This is an excerpt from an article written by Karen Singh and published online by The Mercury and IOL News on 10 August, 2022
Campaign manager of Blood Lions Dr Louise de Waal said the public can create a change in the commercial captive lion breeding industry by not supporting the exploitation of these wild animals.
De Waal was speaking as the world commemorates World Lion Day on Wedneday in celebration of one of Africa’s most iconic species and to raise awareness on conservation issues globally.
Lions are recognised worldwide for their importance not only from a nature conservation and ecological perspective, but also symbolically, culturally and in terms of tourism.
A statement by the Blood Lions Campaign said currently 8 000 –10 000 lions and thousands of other big cats, including tigers and cheetahs, are bred and kept in captivity in approximately 350 facilities in South Africa. These predators are bred for commercial purposes, including cub petting, voluntourism, canned hunting, the lion bone trade and live exports.
In honour of World Lion Day, a short video clip was produced by Blood Lions to highlight one stage in the exploitative cycle, namely the cub petting, where thousands of tourists and volunteers pay to play with, bottle feed and hand-raise captive-bred predator cubs