Lion auction brings Cape Town to a halt

2013-05-08 08:35
Animal conservation took the centre stage at the trendy moyo’s restaurant where Cape Town’s finest came out in numbers for the auction of the impressive pride of 30 life-sized lion artefacts raising a whopping R300, 000.

The two and only Born Free centres in South Africa are situated at Shamwari Game Reserve in the Eastern Cape who were, on the evening, presented with the ‘People’s lion’ for the continued support of the foundation.

In attendance, was the star of the academy award-winning film ‘Born Free’ Virginia McKenna OBE who co-founded the international wildlife charity, Born Free Foundation alongside a host of guests from business and art.

This event surprised many when it pulled 150 invited guests who came all the way to support the by bidding for their favourite lion and raising funds for the Born Free Foundation thus helping to conserve and protect wild lions.

“Lions are disappearing from Africa. This is fact not fiction. Born Free's symbol has become a victim of man’s insatiable greed and selfish desire to control.” Said Mckenna.

Following her message was a stimulating video message especially recorded by Queen legend, Brian May to encourage guests to whole-heartedly support this worthwhile and important cause.

“It’s a global thing; Virginia McKenna has really started a complete wave of change in the world. We will, in the future, regard animals in a completely different light, as worthy to share this planet with us on an equal basis. This auction is very important because it will ensure the life, the continued life of lions in Africa.” Said May.

The eye catching lions who were individually painted and designed to create stunning pieces of art, were highly sought-after following their eight week display on the iconic V&A Waterfront, where they have proved to be a popular and colourful attraction to one of the world’s top tourist destinations.

Star attractions of the evening included the likes of Maria Brink's stunning broken glass design 'Blood Diamonds' going for R30, 000 and 'Grand Mr Bones', with his gold pelage and ceremonial crown reaching R25, 000. Mark Malherbe’s designs, Coca-Cola's 'Buddy' and lion 'Mars' were also among the favourites.

Concluding what was a special night for animal conservation, McKenna thanked the guests for their overwhelming support.
“This is a huge encouragement. I feel so grateful to the people of Cape Town and to everyone who understands that a world without the King of the Jungle would be a sad world indeed and a shameful legacy to leave future generations,” Concluded McKenna.

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