Always an advocate for animals and animal rights, I was devastated to watch this video and learn more about the Canned Lion Hunting industry which is still alive and well in South Africa. I had naively thought it no longer existed.
This episode of Special Assignment, an investigative reporting program on SABC, exposes the haunting truth. Including the fate of too many of the lion cubs that we see at ‘petting farms’ that we visit.
Labelled the “green con”, it shows how some volunteers are paying exorbitant amounts of money to come to South Africa to hand raise lion cubs under the impression that they are doing it for conservation. Sadly, it appears that most of these cubs end up in a “canned” hunt or as ‘breeding robots for farms’.
The lioness killed in minute 2.40 guts me. She isn’t scared at all. She’s used to people, raised by them, trusts them to the very end. Like any loyal pet. I can only imagine her confusion, as well as her pain, when that trust is betrayed. And in the name of ‘sport’? For money.
The feature also highlights the alleged abuse of the permit system for the breeding and hunting of lion. We do need to have standardised regulations across all provinces. Again something I thought had been implemented.
It isn’t easy, but I ask that you take the time to watch this and then learn how you too can make a difference. For one, please don’t visit animal ‘petting programs’. There are sanctuaries out there that limit human interaction in a hope of offering some normality to the animals. Those are the ones we need to support.
Eyes open and to the ground as work for the animals of this world needs to continue.