There are thousands of lions held captive in South Africa. There are more captive lions than there are wild lions. Why? For canned hunting.
In 2015 the Australian Government introduced laws to ban the trade on most lion items from importation and exportation, including hunting trophies as lions are classed on Appendix I of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Preventing hunting trophies from import is a very important step. Sadly, unsuspecting tourists, particularly western tourists, are playing a contributing role in this industry.
Overseas breeders sustain high breeding numbers in canned hunting farms as they get unsuspecting tourists to pay to bottle feed cubs, have a photo with the cubs, to walk them…often under the guise of being a “sanctuary” or “rescue organisation”. This false ecotourism / voluntourism is a front. Many tourists likely believe that they the activity involving lions they are partaking in are ethical choices, but the industry is rife with lies and manipulation.
What is canned hunting?
This is not conservation. Wild lion populations have declined since the rise of farms and this is not skilled hunting. This is riding on the back of a ute with a local guide and murdering a lion that cannot escape.
What happens to the lions?
These facilities are factory farms for big cats and often if the lion dies before it is of trophy age, its bones are sold as medicine..
What can you do about it?
Canned hunting is not restricted to lions.