When An Important Tradition Endangers Leopards in South Africa, A Unique Solution Is Required. Brilliant And Inspiring!


Leopard fur has been used as ceremonial attire worn by the five-million or so members of the Shembe church, a large part of South African culture a for over 100 years. Previously worn only by royalty and chiefs, leopard furs form a ceremonial, religious dress that symbolizes beauty, power and prestige. They have become sought after apparel by a growing number of male Shembe members. A single Shembe gathering can present over 1,000 leopard skins worn by members. Although many skins are old and are passed down from generation to generation, many new ones are a result of poaching, leading to shrinking leopard numbers. Instead of trying to eliminate the tradition or ceremony, people are trying to compromise in a way that protects both the culture and the leopards.

Watch this inspiring and wonderful movement work!

Adam Greene may reside in West Michigan, but the majority of his time is spent providing a comfortable lap for his many animals. When not covered in cats, he is probably writing and drinking ridiculous amounts of coffee.
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