Sunday, 29 November 2015

Roaring for Cecil

Yesterday, November 28th, we marched through central London and roared for Cecil. The famous lion was murdered by a trophy hunter earlier this year but left a legacy and opened the lid on canned hunting of lions. The story went global and helped us in our plight to raise awareness around the unethical killing of lions. They are literally bred for the bullet and live in confined spaces, raised from cubs after being separated from their mothers at a very vulnerable age. Then, semi-tame are chosen off a menu by rich trophy hunters and are then released only to be shot. They are also killed for chinese medicine for a very high price. This terrible business is booming in South Africa where the demands are met by lion farmers willing to make easy money. They say it's for conservation .... sadly it is just about cash and fulfilling the egos of the wealthy who think it is okay to kill our natural heritage. Well, it is not okay. 

Lions are apex predators and they are essential to the ecology in Africa. Killing a male can wipe out generations as when a lion is taken, another, perhaps with weaker genes, will move in to a pride and kill the cubs. Over time this can have terrible effects on the overall health and wellbeing of a pride. Females are also used as production machines and whilst removed from their young will be thrown back in to oestrus and in some cases producing cubs two or three times a year. This would not happen naturally, in the wild. The cubs do not develop as they should, either. Hand reared, they are raised only to be killed a couple of years later. Still, it does not end there...Trophy hunters prefer a mature male so will hire someone to seek out one in the wild... due to the handsome mane, showing strong genes. The reason behind this is so they can hang the head on their wall and boast to their friends about the large, aggressive lion they have hunted. It is a lie. The lions are sometimes sedated and are use to humans so, more often than not will face their killer head on. Otherwise, they are lured by bate to an area where they make an easier target, like Cecil. Cecil was first shot with an arrow which caused him considerable suffering for about 40 hours before he was killed with a bullet. He had a family and was the subject of researchers and brought in many tourists as he was the perfect speciman representing these magnificent animals.

This industry is corrupt, untruthful and destroying our wildlife as we know it. The breeders and trophy hunters argue that it's for the sake of conservation and restores balance within the ecosystem. This treatment of lions has nothing to do with preservation. If all was above board then why are the breeders so concerned with the truth being revealed? Under-cover reporters have been threatened and filming is banned within many breeding operations. So... begs the question, "What are they hiding?" Trophy hunters are aggressive and have no compassion for the animals they are killing. Thousands of dollars/pounds are pumped in to this practise.  I have only touched the surface of the industry, it is so corrupt and the governments are seemingly siding with this dishonourable business. It is a disgrace and raising awareness needs to be amplified around the globe. 

This is why we march and are the voices for the voiceless. Governments need to sit up and take notice of the cruel practise that is Canned Hunting. There will be no lions left in the wild if this continues. This will dramatically change the landscape of Africa and have a detrimental effect on all other beings. Lions have a purpose and are not there to be exploited and slaughtered. Lions need to be listed as endangered before it is too late.

I have said this before, but a world without lions in the wild is unthinkable. They touch the core of the human psyche and evoke emotions in all of us. They command respect and are noble, wise, majestic and social cats. That said, why would anyone in their right mind ever want to harm one? 


To be continued ...