HE climbed the highest mountain in the world aged 65 and is one of the country’s most famous explorers.
Now Sir Ranulph Fiennes has taken on one of his greatest challenges of all – to help save the Africa lion.
On Monday, August 6, the 68-year-old will be guest of honour at the Victoria Quarter in Leeds to open the African Needs Lions wildlife photography show – in aid of the African Lion & Environmental Research Trust (Alert).
The ex-SAS soldier is patron of the Zimbabwe-based animal conservation charity which breeds and then releases lions into the wild.
He was invited to the 6.30pm event by Rae Kokes from Shadwell who is an Alert research technician.
She became fascinated with lions as a little girl, later studying wildlife conservation at university and getting a masters in animal behaviour.
The 24-year-old spends the year working at Alert’s Antelope Park nature reserve near Gweru.
The ex-Leeds Girls High School pupil, and Notre Dame sixth form student, told the YEP: “The African lion is the most iconic species in the world, and has been for thousands of years.
“Numbers have fallen by 80-90 per cent from 450,000 to 20,000 since the 1970s – no other species known to man has ever experienced such a decimation of numbers.
“Africa Needs Lions is an event not only to raise much needed funds for Alert but to create awareness.
“We must act now to save the lion from extinction and we are honoured that Sir Ranulph will be helping the cause in Leeds.”
The charity was set up in 2005 by Andrew Conolly.
Sir Ranulph became its patron in 2007.
He said: “I am extremely proud to represent Alert, not just because of its forward thinking work to help save the African lion, but because they are looking at the wider issues in conservation on the African continent.”
To sponsor the event or get tickets email Rae Kokes at email@example.com.