Henry is wasting his time with me. There is not a chance that I am going to go on a "Lion Walk" with him. I am not about to face Mufasa!
Henry is one of the trustees of the Londoloza trust. I am one of the others. He is originally from Zimbabwe while I am from Uganda. I am in charge of the finance reports. Prior to moving to Jersey he worked in Hwange (the H is silent) national park and he was a "lion handler". I agreed to work with him on the trust because I honestly believe in the vision of the Trust.
We must protect our wildlife - because to be honest, the Lion King's Mufasa was right about the circle of life, "the lions eat the antelopes, but when they die, they become grass which is food for the antelopes".
Henry and I have however had a number of discussions on how to protect the Lions - while also protecting the community (the core of Londoloza) and I agree with him and we have had some interesting suggestions about for example using drones to track numbers and have an early warning system as well as other useful suggestions.
I did however make one thing clear - should I ever go to Zim to see what the trust is doing first hand - I would be safely seated in a Landrover defender, including with cages, while he took voluntourists on a walk.
It doesn't mean that the lion walk is not a great idea or unsafe. Henry explained that there are a number of precautionary measures they take. He also knows how to unlock a lions jaw. "I am sorry" I however told him. I explained to him that some are made to walk with lions (just like some like white water rafting, Bungee jumping and paragliding and all sorts of adrenaline activities) - as for me, I think I am happpy doing the Double entry accounting for the trust - and watching my 25th re run of the Lion King - "For I just can't wait to be king!"
Henry is still trying to convince me. I wish him luck, thinking of the name Mufasa even gives me shivers.. brrrrrrr.