Lions 4 Lions dedicated to the conservation of endangered species

Lions+4+Lions+began+as+a+student+organization+in+Spring+2020.+The+club+is+dedicated+to+raising+awareness+and+money+for+endangered+species+in+the+wild.

Maggie Tregre/The Lion's Roar

Lions 4 Lions began as a student organization in Spring 2020. The club is dedicated to raising awareness and money for endangered species in the wild.

Lions 4 Lions, a club dedicated to spreading awareness of the declining lion population in East Africa, was established on campus at the beginning of the Spring 2020 semester.

Students in an Anthropology 410 class came together to create the conservation club after hearing about the Ruaha Carnivore Project, a wildlife conservation unit established to develop effective conservation strategies in the Ruaha wildlife area located in Tanzania. All funds raised by Lions 4 Lions go directly to the organization to support their conservation efforts.

Alyssa Gutierrez, senior sociology major and president of Lions 4 Lions, commented on why she and her classmates came together to establish the club.

“We started the club based off our Anthropology 410 class, which is a real-world ready class,” said Gutierrez. “This class is taught by Dr. Gilbert, who has worked with the Ruaha Carnivore Project in the past, and this class is to help spread awareness of the declining lion populations in the wild.”

Gutierrez described the environmental problems present in Africa.

“Lion prides have vanished from over 95% ancestral range and are considered extinct in 26 African countries,” stated Gutierrez. “Lions in the wild are vulnerable to illegal bushmeat trade, trophy hunting, habitat loss and conflict issues with local tribes. The more we learned, the more we wanted to get involved.”

 

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Given the recent transition to online classes, Lions 4 Lions, as well as all other clubs on campus, have had to adjust their strategies for raising funds and keeping in contact with club members.

Michal Huber, senior general studies major and Lions 4 Lions club member, explained how the club has adapted to the changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We aren’t going to stop trying, but our focus has been shifted slightly,” said Huber. “Since our organization is so new and we can’t participate in things on campus right now, our new goal is to get awareness for our club out there to other students. We are aiming to help the future of the club by securing things such as a club logo, setting up lists and guidelines for events in the future, creating sign up sheets, newsletters, pamphlets, as well as ideas to help raise funds for our project.”

There are no requirements for joining the Lions 4 Lions club. Gutierrez shared how students can stay updated about the club’s activities. 

“We have switched our focus to our social media, raising awareness that way,” said Gutierrez. “We are also currently working on a newsletter of sorts to keep members engaged and updated on what’s going on.”

Gutierrez shared a final thought on the primary goal of the club and its relevance to the university. 

“We want to use Lions 4 Lions to connect to not only Southeastern students, staff and employees, but also a way to connect to the community,” said Gutierrez. “Lions are Southeastern’s mascot and the school’s identity. If there are no more lions, who would Southeastern be then?”

For more information on the club, you can reach them through [email protected], their Instagram @lions4lions or their Facebook @SELULions4Lions. For more information about the Ruaha Carnivore Project, visit their website: www.ruahacarnivoreproject.com.

 

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