Lyme artist raising funds for lion cub’s relocation

Emma Bowring’s portrait of ‘King’ will raise funds for Born Free, to help with the lion cub’s relocation and care

LYME Regis artist Emma Bowring’s latest painting will raise funds to help re-home a lion cub at a big cat sanctuary in South Africa.

Wildlife artist Emma Bowring, who owns the Edwards & Parr gallery in Broad Street, regularly raises funds for animal charities with her work.

Her latest piece, ‘King’, is a portrait of a lion cub who was kept illegally as a pet and charity Born Free are now looking to re-home him at their sanctuary in South Africa.

King made international headlines in October 2017 when he was found half-starved and cowering in a dirty cage in an abandoned apartment in Paris. Just a few months old and kept illegally as an exotic pet, he had been beaten and kicked by his owner who then posted videos of the abuse on social media.

King was rescued by French animal rescue charities Fondation 30 Million d’Amis and Refuge de l’Arche and given a temporary home at Natuurhulpcentrum rescue centre, in Belgium.

Born Free plans to transport King from Belgium to South Africa where he will be given a permanent home at their long-established big cat sanctuary at Shamwari. The sanctuary is already home to 16 lions and leopards rescued from appalling captive conditions.

King will be given lifetime care in a spacious, safe and natural environment, surrounded by the beautiful sights and sounds of Africa.

Emma’s painting is currently available for sale at Edwards & Parr or on Emma’s website www.emmabowring.co.uk, and all proceeds will be donated to Born Free to help fund King’s relocation and care.

Born Free Co-Founder and trustee, Virginia McKenna OBE, commented: “Have we learned nothing over the years? How can we not understand that keeping wild animals in cages is not just cruel, but shameful?

“Lions are known as kings of the jungle. This little king, sadly, will never wear his crown, but at least we can give him love and respect and a natural environment to roam and rest in. That is the least he deserves, and I hope people will help us write a happy ending to this story.”

Commenting on Emma’s painting, she added: “This wonderful painting of little King is so true to life he almost steps off the page! I’m thrilled that Born Free will benefit from the sale of this very special painting of the King of the Jungle.”

An increasing number of wild animals are kept as pets worldwide. Born Free opposes the keeping of wild animals as pets because they have complex social, physical and behavioural needs and are, therefore, particularly susceptible to welfare problems when kept as pets.

Keeping wild animals as pets is not just an international problem. Latest research by Born Free has revealed more than 292 dangerous wild cats – including at least nine lions – are being kept privately, and legally, in Great Britain under the Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976.

Born Free’s Head of Animal Welfare & Captivity, Dr Chris Draper, said: “Whether wild-caught or captive-bred, wild animals retain their wild instincts and their often complex social, behaviour and environmental needs: needs that are impossible to meet in a domestic environment.

“It is high time that we stop viewing exotic wild animals simply as objects to own, and start considering their welfare – and the risks they may sometimes pose to us. It should be abundantly clear that the never-ending demand for increasingly exotic and dangerous wild animals in the pet trade needs to stop.”

To donate to this important cause, visit www.bornfree.org.uk/saveking, call 01403 240170 or text KING to 70755 to donate £10.

Woodmead Halls
About Francesca Evans 513 Articles
Francesca grew up in Lyme Regis and has worked in community journalism in the area since 2011, having gained a First Class Honours degree in journalism and her NCTJ qualifications at Southampton Solent University.

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