Stop Killing Lions and Exporting their Bones

Target: Limpho Makotoko, Chief Operating Officer of the Department of Environmental Affairs, South Africa

Goal: Stop the exportation of captive-bred lion skeletons from South Africa.

The South Africa Department of Environmental Affairs is considering instituting an annual export quota of 800 captive-bred lion skeletons, a decision that will be devastating for the lions of the country. Humane Society International is calling for a zero-export quota, which would suspend trading in captive-bred lion parts. They’re calling for this quota because there is no scientific evidence showing that exporting lion skeletons does not harm wild lions, which is required to meet CITES exporting standards.

Stopping the exportation of captive-bred lion skeletons will also help to end the cruel captive lion trade in South Africa. The South African government claims that there are 6,000 lions held in captivity, but experts believe the number is closer to 8,000. Many of these lions are used in canned hunting — a type of hunting where the lions are kept in an enclosed area. Some lions are also bred solely to be euthanized so their bones can be traded.

A 2015 film called “Blood Lions” revealed some more of the cruel truths behind the captive lion industry in South Africa. The film showed that many lions are kept in poor living conditions, and workers provide misleading information about the conservation benefits of captive breeding to visiting tourists. Visitors can also pet cubs, which is completely unnatural for them.

The captive lion trade in South Africa is cruel and forces lions into unnatural behaviors. Ending the trade of lion skeletons is one of the first steps that can be taken towards ending the captive lion industry as a whole. Sign this petition to tell the Department of Environmental that you do not want any more lions to be killed for their bones.


Dear Ms. Makotoko,

I’m writing to ask you not to institute an export quota of 800 captive-bred lion skeletons each year. There is no evidence that this does not harm wild lions, which means these skeletons do not meet CITES’ exporting standards. Breeding lions simply to be killed for the skeletons is also cruel and unethical.

Lions that are bred in captivity are forced to perform unnatural behaviors – they go on walks with visitors and visitors are allowed to pet them. These lions are slaughtered through canned hunting, and some are bred solely to be killed for their bones. These majestic animals deserve better lives than being bred to be killed.

Ending the exportation of captive-bred lion skeletons could help lead to the end of the cruel captive lion breeding industry. For the good of these lions who are forced to live in poor conditions, please establish a zero-export quota for captive-bred lion skeletons.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: William Warby

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  1. Yes, WATCH “Blood Lions”, a documentary about S. Africa and how lions are treated there…..cubs raised as people friendly “pets” who are held and petted by tourists, grow up to be USED as victims in highly expensive “canned hunts” in which so-called hunters can SHOOT and KILL captive “big game”, and take home a head or whatever as a trophy…….

    The bones are being used in Chinese folk medicine as are tiger bones…..someone needs to GET CHINA to educate the people there about the ignorance and gullibility of those who trust “folk medicine”……

  2. Ms. Makotoko, why do YOU allow such atrocity? The world is watching, this must stop.

  3. What a fool who thinks that lion bones will cure them…I wish whoever uses these bones is haunted with sickness and horror. I hope the suffering f these innocent creatures is visited upon these sadly uneducated idiots! I hope you have nightmares and parasites

  4. The S.A. Department of Environmental Affairs is supposed to be looking out for the WELFARE of these poor lions, not exploiting them for money. This is outrageous. S.A. should shut down all the horrible canned hunting businesses completely.


  6. “The only difference between a dog, cat, horse and dolphin and a cow, chicken, pig and turkey is perception. One is no more valuable than another. And yet in this culture, we hold the former animals in high esteem and the latter we brutalize for food. All animals are deserving of respect and freedom from violence. The way to respect others is veganism.”

  7. Shame on you. End this atrocity NOW……Mary K.

  8. We MUST ALL BOYCOTT CHINA and ALL ASIAN Countries, (Korean,Vietnam, etc) in every way as in travel and NEVER buy anything made there. That is the only way to make China and the Asian people see that their actions are not acceptable to other people in other countries. Put the word out there, discourage family, friends, anyone you overhear that may be traveling, speak up that you hope they are not traveling to China or any Asian Countries because they use exotic Tiger and Lion bones for medicine and are causing horrific pain and suffering. You all can take it from there, you all seem educated on the topic and if you can send out this petition to everyone with an email with the link to the film Blood Lion you have done your job to help end this heinous atrocity.

  9. Lisa Zarafonetis says:

    Signed & shared❗?


  11. Stop this now kill them no lions. Stupid shit

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