Pay to Play

There are two sides to every story, and two sides to the lives of animals in the tourism industry. Many of the baby animals we find so irresistibly adorable and pettable, live a life or torment.

petting lion cub 2

This is the canned hunting industry.

The opportunity to pet, hold, bottle feed, and play with cute orphan lion cubs sounds irresistible to animal lovers.

Captive lion cub 2

Farmed cubs often show signs of stress like hair falling out and diarrhea.

Well-meaning visitors pay big bucks for the privilege of “helping rear motherless cubs.”  Many of these people are led to believe they are playing a part in conservation efforts, that these little tykes will live to be returned to the savanna one day.

But the reality is much darker. Shortly after birth, the babies are taken from their mothers, causing extreme stress to the cubs and the mother alike. This is done to facilitate immediate breeding again for the mother.

Unlike in the wild when lionesses produce a litter every 2-3 years, in the lion “industry”, they are forced to produce 2-3 litters a year!

Once the “cute factor” has worn off and they become a bit larger, they either move on to the next stage of the tourism industry-walking with tourists, or go straight to the breeding stage to perpetuate the cycle.

canned hunting overcrowded

Overcrowded enclosure on captive lion farm.

Finally, the females are used for continuous breeding (no different from puppy mills). The males are catalogued-their photos taken and displayed in a brochure or in an online list for hunters to choose from. They spend their final moments in small, crowded enclosures awaiting their death.

Is this conservation? Is this how the most majestic creature in Africa meant to live?

With lion numbers in severe decline from habitat loss, disease, and hunting, they should be afforded protection, not treated as a commodity.

Please note, there ARE genuine sanctuaries dedicated to the protection and conservation of the species. NONE of them allow the perpetuating of the species for human entertainment (i.e. petting, picture-taking, hunting).

Please read, sign and share the following petition: President Zuma: Banned Canned Hunting

Categories: Rhino Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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6 thoughts on “Pay to Play

  1. Reblogged this on Star Thrower and commented:
    This is why I won’t go to Seaview Predator Park in Port Elizabeth. I’m trying to have an ethical and responsible visit to South Africa and these types of exploitation are deeply troubling.

    • Great that you do your homework! Sad that there’s so much exploitation that we should have to. Thanks for the re-blog!

      • There was a tourist injured at Seaview a couple of weeks ago. She went into the cub area and one of them clawed her up pretty bad. I know how it is when my cat back home gets a little too rough, which is what happened to this woman. They are wild animals not domesticated and shouldn’t be treated as such. Its sad that now this animal is probably going to be put down because of the incident.

  2. CrazyGuyinThailand

    Many places in Thailand like Tiger parks or what to call them. go there have a picture with the tigers. I think its just as anything else today: Movie industry whatever. a job an income. There used to be Lions in the wild all over Asia too. many ancient statues here are about Lions not tigers.

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