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Saving the Last Wild Lions: Fundraiser and Silent Auction at The Manhattan Art & Antiques Center

african-lion-in-masia-mara

African lions in Masia Mara. Source: wallpaperswala.com

All of our dealers live and breathe the antiques they trade, but Brian Gaisford of Hemingway African Gallery is not only America’s largest importer of fine African art, he is a safari organizer and a passionate conservationist. On Thursday, June 13, 5PM, we proudly host Hemingway African Gallery’s fundraiser and silent auction for endangered African lions, a cause close to Brian’s heart. “I am from Africa originally and have run safaris there for 50 years now,” he says. “We never went a day without seeing lions in the beginning. Now we jump for joy at just hearing them at night and frequently return without our guests even seeing a wild lion.” In 1955, there were close to 500,000 wild lions. At best, there are now 25,000 of which only 3,500 are the big male trophy lions.

Sleepy African lion. Source: hemingwayafricangallery.com

Dozing lion, Hemingway African Gallery safari. Source: hemingwayafricangallery.com

The fundraiser will feature an exclusive presentation from documentary filmmakers who provide a searing look into how wild lion trophy hunting is leading to the destruction of the African lion. As Brian states, “When a trophy pride lion is shot, we lose at least 8 to 15 lions and by some, the estimate is much higher, simply by extension of the fact that new male lions that fill the territorial void kill all the previous males cubs. The hunter will think he has only killed one lion, but that is not the case…The trophy hunter, by shooting one lion, has just killed off most of the pride.”

Trophy male lion on the plain, National Geographic film "The Last Lions." Source: nationalgeographic.com

Trophy pride lion on the plain, National Geographic film "The Last Lions." Source: nationalgeographic.com

A portion of the proceeds from the event will be donated to wild lion conservation. You can RSVP to attend the event at hemingwaygallery@gmail.com. The lion is a universal symbol of power and majesty. As Brian wonders, “What will an African safari be like when the last wild lion is shot? The reason why an African safari is exciting now, is because there is an element of danger. There might just be a lion behind any bush…The wild lion is Africa…Most all of the wildlife in Africa can be bred in captivity and released into the wild. This is not the case with lions. They have never been successfully put back into the wild. When we have shot the last wild lion, it will be the last wild lion.”