NEWS: Blood Lions releases new ‘HOPE’ video clip

Blood Lions marks its milestones … there is hope?

Blood Lions is commemorating its 5th (or Wood) anniversary this year and we are using this time of “strength” to consolidate our efforts. Since the release of the Blood Lions documentary film, the campaign has made great strides in our aim to raise global awareness around the captive lion breeding and “canned” (captive) hunting industries, as well as its associated tourism activities.

To mark our 2019 milestones, we have released a new video clip to give HOPE to our supporters and the ongoing campaign. Even though there are now an estimated 12,000 lions in captivity in South Africa, bred purely for commercial purposes, there are also many encouraging developments resulting from our collective voices.

On social media we reached 7.4 million people across the globe in 2019 alone, making use of strong video and graphic content to spread our message. One such clip was the release of a powerful animation of the “Life Cycle of a Captive Lion” produced using Patrick George illustrations, which has been translated into nine different languages (English, Dutch, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Russian and Slovenian).

Blood Lions® has been aired in approximately 180 countries and territories around the world through TV channels including Discovery International, Animal Planet, MSNBC, TV Ontario, RTK, N-Tv, Planéte, People’s Weather, SABC3 and is now also available on Netflix Africa.

In 2019, we screened the Blood Lions film at 21 schools and universities reaching close to 2,000 students. The YouthForLions campaign pledge to not pet lion cubs or walk with lions was signed by nearly 2,000 young people from around South Africa.

The campaign was afforded pro bono online and print media coverage equivalent of over ZAR 7,5 million in 2019.

The icing on the cake however was the release of the Southern Africa Tourism Services Association (SATSA) Guidelines and Tool to evaluate captive wildlife attractions and activities in order to help the industry and visitors to make responsible and ethical choices. We would like to congratulate SATSA on developing such solid and timely guidance for the tourism industry and travellers alike.

The SATSA guidelines draw a clear ‘line in the sand’ as to what is no longer considered as acceptable in terms of tourism experiences involving captive wildlife. This includes cub petting, walking with predators, training of animals to ‘perform’, “canned” or captive hunting and the trade in animal parts.

We would like to thank our donors, colleagues, partners and followers for their loyal support over the years. Without you, Blood Lions would not be able to give our captive wildlife a voice.

When travelling in South Africa, THINK before you VISIT, CUDDLE, WALK WITH, VOLUNTEER WITH or SHOOT wild animals being held in captivity.

For more information about the Blood Lions campaign:

  • Find our new HOPE video clip HERE
  • WATCH the full Blood Lions documentary feature film on Netflix Africa
  • View our 2019 Milestones HERE
  • Visit our website for more information
  • Follow us on social media to stay up to date

Blood Lions® 2019 Milestones

Since the film premiered in July 2015, the Blood Lions® Campaign team – in collaboration with key partners around the world – has made great strides in their efforts to raise global awareness around captive lion breeding and “canned” (captive) hunting, as well as the associated tourism activities. We would like to thank our donors, colleagues and associates for all their support over the last year.

Digital Media

  • The Website: over 224000 visitors;
  • Film trailer: over 400 000 views on YouTube
  • Facebook: over 95 000 followers; reach over 5 300 000 in 2019 year;
  • Twitter: over 7 500 followers; reach over 980 000 in 2019;
  • Five international tweet storms with involving millions of supporters worldwide;
  • Online support from top international influencers and celebrities: Ellen de Generes (48m followers), Miley Cyrus (19.4m), Ian Somerhalder, (6.21m), Nikki Reed (.8m), Shannon Elizabeth (.6m), Emily VanCamp (.5m), Ricky Gervais (12m), Pamela Anderson (1.1m)

Online and Print Media Coverage:

  • ZAR 61 200 287.04 pro bono media coverage globally to date.


  • Blood Lions® TV airings (full feature and 54min TV edits):  aired in approximately 180 countries/territories around the world through the Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, MSNBC, TV Ontario, RTK, N-Tv, Planéte, People’s Weather and SABC3;
  • Film Festivals:  Blood Lions® was nominated for screening at seventeen international film festivals in 13 countries during 2016/2017;
  • Subtitled versions Blood Lions®:  The film is subtitled into Spanish, German, Hebrew and Portuguese;
  • Blood Lions® curated global screenings:  Australia, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Finland, Germany, Holland, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Israel, Kenya, Namibia, Nepal, New Zealand, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States of America, Zambia, Zimbabwe;
  • Blood Lions® promotional clips:  9 short clips produced for the campaign, featuring different aspects of the captive lion breeding and canned hunting industry;
  • Blood Lions® short promotional “teasers”:  “less than a minute” teasers produced for social media platforms and presentations;
  • YouthForLions “Life Cycle of a Captive Bred Lion”:  educational clip released and produced in 9 different languages for online channels across the world;
  • 30,000 Blood Lions® DVDs distributed through leading South African retailer Woolworths:  largest number of DVD’s ever ordered in SA through their Bags4Good “Born to Live Wild” campaign.


