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You are here: HomeTravel + ProtectCanned Lions

Petting and Walking with Lions

By Amanda Marks

This sounds like an incredible experience to have, doesn’t it? 

Well, it might be for you, but it’s lethal for the animals involved.

Have you heard of the terms ‘canned hunting’ or ‘canned lions’?  Possibly not. They’re not that well-known, though, thankfully, the message is getting out there.

The terms refer to the hunting of wild animals (the majority being lions) in an area in which they are captive. This can be a large private game ranch as opposed to a very small confined space, but that doesn’t get around the fact that the lions are sitting targets for hunters who pay handsomely to shoot these magnificent animals.

I say ‘sitting targets’ because these animals are not really wild. They have usually been captive bred and hand-reared – and they are basically money-making machines from the moment they are born.

How has canned hunting got anything to do with tourism? Please read on…

The life and death of a canned lion

Other predators

Though this dreadful industry mostly concerns lions, it is not limited to them. Cheetahs, leopards and other predators are also used in this unethical manner. An example, a recent article (July 2018) by Louise de Waal, showed that in South Africa there are at least 600 cheetahs kept in captivity, and only one or two of the roughly 80 captive cheetah facilities are genuine in their efforts to reintroduce the cheetahs to the wild. The rest are there purely to make money.


What can you do to help?

  • AVOID: Please don’t visit any attractions where petting or walking with lions (and other predators) is offered – whatever the explanation.
  • TAKE ACTION: Encourage a ban of the hunting of captive-bred predators.
    BORN FREE is a key player in trying to make this illegal, so we’d recommend backing this campaign via their website.

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