Target: Jacob Zuma, President of South Africa
Goal: Put an end to lions being raised in captivity as “canned” hunting targets
There are currently more than 160 farms in South Africa that raise lions in captivity for the sole purpose of using them as targets for hunters. Many are also sold to Asian markets where parts of them are used in traditional medicine. What makes this industry truly upsetting is that it is entirely legal. Something must be done immediately to protect the thousands of lions that are currently in captivity.
Upwards of 5,000 lions are currently being held in captivity at these farms, which more than doubles the number of lions in the wild (about 2,000). This kind of slaughter is often referred to as “canned hunting” because the easy slaughter of animals in fenced in areas is not unlike shooting fish in a barrel. Fully-grown lions are taken from their pens to an enclosed area where they roam for hours before being shot dead by a hunter, usually standing safely on the back of a truck. The farms target wealthy trophy-hunters who will pay thousands of dollars for the chance to kill a captive tiger and take a photo with the carcass.
In most cases, the cubs are taken from their mothers within an hour after they are born and bottle-fed by humans for the first eight weeks of their lives. Removing them from their mothers not only forces them to be more independent, it also causes the mothers to become fertile again much more quickly, increasing the number of cubs that the farms can take from them. It has almost become a manufacturing process. Stealing the cubs ensures an endless supply they can offer to hunters.
It is a very sad day when there are more lions in captivity than in the wild, but it is difficult to even comprehend the possibility of 5,000 lions destined for slaughter, raised for no other reason than to be targets for wealthy hunters. Please sign the petition below to help close these farms and make the practice of “canned hunting” illegal.
Dear President Zuma,
There are currently more than 5,000 lions being held captive in more than 160 farms across South Africa that have been raised as nothing more than eventual targets for wealthy hunters. These lions are taken from their mothers just after they are born, kept in captivity, and then released in an enclosure so that people can pay to kill them and take a photo with their “trophy.” What is the most unsettling about all of this is that what these farms are doing is completely legal.
Animals are not entertainment and wealthy men satisfying their egos by hunting the lions when they have nowhere to run is heartless and cruel. This has to stop. I strongly encourage you to pass legislation that will close these farms and make “canned hunting” illegal.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Dr. T via Flickr