Last week, Friday 13th March, I joined many lion warriors to put an end to Canned Hunting in South Africa. This unethical practise is merely feeding the egos of trophy hunters and could speed up the process of extinction of lions in the wild. Lions are picked from a menu by rich business men seeking a thrill. Then, they import the trophy back to their living rooms and hang them up as an ornament and brag to their friends about how they shot a lion in the wild and pat themselves on the back. How sad. The money goes towards conservation - they cry. Erm, well... No, it does not. This business is booming because huge dollars / sterling pass hands and at the end of the day.. its business as usual. No compassion or thought for an iconic species and our natural heritage.
This vulnerable species has roamed the earth since the early Pleistocene time and is essential to the ecosystem. A carnivore that has a valid place within the cycle of life. An ancient cat that deserves respect and freedom.
The loss of males, due to their handsome manes, is wiping out generations and leaving massive gaps with weaker males distributing their genetic dearth. Cubs of stronger, healthy genes are being stolen out of the wild or killed by other competitive males ( infanticide ). The females are being used as breeding machines, only to be thrust back in to oestrus as soon as her cubs are snatched away. The cubs are then raised by humans and have a life span of around two years within an enclosed space. They are not wild, this is not conservation. Then released ( semi-tame, drugged and worst of all.. trusting the killer). They have no means of escape and are very likely to be shot a few times due to the killer avoiding the head - causing excruciating pain and suffering. This is Canned Hunting. It is a sure thing. Why else would the trophy hunters pay thousands - they want their dollars worth.
Think of all the stories as we grew up ... Folklore, legends, history... How lions have inspired us to pass the stories on to the next generation and preserve this magnificent and majestic cat. They evoke deep feelings in the core of our very being and we should be privileged to share the earth with the great king of the jungle. Save Our Lions, ban Canned Hunting!
Not The End.
Our plight continues...
Photographs by Helen Ratcliff
#globalmarchforlions #wild #free #nature #heritage #kingofthejungle #conservation #ancient