A Night to Remember

A Night to Remember
Published: 24 September 2018

A spectacular scene was set at One&Only, Cape Town, on Thursday, 30 August, as guests arrived to celebrate the 14th anniversary of the Cape Leopard Trust. A life size leopard in bronze by renowned Cape Town artist, Dylan Lewis, graced the hotel entrance and ushered in a gala evening of fine food, exquisite wines and entertainment in support of the Trust. The event was the culmination of months of careful planning, and was generously sponsored by the Hans Hoheisen Charitable Trust, managed by Nedbank Private Wealth. Other event partners included the Constantia Valley Wine Route and Leopard’s Leap Family Vineyards, who provided a selection of high quality wines paired with a delicious three-course dinner.

MC, Mark Bayly, opened proceedings for what was a memorable night and masked ball in which every element was inspired by the leopard. Anthony Nicklin of Nedbank Private Wealth shared the philosophy of the Hans Hoheisen Charitable Trust, and its role in supporting conservation and wildlife related community initiatives. Anton Welz of Stephan Welz & Co auctioned a carefully curated selection of desirable lots, each of which had a link to the Trust or its work, and by the final fall of the hammer net proceeds totalling an amazing R864 000 had been raised. In addition, the Hans Hoheisen Charitable Trust donated R1m towards an investment fund being set up to establish a financially sustainable future for the Trust.

In a surprise twist, hidden field cameras captured photos of guests during the evening, and these action shots were showcased as the night came to an end to highlight the important role of remote field cameras in conservation, especially when it comes to research and insights into the lives of extremely shy and elusive Cape leopards. Guests at each table were offered the opportunity to sponsor a camera to be deployed as part of a leopard population survey to take place in the Boland research area in 2019. As a result, 17 new cameras and an additional R85 000 was raised.

Members of the Cape Leopard Trust team and its board of Trustees mingled with the specially invited guests who all came together to support conservation. We would like to thank everyone who made the wonderful evening possible, a number kindly donating their time or expertise for free, and particularly Mr Richard Lyon, General Manager of One&Only Cape Town, and Goodwill Ambassador and event organiser, Di Botha.

Leopards globally have lost 75% of their historical habitat, and current threats to leopards in the Cape include habitat loss, human-wildlife conflict, the skin trade and illegal hunting. The vision behind the gala evening was to encourage new Cape Town based leopard ambassadors, and as we mark the occasion of Heritage Day and reflect on Africa’s incredible natural assets, we value this contribution that will help us to ensure the survival of leopards in the Cape. Wildlife and leopards are an integral part of the African story and our culture, and ultimately their future depends on all of us!

A gallery of images from the evening, and a short video, can be viewed on our website, as well as the event website: Curated for Conservation. www.curatedforconservation.com.

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icon no trap The Cape Leopard Trust’s position statement on acceptable trapping techniques for carnivore research

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