This Easter the Cabela Family Foundation reflects on the values that led them to Twenty Four Lions

Easter reminds us of the power of renewal and caring for God’s creation

As Easter Sunday approaches, many observe it as the beginning of spring. People of faith reflect on its biblical meaning as they use this time to focus on renewal, just as Jesus Christ—and his follower’s faith— was renewed when he was resurrected from the dead. 

The Cabela Family honors our faith in many different ways. One of the most important is by caring for God’s creation, one of the seven themes of Catholic social teaching. We feel called to be stewards of the earth and its creatures, which is a responsibility that every one of us holds.

We believe we should protect people and the planet by living our faith respecting God’s creation.

In a society with controversy over environmental issues, this fundamental moral and ethical challenge cannot be ignored. Of course, this was taught to us not only in the church but also in the way our late father Dick Cabela and our mother Mary Cabela raised us. Being in nature and taking care of the animals and their ecosystem was always emphasized as our duty as humans and as hunters.

The Cabela Family Foundation is putting its beliefs to work through the Twenty Four Lions project. Last fall, we released 24 wild lions into the Zambeze Delta of Mozambique, the largest conservation transport of wild lions across an international boundary in history. 

The project reintroduced lions to the country, adding 2.5 million acres to lions’ habitat in Africa where the species has been absent. The aim of the project is to completely restore the natural ecosystem, not just to restore the lions. Some of the lionesses have given birth to cubs—starting a cycle of life in the Zambeze Delta. We now have more than 30 lions roaming a place where they were once almost depleted.

We can’t think of a better way to care for God’s creation than renewing an out-of-balance ecosystem by resurrecting a species poached and pushed out of existence in the area.

As we resurrect the lions in the Zambeze Delta, we also resurrect an ecosystem that benefits not just the animals, but also the people that live in the local communities. It’s because we believe we have a responsibility to the earth and its beings—animals and humans—alike.

As I write this, I’m traveling in Uganda, visiting the gorillas and reflecting on conservation and its ties to the holy meaning of Easter.

For me, these two scriptures come to mind. “Humans are commanded to care for God’s creation.” (Genesis 2:15) and “The land itself must be given a rest and not abused.” (Leviticus 25:1-7). These and many other passages remind us that none of us is free of responsibility to the environment or conservation. We cannot realize the spiritual renewal of Easter without participating in the protection and resurrection of God’s creation.  

Humbly, the Cabela Family Foundation calls on you to join us in service. Can you volunteer or teach a young person about nature and conservation? Can you donate to a conservation cause? Please share the story of conservation, either our efforts or those of another.  

You can. And we hope you will.

Happy Easter to all of you from the Cabela Family Foundation