Protesters set to take part in celebrity-backed demonstration against African lion hunting


26 April 2016 by Jeremy Armstrong

A letter signed by Professor Stephen Hawking and Joanna Lumley will be taken to Downing Street with a march set to take place on April 30. Hundreds are expected to take part in a celebrity-backed demo to protest against the hunting of African lions. The move comes after the global outcry over the death of Cecil ‚ one of Zimbabwe’s most celebrated lions‚ killed in July last year by an American hunter.

The protest will see hundreds march from Cavendish Sq in London to Downing Street to hear speeches from leading wildlife campaigners on Saturday (April 30). Protesters will then deliver the letter to David Cameron calling for the ending of all African lion trophy imports to the United Kingdom.

Lions in Nairobi
Lions in Nairobi

Virginia McKenna, of the Born Free Foundation said: “The world has at last woken up to the tragedy facing Africa’s elephants and rhinos‚ but has been far too slow to realise the desperate plight of Africa’s lions.”

Pieter Kat‚ Co-Founder of Lion Aid‚ a speaker at the march‚ said trophy hunting was as morally‚ ethically and economically corrupt as drugs and people smuggling. “It has no conservation benefit whatsoever‚ and a recent poll here in Britain showed 93 per cent of the public opposed it,” he added.

Brian May
Brian May has called for a ban on all lion trophy hunting imports

In 1980‚ more than 75‚000 wild lions roamed the African continent. Lion Aid estimate that less than 20‚000 survive.

Will Travers OBE, of the Born Free Foundation, Queen guitarist Brian May, and actor Peter Egan are among those calling for a ban on all lion trophy hunting imports with immediate effect.

In recent years, lions are said to have disappeared completely from as many 16 African countries. Hundreds continue to be killed by trophy hunters in Africa every year, with many of the heads and skins imported to EU counties, including the UK.

A spokesperson for Lion Aid said: “Lion Aid were delighted to have received Stephen Hawking’s email today confirming his support for this initiative.”

PLEASE NOTE: There is no confirmaiton that Brian will attend the march.