Canned lion hunting – thousands of lions are set to die at the hands of “hunters”. There is so much discussion as of late about the American hunter who killed a lion in Zimbabwe. What he did is disgusting, yes, but people should know that this happens every day in South Africa!
The reason that this story has hit the news is that the lion Cecil was well-known and beloved. I have to ask, what about the thousands of other lions and other big game that are bred purely for some hunter to pull a trigger and call it sport?
There are hundreds of canned lion hunting farms in South Africa and more lions in captivity on those farms than in the wild. Here is more on this story by Huffington Post and video.
Farms may refer themselves as a private wildlife park, when in reality, they are breeding wildlife only to be killed for money, lots of it. Some allow people onto their site so they can pet and play with the baby lions and other wildlife, or even walk with tame big cats. What you don’t see is the hidden area where other big cats and other animals are waiting their demise at the hand of someone with a lot of money and the desire to kill. I urge people to do research before you visit a farm like this in South Africa. A true sanctuary for injured and abused wildlife is something else.
Breeders in canned hunting farms remove cubs from their mother at birth so that the lioness will quickly become fertile again. For an animal that is usually weaned at six months, missing out on the crucial colostrum, or first milk, can cause ill-health. The lioness is just a breeding machine. The whole game is just cruel.
It is still legal to bring a lion carcass back to Britain, or anywhere in Europe or North America as a trophy, and much of the demand comes from overseas. Trophy-hunters are attracted by the guarantee of success. Where is the sport in killing a defenseless animal? Wild populations of lions have declined by 80% in 20 years thanks to lion hunting.
Demand for lion parts for traditional Asian medicine is soaring. Let’s hope something is done to stop this archaic behaviour before they become extinct, as is the fate facing many species of rhinos. With poaching of elephants and rhinos having become an epidemic, people need to give their heads a shake. Go on safari with your camera instead. It is unforgettable and you will be able to live with yourself afterwards.