The ugly side of Lion volunteer projects

Thousands of people visit facilities where they interact with lion cubs. They are encouraged to pet, cuddle and have their photographs taken with a cute lion cub. Thousands of people get involved in lion walking.  Thousands of volunteers wish to work at wildlife sanctuaries, particularly if they have lion cubs to take care of, to bottle feed, to hand raise and post the pictures on social media sites. Unfortunately those volunteers are contributing to an ugly industry; the industryof canned hunting and lion carcass trade.
 

WHERE DO THESE MANY LION CUBS COME FROM?
The harsh reality is that they are a product of a form of farming. The cubs are forcefully taken from their mothers right after they are born. This causes extreme stress to both the mother and the cubs. This way the mother will keep breeding and shhe will then be able to produce 2 to 3 litters of cubs per year. This serves no other purpose than to acquire as many new cubs as quickly as possible, but for with what goal?
 
WHY WOULD VOLUNTEERS HAND REAR A LION CUB?
caged lionThere are no benefits at all as lions normally grow up in a natural social group and any cubs that are hand-reared will never be able to be released into the wild again. There is no conservation value to this kind of lion breeding and the only reason to do so is for money. Money volunteers are willingly paying - not always knowing what really happens to the cubs. Breeding farms are actively misguiding the volunteers with all kinds of stories about gene diversity, releasing lions and conservation; this is a total lie. No lions are being released and especially not those that are hand-reared.

THE CUBS

The cute pictures of baby lions are frequently used to attract volunteers to South Africa to look after them and bottle feed them. Volunteers will unfortunately pay lots of money to work at a facility where there are cubs, made to believe that the animals will be reintroduced back to a natural life and that it is part of conservation; it is not.

No real lion sanctuary will allows breeding in captivity for captivity.  So there will never be cubs to interact with at a genuine lion sanctuary and if there are they will not allow the public to interact with them for a fee.


WALKING WITH LIONS
When the young lions can no longer be pawed and picked up by volunteers, they are used for walking with tourists.These lions must walk, whether they want to or not, as often as the business requires.
 
BEFORE THE HUNT
When the lions get older, and can no longer walk with tourists, they will live the rest of their lives in small cramped enclosures - bored and lonely.

THE HUNT
When they finally reach huntable age, they are now used for the last time.They are sold to hunters. Te Canned hunting industry in South Africa is one of the cruelest businesses on the planet.

THE BONES

The last chapter in this sorry story is that the lion bones will be sold to the Asian markets to make lion bone cake for medicinal purposes, regardless of the fact that there is no medicinal value in them.These bones fetch thousands of dollars and the industry is growing.

DANGER TO WILD LIONS
There is a terrible danger to wild lion prides due to poaching, because how do you tell a poached dead lion from a canned hunted dead lion when the bones are exported to Asia?  You can't. When the pride males are shot, it takes the pride approximately 7 years to re-establish a functioning unit.

HOW CAN YOU TELL IF IT'S A TRUE SANCTUARY?
No true sanctuary will have any cubs to interact with or allow you to walk with predators.  A true sanctuary for lions and other predators will not allow breeding nor will it allow any physical interaction with the cats.This is to protect you and the animals from harmful diseases. Every reputable animal welfare organisation in the world condemns the use of lion cubs, or any wild animal babies, as a human plaything.

YOUR RESPONSIBILITY
We urge tourists and volunteers to practice responsible tourism and use their dollars for good and not evil. If you are guilty of indulging in any of the above practices, you must do so knowing that the lion cubs that you interact with are from the canned hunting industry and that you are contributing to their terrible lives.

 

 

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