7,000 Lions Are Secretly Being Bred For The Most Tragic Reasons

Andrea A.
5/11/2015

The death of Cecil the Lion last July,shot by the American dentistWalter Palmer for$50,000 (£32,000),sparked a huge controversy which dominated headlines.

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Source : @TodayThe scandal was all over the media, particularly due to Cecil's popularity:the magnificent lion was the star attraction at the Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe.

Lethal breeding farms

But Cecil's storyisonly the tip of the iceberg. As we write this, around7,000 lions are being bred in enclosuresto serve as trophies to rich hunters, most of whom are westerners.If you want to "pay for a lion", you have to spend at least £3,000. And prices soar depending on the beauty and age of the animal.These 'lion farms' mostly exist in South Africa. Like all breeding, the animal is solely considered as a source of profit. It's about 'increasing yields'. The lion cubs are therefore torn away from their mothers at a very young age so that the mothers can give birth again.Some lionesses are made to give birth up to five times in two years,which is completely unnatural for them.

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Source : @BloodLion

A horrific practice, still legal in South Africa

If you think the breeding conditions are sickening, the shooting is even worse. Once the client has chosen the lion he wants to slaughter, the lion is put into a small enclosure which is impossible to escape from. The so-called "hunter"then shoots from point-blank range- with a rifle and sometimes even with a crossbow- an entirely defenceless animal unaware of his impending fate at the hands of a human.

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Source : @BloodLion

800 victims a year

Around 800 lions are killed like this each year, that's two a day. The hunters, who feel no guilt about the barbarity of their hobby,often shamelessly show off their trophy over social media.

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Source : @BloodLion

Documentary exposing cruelty 

OnJuly 22nd last year, Blood Lionwas presented at theDurban International Film Festival. This documentary presentsa striking investigation into the lives of these magnificent animals captured into slavery. You can watch the trailer here.

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Source : @BloodLion

Une défense fragile et malhonnête

The film denounces the argument that this activity "aids the species' survival", and more generally endangered species on the African continent.But the scientists who worked on Blood Lionsee things in a very different light:

There has not been a successful lion reintroduction programme using captive bred and reared lions in South Africa... Captive bred lions are not suitable for reintroduction programmes. Very few, if any of the private lion farms and predator breeding facilities in South Africa can be regarded as genuine conservation undertakings as they do not work in conjunction with recognised lion ecologists and scientists or any of the global predator conservation agencies.

Let's hope that the media backlash over Cecil's death will help to end this atrocious activity.

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