Aug 142013

An investigation into the growing South African industry of hunting lions bred in captivity has reignited a long-running controversy among hunters, captive breeders and animal rights advocates.

The Guardian’s Patrick Barkham investigated the practices of some of the 160 South African farms that legally breed lions and other wild animals — many of which, animal advocates argue, will end up being shot by hunters who pay big bucks (sometimes close to $38,000) for the experience.

African Sky Safaris & Tours – Lion Trophy Photo – Copyright 2012

One of the farms – African Sky Hunting – will arrange for you to shoot an elephant for $35,000 or a lion for the budget price of $22,000 (see price list and trophy photos below):

African Sky Hunting Price List for “Big 5″

African Sky Safaris & Tours – Lion Trophy Photo – Copyright 2012

African Sky Safaris & Tours – Lion Trophy Photo – Copyright 2012

African Sky Safaris & Tours – Lion Trophy Photo – Copyright 2012

African Sky Safaris & Tours – Lion Trophy Photo – Copyright 2012

African Sky Safaris & Tours – Lion Trophy Photo – Copyright 2012

This is the practice known as “canned hunting,” and its popularity has increased significantly in the past few years. The South African Supreme Court in 2010 even struck down a law restricting the practice after lion breeders challenged the legislation.

“In the five years to 2006, 1,830 lion trophies were exported from South Africa,” Barkham notes in his in-depth report on canned lion hunting. “In the five years to 2011, 4,062 were exported, a 122 percent increase, and the vast majority captive-bred animals.”

Lions bred for canned hunting are generally kept in cages and released a few days before the hunt, according to Bloomberg. Pieter Potgieter, chair of the South African Predator Breeders’ Association, defended the canned lion hunts as a perfectly acceptable business.

“The principle that you breed wild animals for economic exploitation is an international norm. It takes place everywhere in the world,” Potgieter told the Agence France-Presse. “The problem is with the lions because the image has been created in the minds of people that the lion is the king of the animals. Walt Disney with his Lion King and all these things, they have created that image.”

Today, more than half of South Africa’s approximately 8,000 lions live in captivity rather than the wild, according to the AFP. Globally, there are around 32,000 African lions, a number which has seen a “substantial decline” and has earned them a “vulnerable” classification by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

While breeders claim their business is legitimate, animal rights advocates at Humane Society International argue the practice is inhumane, unethical and bad for South Africa’s image.

The Campaign Against Canned Hunting calls for a ban on canned hunting in South Africa. Chris Mercer, one of the organization’s founders, said in an email to The Huffington Post that the industry benefits from unsavory practices, such as the renting out of baby lion cubs for unwitting tourists to pet and cuddle.

“This enriches the canned hunting industry and allows lion farmers to externalise much of the cost of rearing the lionstock to huntable age,” Mercer told HuffPost. “Tourists are deceitfully assured that the cubs will be released back to the wild. All of these cubs will eventually be killed by canned hunters.”

Breeders may also capture wild lions — sometimes from neighboring countries — and smuggle them onto the farms, Mercer told Eye Witness News. “This toxic industry is going to poison the conservation of wild lions,” he told the site.

We invite you to vote FOR or AGAINST “Lion Canned Hunting in South Africa”. Please vote and also leave your comments at the bottom of this page.

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This article includes content from Meredith Bennett-Smith published in The Huffington Post.

Leave a Comment

  • susan

    Seeing lions or any animal being killed for the fun of it is sick seeing giraffe, rhinos and lions and even tigers being killed by pathetic people who find it funny and for what it’s not right killing of the wildlife. It should be stopped and let the wildlife live in the wilderness

  • Caroline Brennan

    Sorry excuse for humans- every single on of those bastards should be shot!!!

  • Jim Takahashi

    Those pics show beautiful animals and UGLY humans.

  • Michelle Rush

    The Devil runs rampid here. So sad to be part of the human race at times. Disgusting!

  • Ivana Dufková

    Somthing went wrong on this world!!!!! I am ashamed that I am human…

  • Chris Glisson

    Sport is also when a “trophy” is awarded to a player or team for winning, not killing an animal that was fenced in and then mounting it’s head on a plaque to be hung against a wall. That is a grotesque ornament that could only appeal to a sociopath.
    You’ve got a psycho problem assholes, you need shrink couches, not “hunting” trips.
    And to boot you’re all yellow bellied cowards. Take the animal on bare handed…it is.

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  • MellowCat

    Canned hunting isn’t hunting, it is faux. It is for girly-boys who like impressing their girly-boy friends. I guess it is called “hunting” if the animal is tame, confined, and paid for, otherwise it is called “poaching.” I can’t believe these people have the balls to broadcast themselves all over the web. How obtuse can they get?; everybody but them is hip to the fact they are punk-ass wannabes with no souls. Southpark should do an episode on these idiots.

  • MarcusCactus

    How small must these people feel that they need to kill something in order to feel good and powerful? Let’s make it a more even fight. Send the hunters out there armed only with a knife. I’d like to see the trophy pictures then….

  • Lindsey

    Unbelievable. So stupid. So very sad. Lets all hope each and everyone of those hunters dies a very painful, long, and slow death

  • Manny M

    I hate you all for killing these animals for trophies. It’s a sin against God for killing his creation for trophies. Depraved asses. Hurts my soul to the core to see this. I hope you rot in a dark hell for your actions.

  • susan auger

    They smile gleefully,yes they have slaughtered a majestic lion through a fence..WHY do people need to kill anything…for kicks?..what chance does the lion have?What skill needed?NONE!Just suffering . What has the world come to..it goes on and on..the devil is winning.

  • Elena N.Akasha

    seeing these pics makes me sick literally.sport my ass,one thing it is not is a sport.
    Sport is when individuals or teams compete against each other under equal circumstances to determine who
    is better at a given game or endeavor. Hunting will be a sport when lions,rhinos,elephants,deers, elk, wolves,bears etc…
    are… given 12-gauge shotguns

    I can not fathom how anyone can find delight in killing an innocent animal who has no hope of surving a shot gun!?!! These animals are frequently hand-raised and bottle fed, so they have lost their
    natural fear of people.For as long as men massacre animals, they will kill each other indeed.

  • Dwain

    Only cowards hunt animals that can’t fight back!

  • Cheryl

    Murders!! That’s what they are, go hunt each other and call it sport.

  • Giana Peranio Paz

    This is so awful, I feel like throwing up! Hunters should hunt each other till death!

  • Animal fan

    Hunt the hunters.The only good hunter is a dead one.Establish formalized hunt the hunter travel expeditions. An eye for an eye is fabulous!!!!!!!

  • http://facebook.com/profile.php?id=1111777292 Walter Baliero Carluccio

    Bastards! Mother f.k.s!

  • LoveYourDNA

    Amazing the numbers who say yes to this primitive activity!

  • http://facebook.com/profile.php?id=1111777292 Walter Baliero Carluccio

    Bastards! Mother f.k.s!

  • http://facebook.com/profile.php?id=1681746787 Bozena Summers


  • http://facebook.com/profile.php?id=1681746787 Bozena Summers


  • http://facebook.com/profile.php?id=556083950 Lisa Robertson

    The people who have voted “no” need bloody shot! Sick vile morons!

  • http://facebook.com/profile.php?id=671716928 Bob Loveless

    Absolutely disgusting activity that should be outlawed.

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