Sunday, 23 March 2008

Eventful March

I have been very occupied recently and no chance to write a blog. Just to keep my readers posted, I have been in South Africa and there have been many projects that reader friends will no doubt hear in the next month or so.
We have had to evaluate all the over 7600 names for Junior and select just one! It has proven to be a humongous undertaking to select just one name out of many good suggestions. We also need to make sure it is a unique name that has not been used by anyone so it is special, since our Junior is VERY special.
I saw Junior last week, and he was 16 kilos and I could now barely lift him up. He is still very playful and was excited to see us -his playmates - visiting him. I took the precaution of bringing my leather jacket so he could not leave any teeth marks on my arms but I was still bruised on my legs. He was inexhaustible. Eddie told me that his idea of putting Junior together with the little lioness in her enclosure did not work the first time, as the little lioness continued to charge and threaten Junior, who just showed submissiveness. Eddie promised to give another try by bringing the little lioness to Junior's territory.
March has been a month of eventfulness. A fantastic in-depth front page Column 1 story was published in the Los Angeles Times on our project. This was another triumph after our project was covered a couple of years ago in the Christian Science Monitor and Chicago Tribune in the US and it goes to show how much the public supports us.
However, the unfortunate event was that I found out that the SPCA of South Africa, issued a press release back in January, equating our efforts to live feeding in zoos in China for the entertainment of zoo visitors and announced its renewed effort to appeal in the High Court of Appeals. After years of failed attempt to incriminate us and lost civil case against us (the SPCA was ordered to pay our cost), one would have thought that the SPCA would now focus the much needed donor funding on so many animal abuses such as Battery farming, and canned lion hunting. But no, the SPCA decides to spend more donor money on continued legal fight against our conservation project. I am however very pleased at the letters of suport we have received from the public in reply to our public response to the SPCA and the outrage at the SPCA's abuse of donor funding. However, we have yet to receive a letter of apology or retraction from the SPCA regarding its defamatory remarks against us as of now.
I also did something totally out of character, considering that I am not a fan of cars and prefer public transportation. Thinking that this might be the last time we could call Cape Town HOME, we splashed a little and rented a replica Cobra- a powerful 1960's sports car - instead of a normal Alamo rental. It proved to be a fun experience, driving along the azure seashore of Cape Town and the scenic routes of its wine countries. The roars it made sounded as if we were driving at the speed of a airplane and it turned heads. People would look with a sense of bewilderment when they saw a mad Chinese woman in patent white rain coat behind its steering wheel...
Meanwhile, all else is proceeding well. I am looking forward to all the exciting news coming soon!

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