  • African Responsible Tourism Awards ARTA17: Blood Lions® “Born to Live Wild” Tourism Campaign won joint “Overall Winner” as well as the Gold;
  • Award for “Best Responsible Tourism Campaign” ARTA 17;
  • FICMA Golden Sun 2016:    Award for best Feature Documentary;
  • 59th CINE GOLDEN EAGLE AWARDS: Finalist Nonfiction Content / Feature – Current Affairs and Investigations Category;
  • WESSA “Award for Corporates2016;
  • GENESIS AWARD 2015: Humane Society US: Best International Feature Documentary Film.

2019 “Milestones”

  • Online and Print Media Coverage:  ZAR 7 526 515.88
  • Netflix Africa:  Blood Lions feature film documentary was launched on their channel
  • 21 School and University screenings and presentations attended by close to 2 000 students around the world;
  • Presentations and talks:  Numerous presentations and talks were given, together with a number of media and radio interviews, including Salaamedia, Ballito 88FM, Durban Youth Radio, Northglen News, Newsweek, Animal People Forum, the Durban Natural Science Museum, WESSA, World Travel Market Africa and London, among others
  • Tourism Trade Fairs and workshops attended and/or exhibited:
    • SATSA: workshop prior to the publishing of their Wildlife Interaction Guidelines and Tool;
    • World Travel Market, Cape Town;
    • Travel Indaba, Durban; 
    • We Are Africa “Conservation Lab”, Cape Town;
    • World Travel Market, London: Blood Lions presented and took part in a panel discussion to a large international audience.
  • “Life Cycle of a Captive Lion” Animated video:  a short animated clip – produced from illustrations by Patrick George – was released in January, and translated during the year into nine different languages: English, Dutch, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Russian and Slovenian.
  • “Born to Live Wild” Tourism Campaign & Pledge
    • TreadRight Foundation, Cullinan Holdings and The TravelCorporation partnership. This group – comprising over 50 brands and travel companies – signed the “Born To Live Wild” Tourism Pledge, bringing the total to close to 200 signatories representing almost 3 000 member organizations around the world
  • “Youth for Lions” Campaign
  • Partnership Activations and Events:
    • Blood Lions YouthForLions “Live Wild” workshop was attended by approximately 100 students in Durban. Topics included conservation, careers, responsible tourism and ethical wildlife volunteering, and presentations were hosted by WildlifeAct, Thompsons Africa, Project Rhino and Youth 4 African Wildlife. The Wilderness Leadership School sponsored two Wilderness Trails and – in collaboration with WildlifeAct – Blood Lions hosted a wildlife monitoring weekend in Hluhluwe Umfolozi Game Reserve for the winning team.
    • Humane Society International – Africa:  HSI sponsored Blood Lions advertisements in Airlink’s SKYWAYS magazine in January and March to help spread awareness around the cub petting industry.
    • Inside Edge:  A fund-raising event at Katmandu Restaurant in Ballito, KZN, was hosted by Inside Edge in support of the Blood Lions campaign.
    • World Animal Protection:  WAP partnered Blood Lions with a Mango Airlines In-Flight advertisement in their MangoJuice magazine in December to create further awareness around the cub petting tourism industry.
  • The Lion Coalition: Various letters and emails were written and sent by the Coalition, including open letters to President Ramaphosa, the Minister of Justice and the Rhino & Lion Park.  A number of Media Statements were also published, including releases about the SATSA’s “Animal Interaction Guidelines”, and the Reclassification of 33 wild mammal species under the Animal Improvement Act.
  • #WildlifeTourismChat: Blood Lions took part in the #WildlifeTourismChat on Twitter to commemorate World Rhino Day.  Blood Lions’ tweets had 10 000 impressions from the Wildlife Tourism Chat .
  • Comrades Marathon: The 94th annual Comrades Marathon took place in KwaZulu-Natal in June. Jackie Polchet and Monique Van Den Busken ran in support of Blood Lions to raise funds as well as to create awareness.
  • Southern Africa Tourism Services Association (SATSA): SATSA released their Animal Interaction Guidelines in October.  The Guide draws a clear ‘line in the sand’ as to what is not acceptable in terms of human interaction activities with wildlife. This includes cub petting; walking with lions; training of animals to ‘perform’ or behave unnaturally; attractions which cause animals fear or discomfort; and activities that put animals or humans in any kind of danger.
  • Animal Improvement Act (AIA): Lions were among 33 wild species which were reclassified as “farm animals” under an amendment to the Animal Improvement Act. This was passed, without public consultation, by the previous Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in South Africa. The Lion Coalition issued a media statement in this regard.
  • Parliamentary Portfolio Committee for Environmental Affairs (PCEA): A Blood Lions screening was held in Cape Town in November for approximately twenty government officials, including Members of Parliament from the ANC, DA, and IFP, as well as members of the Parliamentary Portfolio Committees for Environment, Agriculture and Tourism.
  • “Last Lioness” Charity Cycle Ride: Blood Lions was the beneficiary of a charity cycle ride by the “Last Lioness” and long-time supporter Hannele Steyn, and fellow cyclist the “Last Lion” Mike Nixon. They cycled over 1 600km from Cape Town to raise awareness for Blood Lions and the Kingsley Holgate Foundation.  Hannele is the only woman in the world to have completed all 16 Cape Epic cycle races.

Top media coverage for Blood Lions and the wider industry in 2019: