Last week I came across a post on Instagram of the cast of the Bold and the Beautiful at the famous Lion and Safari Park and that is how this post came about.
Now I do not blame the group of soapie actors for going on this outing I’m sure it’s very exciting for them to get a chance to play with lion cubs and other African animals, the one to blame is African Star Communications, the PR and event management company which allegedly took the stars to the Lion Park, they could’ve organized a trip to the Pilanesberg National Park it’s only 2 hours away from Johannesburg and they would’ve had a chance to see animals in the wild.
If you didn’t know, facilities that provide cub petting or any animal interaction are somehow connected to canned hunting.
Canned hunting has been occurring in South Africa as long as we can remember, the government condones or overlooks canned hunting because it brings in a huge chunk of money to the country’s economy as tourists are willing to pay big money for their trophy animal, some companies charge as much as $25 000 (R350 000) for a black maned lion and $350 000 (R4.8 million) for a black rhino. Trophy hunting brings in a revenue of $200 million in Africa.
Companies providing hunting services will often say that the fees received from trophy hunting go towards anti poaching efforts, but how is it helping when most of these animals are under the endangered list of animals, why not help conservation by not killing these animals.
Cubs are usually taken away from their mothers a few days after they are born causing great stress for the mom as well as the cub, this forces the lioness to breed again. When lioness are kept captive they are forced to breed 2-3 times a year while in the wild they will reproduce every second or third year. The sad reality is that these cubs are a product of cub farming and no one in that type industry really cares about conservation.
The sad reality is that tourists do not realize that the cute cub they take photos with or the lions they walk with, will later in its life be sold by the park providing these services to game farms that facilitate trophy hunting, unfortunately these animals can no longer be released into the wild because they have not grown up in their natural social group, therefore they wouldn’t survive.
So what is the real difference between poaching and trophy hunting? the only big difference is that hunters unlike poachers need a permit to hunt animals, and their are willing to pay a lot of money to kill an animal, but in both cases animals are killed for profit.
As a tourist how can you tell if a sanctuary is helping animals? A sanctuary should not have services providing cub petting or any animal interaction. No true sanctuary allows breeding in captivity for captivity, so there shouldn’t be cubs or baby animals to interact with at any sanctuary.
We recommend tourists and volunteers to practice responsible tourism and use their money for good and not evil. If you would like to volunteer we recommend visiting the following places.
Watch Blood Lions to learn more about canned hunting
Images were found on Google and *Images are copyrighted to its original owner