Leopard and Predator Project, Landmark Foundation

Screaming Shadow: 2011. Simon Max Bannister_900mm x 400mm x 250mm

“Perhaps the point of living is not to be placid & happy and un-touched by the world, but to be deeply, painfully sensitive to it, to see its cruelty & savagery for what they are, and accept all this as readily as we accept its beauty. To be touched by it, hurt by it even, but not be indifferent to it.”
John Simpson, CBE, Writer, Broadcaster

"Gin-traps are used extensively on livestock farms throughout South Africa without any professional supervision. In addition to these traps catching thousands of non target animals, these traps often remain unchecked for long periods. This results in a lingering death from dehydration and starvation." (1) 

I have personally noted these points while living on a game farm:

Trapping does not teach the animal "a lesson".
They do not think like people, the do not communicate like people. 
They have no fear, only "panic" only fight or flight mental processes.
They will return. Trapping will not deter a baboon, a hyena or a leopard.
Only harm them, maim them, kill them and make them extremely aggressive.
If a leopard is killed, their territory will be occupied by other leopards in the future.
There are now proven effective alternatives to these barbaric contraptions.

The gin trap/soft trap must be banned in South Africa.

Imagine the fate of the wild leopards which we uphold as a primary attraction to South Africa. Imagine there helpless cubs, left to fend for themselves without the teachings of survival and hunting. How can we appreciate these creatures and hold them with such high esteem and treat them like so.

"What is needed is a landmark change of thinking to shift the focus away from the control of predators to the protection of livestock, and an appreciation for and partnership with natural eco-system processes and patterns. In this way, we can harness the eco-system’s inherent potential to provide sustainability and economic wealth." (2)

Extracts (1), (2), (3) taken from the Landmark website.

The process: I requested to work with this issue out of a personal concern that we must protect the wilderness we have left, prevent mindless outdated harmfully damaging behaviour. “This gin trap used is the same type as the one  in the video below. This trap falls within the specifications of a soft trap, as now stipulated by the South African government. Take a look this shocking video below.

Real heavy energy permeates from this leg iron. So the first thing I did was de-activate it. This was done by removing the holding mechanism, the second thing was to weld the jaws, half open. As if it were a stuffed creature, made to grimace for eternity. Thirdly I brushed the steel and treated it with oil, this was to make it appear still functional and dangerous. Adding the R200 note as a lure, is a sharp reminder about how we value this iconic creature.


A symbol of power and untamed beauty showcased on the R200 note as the most valued attribute to our conservation efforts. Used here as a lure to the "insatiable" desire of the human mind. An Animal made human trap. Pulling you closer, letting your imagination do the rest. May you empathize with the pain.

The backboard is made of simple pine wood, treated with a dark stain. The wood has been damaged as if attacked by a wild leopard desperately trying to escape the hold of the trap. This gives the viewer the sense of struggle and absolute panic felt by the animal.
At the bottom of it all we have our priorities backward.
Environment then Economics.

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More Information:

Kate Muller

Education Program, Volunteer Co-ordinater & Media Development
Leopard & Predator Project