Cape Town – On Saturday 2nd April a small group of people met in Cape Town and marched down Adderley Street, up Long Street and into the Company Gardens, as part of a Global March for Lions.
It was a desperate attempt to raise awareness for the plight of these endangered animals – and while thousands were not marching, there were a couple of hundred passionate individuals who came out to add a collective raw to the issue.
And through online participation and social media it’s one we can all assist with.
An organisation called, Help.four-paws.org, is spearheading a petition to President Jacob Zuma, with 255 288 of 300 000 required signatures already signed.
Says Help.Four-paws.org on its website, “The most extreme variety of trophy hunting is “Canned Hunting”. Most of the victims are lions, which are served to their hunters on a silver platter: The animals which are born in captivity are taken away from their mothers within hours of being born so they can be used in petting zoos. When they become of age they then spend the rest of their life in caged compounds waiting to be released in a larger compound for the so called ‘canned’ hunt.”
“We want to ask the South African President Jacob Zuma and the South African Minister of Environmental Affairs Edna Molewa, to oppose the powerful lobby of the lion breeders and to ban the cruel Canned Hunting at last!”
It is an issue that has recently received global attention, mostly through the prolific Blood Lions documentary which details the farce that exists through lion cub petting, conservation voluntourism and the canned lion hunting industry.
Other means of adding your voice and weight to the issue is to simply say no to visiting any facility that offers lion cub petting.
Much as we all would love this experience with adorable large kitties, these cuties are destined for a miserable and unnatural life. As soon as they are too old to be cute, and safe around people they will be relocated to a facility that feeds into the canned hunting industry.
Canned hunting is an unfair fight. Lions that associate humans with food are released into a wild, but small, controlled environment and are sold to hunters. It is a guaranteed kill. It is not hunting, it is target shooting. It is wrong.
South Africa as a nation has an excellent approach towards protecting the environment and our laws around conservation are solid. We need to put pressure on Government to continue the good work and ban canned hunting and animal interaction. There is big money involved in these industries, but we need to continue fighting for what is right.