It has been my dream since the launch of the Foundation to somehow use my art to raise funds for conservation. My good friend David Lebatard outlined his program aimed at selling limited edition prints to collectors who couldn’t afford gallery prices using the social media. Since we decided to run with a similar project David’s enthusiasm, direction and knowledge has been invaluable.
In the wake of the disappointing assessment of cheetah numbers within the Park, Ezemvelo KZN Parks and ACT Wildlife Monitoring reached out the Forever Wild Foundation to assist in acquiring new cheetah as a breeding nucleus.
Following the successful introduction of the three brothers into the Hluhluwe side of the park, a plot was hatched to do the same for the Imfolozi. Historically the park consisted of two separate areas, demarcated by a tar road. Although the fences have been removed and both have fallen under a single administration, the toad still acts as a territorial boundary for the lion prides.
We watched with growing anticipation as the Cessna 402C, carrying 3 male lions, dropped out of the heavy cloud cover and into the evening twilight. It had been a long day, and working with the Wildlife ACT staff, it had begun at 3.30am searching for an elusive pack of wild dog towards the edge of Hluhluwe-iMfolozi Park.
Of the 13 members of the pack which had been gathered from two separate private reserves, 6 individuals needed to be collared for monitoring purposes. There were no funds available for this expensive equipment so the Foundation sourced and purchased the collars. The program has been very successful and at the last update, the pack has split and numbers 25 in total. The animals are monitored by teams using tracking equipment on a daily basis.
On the 14th June 2011 the successful collaring and release of a pack of 13 endangered wild dogs took place in the Mkhuze National Park, South Africa. The collars were sponsored by the ‘Forever Wild Foundation’
The magnificent endangered wild dogs of which only 500 remain in the South African wilderness .
As you know, Foreverwild provided these collars to enable monitoring of cheetah in the Hluluwe Imfolozi National Park.
A coalition of three brothers will also be brought in from Pilansburg National Park where they are being persecuted by lion.
It will be a great opportunity to give them a chanceto be safe in their own territory .
We have had word from ground zero in Hluluwe that the gps's on the collars we provided are working and they are able to keep eyes on these beautiful cats 24/7...
More updates soon...
As Southern Africa moves into the dry winter, we are facing a drought, the scale of which hasn’t been witnessed for decades. We pray for early heavy rains, however the toll on the grazers will be enormous. Africa’s cycle of feast or famine is as old as the continent itself.
The foundation continues to press on in our quest to make a difference. We have completed the first stage of the cheetah program. Three weeks ago we spent days in the park searching for the elusive predators. Two veterinary teams, two ACT vehicles with spotter and myself covered the 96 000ha Hluluwe Imfolozi Park with zero sightings.
Kelly and I have just returned from the first step in the cheetah project. The Foundation had acquired 4 collars and 2 mobile transmitters.
The Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Park in Natal has one of the most stable cheetah populations in South Africa, however, no scientific research has been carried out since their introduction decades ago. Through the Foundation’s donation this will change.
A recent donation of $15,000 to Bone’s non-profit Forever Wild Foundation from Park West has set in motion a project with the Wildlife ACT Fund that will monitor and track cheetahs in order to better understand and support the dwindling population in Africa.
Park West Gallery has joined forces with artists Guy Harvey, Romero Britto and Andrew Bone to contribute to conservation efforts and the betterment of others.
A combined total of $115,000 has been donated to three non-profit organizations by the Park West Foundation: The Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, Best Buddies International and Forever Wild Foundation.