Organization/Group of Merit: For the Love of Wildlife (FLOW)

Wildlife is humanity's true treasure. It inspires in us a sense of wonder and it fills our hearts with contentment. By watching wildlife play out their crucial roles in an environment filled with the struggles of surviving, the brevity of their existence should remind us the natural world is as harsh and ruthless a world as it is beautiful. 

Wildlife is facing its biggest threat: extinction. Humanity faces the real risk of species extinction from habitat destruction, human wildlife conflicts, exploitation, and overuse. The disappearance of one species will impact an entire ecosystem. Small changes lead to big changes on an already fragile ecosystem which will have long-lasting and far reaching effects on biodiversity. To maintain a healthy planet, all the cogs in the wheel must remain intact. 

An added threat to wildlife populations is hunting. While hunting for food was once a crucial part of human survival, it has now evolved into a recreational sport. Millions of animals are violently killed every year, many endure slow painful deaths, families ripped apart, leaving behind grieving orphans to starve or be taken by predators. The most extreme and cowardly of all recreational hunting is Canned Hunting. What is a Canned Hunt? A Canned Hunt is a trophy hunt in which an animal is kept in a confined area increasing the chances of the hunter obtaining the kill. The most canned hunted animal is the lion. South Africa has over 8,000 lions in lion farms specifically bred for the bullet. Cub petting and lion walking is part of this brutal, unethical industry. Learn more about the Canned Hunting industry here.

Local and international conservation groups are placing mounting pressure on the South African Government to formally ban Canned Hunting. Donalea Patman, founder of For the Love of Wildlife (FLOW), has been a tireless campaigner against this cruel practice, tenaciously lobbying Australian politicians to ban the import of wildlife trophies into Australia. On the 13th March 2015, the import of animal trophies and body parts was banned in Australia. Such was the tireless efforts of FLOW.

The members of Gamma Alpha Draconis have unanimously voted to name FLOW as an Organization of Merit (Group of Merit) due to the progressive actions taken by the founder and the members towards upholding sustainability in wildlife care via the upholding and developing of animal rights protection laws and wildlife protection laws. We would like to introduce you to FLOW's story in Donalea's own words:

"For the Love of Wildlife (FLOW) was founded in 2014 after a letter on the plight of Africa's lions to a local MP started getting traction. I was introduced to Malcolm Turnbull (Australia's Prime Minister) and I didn't have a business card. That's when I knew I needed a professional platform and launched FLOW.

After visiting the Global White Lion Protection Trust in 2011 and hearing for the very first time one of the greatest threats to lions in South Africa is captive breeding and canned hunting, a term I'd never heard before, my shock in realising an industry exists that breeds lions for the bullet, a cruel and barbaric industry that exploits not only wildlife but tourists and volunteers that believe they are participating in CONservation. Traumatized to later discover that the cub they had raised will be sold to a hunter to be shot, often drugged or baited in a fenced area.

I returned to the Trust in 2012 where I met Pippa Hankinson. We happened to leave on the same flight - both pledging to do more. I came back to Australia and began reaching out to organisations who simply were not interested.  In frustration I contacted LionAid in the UK through Social Media and their advice was to write to my local member. The timing was perfect as it was before the Australian Federal Election in 2013. Jason Wood, my local member,  promised if he was elected he'd do something about it.

Eighteen month later, March 2015, then Environment Minister Greg Hunt took a visionary and courageous lead and banned the importation of lion trophies and body parts into Australia. France, the Netherlands and the US have implemented similar bans following Australia's lead. Hunters would have you believe that they are the main contributors to conservation, but if you take away the trophies they are not interested in the kill.

FLOW is about restoring the essential connection between all living things to bring our planet into balance.

Together with Stella Horgan, Sacred Safaris was launched. The intention of the tours is to open the pathway for individuals to enter into nature in deep reverence and even greater respect.  We gently guide our guests to open their hearts, disconnect from the busy-ness of their life and stop "wanting" of nature, that as you drop into her, nature presents herself in profound ways. Our engagement with wildlife is extraordinary because we enter in service and gratitude, through animal encounters we've gained entrance to the matrix of wisdom and intelligence that are held by gatekeepers such as elephant, lion, sea otter.

Stella Horgan and Donalea Patman

Interspecies communication is fundamental and imperative in FLOW's work. It certainly offered guidance and direction in finding a way through working with the Australian Government. Not one organisation believed it was possible to get this ban with the Liberal Government, in fact, we were advised FLOW was wasting time and energy. Despite this, FLOW achieved a result in eighteen months, something that can take up to 20 years."

We believe in FLOW and its work to help change reforms for animal welfare at a legislative level where it matters the most. FLOW's work is the voice for our non human friends. 

Awards and Affiliations:
2015 IFAW Advocacy and Policy Award

Australian and New Zealand Partner for Blood Lions

Guest Speaker Animal Activist Forum (Animals Australia) 2015

Donalea Patman (founder)

+61 417 939 042

If you are someone doing good in the world, Eltanin Thuban Draconis is here to vouch for your merit. Contact us directly if you feel like your work needs to see the light of day. Our groups of merit are decided by a unanimous vote, every member must agree to it and every member must support it indefinitely.