Skip to content

Blood Lions® Campaign: 2018 in review

Since the film premiered in July 2015, the Blood Lions® Campaign team – together with the wonderful support of key partners around the world – have 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.

Below is a brief outline of our key milestones for 2018 – another significant year for change and awareness with the help of many partners and organisations in tourism, conservation and welfare.

Digital Media 2018

  • The Website: over 200 000 visitors
  • Blood Lions Facebook: over 54 000 followers; reach over 3.3 million in 2018
  • Blood Lions Twitter: over 7 300 followers; reach over 1.9 million in 2018
  • YouthForLions Facebook: over 4800 followers, reach over 366 000 in 2018
  • YouthForLions Twitter: over 710 followers, reach over 707 000 in 2018
  • Five international tweet storms with involving millions of supporters worldwide
  • Online support since 2015 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 (12 m), Marc Abraham (46.8k)

Media Coverage:

  • R53 673 762.16 pro bono media coverage globally to date and climbing daily.


  • International Distributors
    • PBS International, USA and IFD, South Africa
  • Blood Lions®DVD and VOD
  • Blood Lions® TV airings (54min TV edits): still ongoing in 180 countries/territories around the world through the Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, MSNBC, TV Ontario, RTK, N-Tv, Planéte.
  • Blood Lions® “curated” screenings:Over 150 screenings in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Finland, Germany, Holland, India, Indonesia, Israel, Kenya, Namibia, Nepal, New Zealand, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom, United States of America, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
  • Blood Lions® promotional clips: 9 short info clips produced for the campaign, featuring different aspects of the captive lion breeding and canned hunting industry.
  • Blood Lions® short promotional “teasers”: 9 info teasers produced this year for social media events
  • 30,000 Blood Lions® DVDs distributed throughout South Africa:leading retailer Woolworths distributed largest number of DVD’s ever ordered in SA through their Bags4Good “Born to Live Wild” campaign.

2018 “Milestones”

  • 2018 total media coverage for the year: Over R13 673 000.00 in pro bono media
  • TV Airings: In addition to ongoing international airings of the TV edit of Blood Lions®, South African station SABC3 aired the full version of the film to coincide with World Lion Day on 10th
  • VOD: Contracts were signed with Ecostreamz in the USA for global viewing (excl. SA), and Showmax for viewing in South Africa.
  • Promotional videos: Nine short clips were produced for release to coincide with key campaign initiatives
  • TV interviews:Blood Lions presented on Kyknet TV on the captive breeding industry
  • Radio interviews:Cape Talk Radio, RGS, Algoa FM on various topics in the industry.
  • Thirteen school/university Blood Lions® Screenings and “Youth For Lions” presentations
  • Fourteen curated Blood Lions® Screenings, presentations and talks were hosted over the year. Various TV, radio, magazine and newspaper interviews and articles were also conducted during the year
  • Partnership activations and events:
    • British Illustrator and author Patrick George created effective graphics for “YouthForLions”
    • Richard Peirce’s “Cuddle Me, Kill Me” Book included Blood Lions contributions
    • Humane Society International (HSI) Tourism alert and Poll
    • Humane Society International (HSI) / Blood Lions airline magazine advertisements:
  • South African Media Launch of Born Free Foundation’s ‘Cash before Conservation’ Report: An Overview of the Breeding of Lions for Hunting and Bone Trade.
  • Blood Lions broke the news on the slaughter of over 100 lions in the Freestate province which gained international attention and national action. Read Article Here
  • EWT Joint open letter to Department of Environmental Affairs on predator attacks.
  • Membership of a newly formed coalition of conservation leaders created to “stop the captive breeding and keeping of lions and other big cats for commercial purposes”.
  • Bellevue Café, Kloof, KZN: Coffee campaign and fundraiser to raise awareness around captive lion breeding industry.
  • Thompsons Africa: multiple screening of Blood Lions to Thompsons Africa staff, followed by signing of the Blood Lions “Born To Live Wild” Tourism Pledge committing not to endorse or sell exploitative wildlife interactions: Read Here
  • SA Institute of International Affairs: contribution towards report by Dr. Ross Harvey “The Economics of Captive Predator Breeding in SA
  • SPOTS in the Netherlands, in partnership with TUI and ANVR, held multiple screenings of the Blood Lions® at Stenden University, Saxion University and Wageningen University, which formed part of an extended “Responsible Tourism and Voluntourism” initiative
  • WESSA : Envirokidz Magazine insert on cub petting
  • Participated in the “Cape Town Unites For Animals” March
  • Trek for Big Cats “Everest Base Camp” raising awareness around the plight of big cats
  • Jackson Hole Wild, USA: Mobile film Library partnering with African Parks to hold screenings of films in rural areas across Africa
  • Live Facebook feeds / videos
    • Karl Ammann, Swiss filmmaker and environmental journalist: speaking about the tiger bone trade in South East Asia and his upcoming film. Watch it here.
    • Pippa Hankinson, Blood Lions: speaking about the Portfolio Committee for the Environment’s Report as adopted by Parliament, which followed the colloquium on captive lion breeding in South Africa. Watch it here.
    • Andrew Venter, CEO WildTrust: discussing the lion bone trade. Watch it here.
  • Trade Fairs and Conferences attended
    • Indaba, Durban South Africa
    • We Are Africa: Conservation Lab, Cape Town South Africa
    • South African Youth Travel Conference (SAYTC), Western Cape
    • Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Environment, Cape Town: two day colloquium entitled “Captive Lion Breeding For Hunting In South Africa: Harming Or Promoting The Conservation Image Of The Country?”
    • Symposium of Contemporary Conservation Practice
  • Youth For Lions Online Campaign:
    • YFL Blog: launched December 2018 as a way to share educational content regarding the captive lion breeding industry, as well as to keep our followers up to date with news from the campaign and activities that the YouthForLions team are involved in.
    • 2018 #YouthForLions On-Line Campaigns (Initiatives):
      • #AprilAwareness– Campaign looking at the six questions you should be asking before visiting wildlife facilities.
      • #JumpIntoActionInJune– Raised awareness around the actions our followers could take against the cub petting industry, canned lion hunting and lion bone trade. Each week an action was highlighted that enabled our followers to help make a difference in the conservation and protection of lions.
      • #SeptemberSchoolsChallenge– We challenged our followers, their friends and schools to sign our PLEDGE and SAY NO to animal interaction and facilities involved in the captive breeding and canned hunting industry.  We asked them to send in their pictures and join the global movement against the canned hunting industry in South Africa.