Jason Hinde has been going to the bush for as long as he can remember. The 12-year old student at St John’s College in Houghton eagerly anticipates family trips to Madikwe, the Kruger National Park, Pilanesberg and Timbavati, where he never tires of seeing the Big Five up close in the wild. His favourite animal has always been the leopard. Sleek, elegant and majestic, the leopard is the most independent of the wild cats and Jason was surprised to learn that it is among the most endangered. He made up his mind to raise funds to help conservationists rescue and protect vulnerable leopards. “Wild leopards are the most beautiful of the big cats, I think, but they are unfortunately on the vulnerable list. Through this campaign, I would like to direct focus towards protecting the leopard from poaching, poisoning, trapping, and over-hunting,” explains Jason. Because a passion for the bush runs in his family, young Jason enlisted the assistance of his uncle, the renowned wildlife photographer Gerald Hinde, who generously donated 20 limited edition wildlife photographic artworks to Jason’s campaign to help raise funds for and create awareness of the importance of leopard conservation. The dramatic artworks, entitled “Leopard Conservation under the Spotlight” feature a magnificent leopard captured at night, crouched by the water’s edge. Each limited edition print is signed and numbered 1 to 20, and framed with the choice of coffee black frame, white frame with border, or on canvas. “These projects are vital but costly,” Jason says. “Sophisticated and expensive GPS tracking collars are fitted to leopards, enabling conservationists to protect them. Through this campaign, data about their habits and territories are collected. The sad thing is, often these leopards are shot and killed by farmers and hunters.” To date, Jason has raised in excess of R30,000. The proceeds have been earmarked for donation to The Leopard Conservation Project to aid conservation projects on the ground, and to fund much-needed research. For more information please contact Tharina Hinde on 083-226-1434.
About the Artist
Gerald Hinde has won many photographic awards including the BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition, various Agfa Wildlife Awards including the overall winner in 2000, UN Environment Program International Wildlife Photographic Competition and the Fuji Profoto Awards. His work has been published widely in books, national and international magazines, calendars and postcards. geraldhinde.com Text: Bambina Olivares Wise