For the Love of Wildlife does not support wild animal interactions or animals in captivity. If wild animals, in their natural habitat, wish to interact it must solely be initiated by the animal without coercion, on the animal’s terms, sensitively explored by both.
South Africa is the home of predator breeding and canned hunting, two inter-related practices that use and abuse lions as well as other predators in the most horrific forms of commercial exploitation. Today, anywhere between 8000 with some estimates guessing as many as 12000 predators, most of them lions, are being kept in cages or confined areas on approximately 200 private farms across the country.
Used for a host of revenue streams, many ultimately will end up being shot in canned hunts. Annually, close to 800 lions are killed by trophy hunters in enclosed or confined areas with little or no chance of escape, while hundreds more get killed and shipped to the East for the burgeoning lion bone trade.
Despite the claims of the operators, all leading conservationists and lion ecologists agree there is absolutely no conservation merit whatsoever in these practices.
For volunteering at reputable conservation agencies please make sure the public do not handle animals and there are no interactions. A true sanctuary will never allow this nor will they breed.
We ask that anyone visiting South Africa and its regional neighbours such as Namibia, Zambia and Zimbabwe to please seriously consider the following:
- There is no need to be breeding lions in cages or enclosed areas as hand-reared, human-imprinted and genetically contaminated animals have no conservation value.
- While wild lions remain seriously threatened, this status has more to do with habitat loss and a loss of their prey base than it does with population numbers.
- If South Africa does need lions to start new populations in protected areas, these will come from existing wild stocks and not from captive-bred lions.
- Taking lion and other cubs away from their mothers is not a natural process and is done only to exploit the animals and you as the visitor or volunteer.
- Using lion breeding farms as an educational facility is like using fast-food outlets as a venue to teach about nutrition and good eating habits – it should not be done.
- No self-respecting researcher or scientific institution should condone these practices.
- Almost all trophy hunting in South Africa is canned hunting, which means the animal has been specifically bred for the bullet with little to no chance of escape.
- Authentic wildlife sanctuaries do not breed, trade or interact with the animals in any way.
- If you do find yourself on any lion farm, ask the serious questions: Why are they doing what they do? Where did these animals come from? And where are they going when they get older?
By supporting these facilities, either as a day visitor, volunteer or hunter you are directly contributing to the misinformation that confuses conservation messages and priorities.
It also results in a misdirection of valuable conservation funding away from the real threats facing wild lions.
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