Last night I watched a documentary called Blood Lions on MSNBC. Depressing? Yes, and horrifying.
It was about “canned hunting”, and the raising of lions for “the bullet”. Of course, consumers who want to volunteer in lion conservation programs, or who want to aid in conservation efforts, are told that these “farms” are all about introducing lions back into the wild. In South Africa, that is most definitely not true.
Lion cubs, who normally stay with their mother for 18 months at least, are removed from their mother after 3 days to a week. Why? So mom can go into heat again and produce more lions who will grow up so people can shoot them.
Lions are kept fenced in, but people come and pay to pet them, walk them, play with them. When they grow older, trophy hunters come to kill them.
These are “canned” hunts. The lions are raised by humans, so they have no fear. They are “tracked” in fenced areas, and even baited. Seeing these animals shot and killed on film was devastating.
Why do hunters want “canned hunts”? Because it guarantees them a trophy, a trophy that is perfect, not marred by living life in the wild.
We should all watch this documentary. Lions are endangered, and finally people are reacting. Botswana has made it illegal in the aftermath of Cecil’s death. If you don’t know who Cecil the Lion is, pick up a newspaper, or surf the news. Do you want to help outlaw the poaching of lions? Sign here! Zimbabwe outlawed hunting…for nine days. Check this out: http://www.luxuryhunts.com/zimbabwe_lion_hunt.html. So where do these lions come from on these hunts? I cannot find the answer. Does anyone know??
Fortunately, many corporations are coming on board (finally!) in regards to the transport of “trophy parts”. Air France, KLM, British Airways, United, American, Delta…have responded by disallowing transport of endangered animal parts like lions, shark fins, tiger, rhino, elephant, etc. Please, before you travel, find it if the airline allows transport of these items. If they do, don’t fly them. Before you ship anything, find out if the shipping company still ships endangered animal parts.
I probably won’t be here in 50 years, but my grandchildren will be. I want them to see wild animals in their habitats, I hope they can snorkel or dive and see sharks. And a coral reef. However, at this rate, they won’t be able to. Can you imagine an earth where these animals are extinct? The ocean dead? It is coming, unless we stop it.
My family walked with lions in Zimbabwe. Afterward, I found out it is a “for profit” operation, Lion Encounter. I still am unsure if they are truly trying to help or if they are exploiting animals. It does not sound good, though, I hope those beautiful creatures are still alive. We will never do it again, nor will we do a penned dolphin swim or go to a sea world. Once you know the harm that it is doing, the only thing to do is stop contributing to the harm.