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FOUR PAWS Animal Welfare Foundation SA WAD celebrations at LIONSROCK Big Cat Sanctuary, Bethlehem, Free State

Fifteen roaring, squeaking and tweeting children from the rural township Bohlokong, paraded their newly made masks and costumes, creatively performing animal movements and sounds, during the World Animal Day celebrations hosted by FOUR PAWS at its animal welfare project for big cats, LIONSROCK.  The children were treated to a fun filled day of activities, educational dvd’s and a special game drive to visit the big cats. “This was a wonderful opportunity for us to consolidate the learning that has taken place throughout the year” said Ntsebe Mofokeng, Education Coordinator at FOUR PAWS. “Their performance today in emulating how animals would feel if subjected to performing for humans for example in a circus, is a clear indication that they really understand that animals have feelings” he went on to say.  The programme, developed to EU standards, is presented weekly and encompasses many aspects to instilling in these youngsters the understanding of empathy, love and respect for animals. Schools are also invited to LIONSROCK for educational excursions and to date, the programme has seen 5000 children.  “Animals need to be respected and loved. People should respect the wild and never interfere with animals’ behaviour” said Lehlohonolo Koao, one of the children who participated in the programme.  As the children departed LIONSROCK, happily exhausted from a fun filled day, they left with the promise of ensuring that in their homes and communities, every day would be a world animal day!  Support from the Dihlabeng Local Municipality in the form of a sponsorship of transport and refreshments was appreciatively received by FOUR PAWS and the children. “Through the support of our sponsors and volunteers, we were able to make a lasting impression for these children today and create new voices to speak up for the animals” concluded Ntsebe Mofokeng.  For further information about the educational programme offerings and school excursions, FOUR PAWS can be contacted on: Educational Coordinator, Ntsebe Mofokeng-Email: ntsebe.mofokeng@vier-pfoten.org  Telephone: +27 (0)58 303 1651  Media Contact: Fiona Miles, Operational Director-Email:Fiona.miles@vier-pfoten.org  Telephone: +27 (0)83 408 0463

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