including the 2 month old giraffe which was quite cute and nice for the farm seeing as an older male giraffe died not long ago. With death comes new life, which is the way in Africa, the ecosystem working together in perfect harmony to sustain itself. In this technological age where we have destroyed so much with infrastructure and over population, it is warming to be in some of the closest places you can get to the true wild in Africa still ie Kruger National Park.

On Friday Stephanie Muzi and I went to Kruger National Park, with Muzi as our guide and driver we had a terrific time with great sightings of so many animals. Muzi had so much knowledge of the flora and fauna to learn us and a great eye for spotting. It turned out to be a blistering hot day driving around in the land cruiser but we prevailed with just enough water for around 12 hours in the car with a few breaks. Here our some photos from our day at Kruger.

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Our First magnificent sighting of the day a Spotted hyena, Sorry for the shocking photos.

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Kruger is Abundant with beautiful Impala

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Vulture Flying to A carcass

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White-Backed Vulture on its perch

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A small Warthog grazing by the road

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Two White Rhino enjoying some shade in the heat

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Buffalo strolling and grazing

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A very special sighting of a Black Backed Jackal

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A beautiful Lilac-breasted Roller

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Another special sighting of a Kori Bustard

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A Leopard leaving its mark in a tree, an Impala skull.

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A large single tusked female Elephant using her remaining tusk to rip roots out of the ground.

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A sub adult male Elephant.

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A Lion and Lioness lying in the shade

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Another special sighting of the critically endangered Southern Ground Hornbill

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Our time here is going so fast just one week left in this beautiful country. Can’t wait for what our remaining days bring. Will check back with you all soon.

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Week 2

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Hi again, we had a successful week 2 at Love lions Alive. Filled with more building of the volunteer camp, collecting food for the lions and relaxed evenings generally having a braai under the stars.

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We had Amazing lightning shows every evening with a decent few nights of rain. The lions are doing very well and Steph is keeping them well hydrated every day. Clayton one of the volunteers left on Friday so we had a braai and said our goodbyes. Our last couple of days at Love Lions Alive were very relaxed. Steph went on a day trip with Andi and her daughter Shinead to an enormous lake nearby and a few other places in the area on Saturday . On Sunday we all hung out together on one of the decks we had built and sat with our feet in the pool to cool down and just enjoyed the time we had left at this beautiful sanctuary.

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On Monday morning we said our goodbyes to Andi and the Lions. With sadness we left Love Lions Alive although a very bitter sweet moment. With excitement of our new adventure with the Global White Lion Protection Trust.

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Tale and Lina two volunteers from Love Lions Alive drove Steph and I to Johannesburg airport for our flight to Hoedspruit. Our flight ended up being delayed 3 hours so we had quite a long wait and journey by the time we arrived at the GWLPT.

Once we arrived at Mbube where the volunteer camp is we got settled in and cleaned up, had a quick bite to eat, then went to find the Lions. We have had two beautiful Experiences with the Pride at Mbube since arriving. One last night in the dark which was quite special and the second this morning when we went on our first morning lion check. We have been having a nice relaxing day so far planning our two weeks here and relaxing in the heat. We will be heading to Tsau tonight to see Linda and Jason, then helping supplement the Pride there.

We will update with our adventures and more photos very soon.

South Africa Volunteer Trip 2016 – Week One

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I’m sorry its been a week since we have posted, it has been a busy week. We arrived in Johannesburg safely last Friday morning, adventured around the airport to find our rental car then we were off.

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After a fun 3 hour drive we made it to Love Lions Alive sanctuary at the Appin farm in the free state of South Africa.

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We met Andi and the volunteers when we arrived, everyone was so lovely. Andi gave us a tour of the sanctuary, we met all of the lions, then Andi showed us our living quarters. We got ourselves sorted after a long days traveling. Excited for what tomorrow would bring.

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Ever since day one we have been helping and experiencing as much as we can. A normal day at the sanctuary consists of breakfast, fence checks, heading up to the camp where we help build, lunch, more building then down to the homestead where we start a fire have dinner and relax.

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Steph has met all of the lions and has been growing relationships with them all. Everyday we get closer with them, one of Steph’s main jobs is making sure all of the lions have fresh drinking water.

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It is a very important and excellent job which she thoroughly enjoys and the lions always give her a big thank you.

 

Nearly everyday we also have to go fetch food for the lions which is a very important and dirty job. Everyday there is something new and exciting to do. The family of lions and volunteers here are so warming and friendly. They make you feel like family as soon as you get here. Andi is an amazing women with such a passion for saving and protecting these beautiful animals. We have been having the most unbelievable time here.

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Yesterday we went on a day trip to Clarens a small town an hour away from the farm. It was really nice to have a day of driving through this beautiful country. In Clarens we had a lovely lunch and did a bit of shopping but the most exciting part was driving through the golden gate reserve where we saw impala, zebra and especially black wildebeest. The terrain through this area is magnificent with huge rock faced mountains, large tree filled valleys and grassy fields.

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Steph was so excited to tick the Black wildebeest off her list of animals she has encountered in South Africa. We will have another nice chill day today before starting work again on Monday.

I will try posting more regularly, keep your eyes peeled for our next installment…………

In the beginning….

Steph’s story, from the beginning………..

As a small child Stephanie always showed a passion for animals.  In particular big cats.  We saw her passion ignite when watching documentaries.  Even at a young age Steph understood the plight of big cats.  She always said “It’s not right that people kill big cats”  “It’s not right that they are losing their homes.”  We knew conservation was going to be her journey.

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Stephanie was born with congenital glaucoma and a mild to moderate intellectual disability.  She also has challenges with reading, writing, eye sight and hearing.  None of her challenges have interfered with her passion.  We have always encouraged our children to follow their dreams.  Steph is no different, except to say that she needs support to achieve her goals and dreams.

This is where her support team comes in.  Which is made up of family, friends and like minded conservation conscious people.  Stephanie’s first trip to South Africa was 4 years ago in 2013.  This was a holiday with mum and dad.  We stayed as guests at the Global White Lion Protection Trust in the Limpopo region of South Africa.  It was an amazing experience.  Linda Tucker and her team are doing incredible work protecting white lions.  The volunteers that were there changed Stephanie’s life.  She is now a volunteer herself and is presently experiencing her 3rd consecutive trip.  Her first two trips with support carers was at the Global White Lion Protection Trust.  The picture below was taken last year 2015 with Linda Tucker, the founder of GWLPT, Jason Turner and the team.

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In 2016 Stephanie traveled with her brother Martin as her support carer.  They were away for four weeks.  Last year, for the first time they are volunteering at the Love Lions Alive Project in the Free State of South Africa.  Their second two weeks will be back at the trust.

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Thanks to Rotary of Crawley who endorsed our relationship with the Global White Lion Protection trust and who support our fundraising efforts, we have been able to donate to the trust to continue their amazing work to give white lions a protected endemic environment to call home.  We would also like to thank all those wonderful volunteers that have made our fundraising causes happen and to the people who want to make a difference by attending our fundraising events and supporting our cause.

Thank you

Angy (Steph’s mum)