Lions take pride of place at Leeds wildlife exhibition Wednesday 23 January 2013 Alumni An exhibition of stunning wildlife photography, organised in Leeds by OG Rae Kokeš, has raised £5000 for endangered African lions. The event, ‘Africa needs lions’ was staged in the Victorian Quarter in Leeds city centre and featured a talk by explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes, who is a patron of The African Lion and Environmental Research Trust (ALERT). The exhibition of a series of stunning lion images, by world renowned wildlife photographer Chris Weston, was the brainchild of Rae who is a research technician with ALERT. Rae, who works on ALERT’s lion conservation projects in Zimbabwe and Zambia, said: “The African lion is history’s most iconic species but has been subjected to a staggering 80-90 per cent population decline in less than 30 years. If this continues the few remaining wild lion populations in Africa face the threat of extinction.” At the exhibition guests were invited to take part in a silent auction and star prize raffle to raise much needed funds for ALERT’s in situ projects across Africa. Proceeds from sales of photographs and prints were also donated to the charity. Rae, who left LGHS in 2004, is also helping to bring her conservation work with African lions to life for school children in the UK by producing a series of teacher resource packs. The packs, aimed at 5-11 year olds, emphasise the need for conservation and introduce youngsters to the wider world. GSAL is among a number of schools to use the resource. Pictured at the opening of the ‘Africa needs lions’ exhibition are Rae Kokeš and Sir Ranulph Fiennes.