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.

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[…] Petition: Stop Lion Canned Hunting in South Africa … – 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 … […]

Kim Sutterby

This is sooooo F—–g wrong!

Marie Richmond

Its a disguisting bloody evil killers

Tracy Wills

I can never understand the thrill of shooting an animal at almost point blank range, from a hide! There is no skill in that, so it must be because you are sadist bar stewards!

Paula Harrington

These “men” are obviously compensating for other small parts of themselves. And I don’t just mean their brains!!

Samantha Blake

Please stop! We have hardly any animals left in the natural world and thus is what you chose to do! How ignorant

Linda Norris

Canned trophy hunting attracts the scum of the earth! If they are so intent on killing, let them shoot each other and good riddance!!!!

Stuart Hartley

Absolutely appalling = what’s wrong with these people????????????

Deborah Fedorich

Killing animals for fun is not sport, it is psychotic! Many studies have shown that people who kill animals also have the capability to kill people. You are all a sick bunch of people that delight in the torture and killing of some of the most beautiful wildlife, not to mention, some are endangered. May Karma x 3 follow you all for all the days of your putrid lives.

Donna Whitbread

Killing anything for fun or fashion is barbaric and totally unnecessary in this day and age! How anyone can be proud of taking a life like this is beyond me?!!! Cold hearted and soulless people!!! End it now!!!!

Lynne Schroeder Marais

Darn it!!!! These bloody brainless morons! I’d like to wipe those bloody grins off their revolting faces. Could shoot one of them and feel NOTHING!

Anne O'Donnell

It is just revolting to see these magnificent lions bred to be killed by hunters…I am shocked by families posing with a dead lion…It is sick

Christina Anderson

Any asehole can aim a gun, pull the trigger and take the life of a beautiful, living creature. It’s time to hunt the hunters. I could quite cheerfully shoot any or all of them. What goes around will eventually come around and some day their karma will come back to bite them in the butt, either in this life or the one to come. I would visit South Africa to see wild animals, bur I have absolutely no interest in visiting a place that exploits animals and tries to rationalise their cruelty.

Samantha Hall

Spineless, murdering cowards why don’t you kill your own children instead???

Justin Jones

Breeding lions just to tame them and and shoot them in an enclosed pen is not sporting and and is not honorable

William Norwood

If these people have money to burn, how about having a well dug for the natives, or have them taught how to farm, or open a school?. But these are things done by good people not inadequate psychos. These sad people are just letting the world know they are here in the worst possible way, they are screaming ” Look what I can do, look how brave I am. I`m here take notice”. People who kill just because they can should be pitied, they`re pathetic.

Barbara Kock

What is this sick event?! Why do people have to do this? Stop this please..

George Anderson

Cowardly filthy scum, killing innocent animals bred to trust humans, they live in the gutter and will never get out of it.

Jeanine Sammis

Disgusting people. I’d like to put them in an enclosure and hunt them and their offspring.

Regina Clayton

These people are sadistic killers. No way can even these morons call it sport.

Naty Ananda

Please cancel a vote in favor of hunting. I went wrong. Why my English is weak and I misread. sorry

Lisa Zarafonetis


Claudette Babineau

They should been canning beets instead , it’s murder as far as I’m concerned , unacceptable !!!!

Phil Vernon

Rich scumbag pos ..get a life …

Debs Murphy

Heartbreaking,all for the sake of mans greed & pathetic ego! Can’t watch video,as it would kill me,cant abide this senseless killing of magnificent animals:(:(:(

Nadia Joulian

Disgusting! These pathetic excuses for human beings need to be re-educated! Th

Cindy Battles

Did it ever occur to any of you how many people or the good you could have done ith that money…but instead you couldn’t even be men/women enough to make it a fair hunt..Trophy my ass…Unless it’s a trophy for the biggest piece of shit/coward…

Rhonda Pattrick


Corinne Friday

Hunting was always a means of survival, the canned hunt industry promotes the thrill of killing for a trophy, that’s all. Canned hunts do not help with conservation, as always money and greed take over and wild populations inevitably become the victims of that greed, as more are needed to satisfy the customers love of the kill. As for the captive bred animals, they don’t know they are supposed to fear humans and are pretty much sitting ducks. Sad

Rina Cranko


Shirley Kelley

All that killing for a BIG HEAD, These poor animals deserve better!!! I hope someone can help them and get these morons some jail time!

Sam Hart

am disgusted at these people that pull the trigger are as sick in the mind as the people they pay to do this…

Janna Savill


Jan Brennan

If these so “called people” had another brain it would be lonely.Disguisting,I like all of you have seen so much torture, sadism,every word in the book but these morons have to be punished by taking them out to hungry lions, unarmed for as long as it takes.
This has to be stopped……Jan

Jenny Bron

Of course, it must stop, that lions are not shot dead .where people are doing ?? these magnificent animals belong here on earth have their place and become by people to leave alone .Hoop that people who do this to their senses get gulp and realize that what they are doing and in bad !! that is abuse their dominant position.

Dengu Vengai

Its better if black Africans are benefiting from such practices hence the need for South African government to control and act against this issue.Do we have any black involved why? stop exploiting our African resources for your own benefits

Shannon Ashe

Regardless that they’re being “captive bred” specifically for these ridiculous canned hunts, all of these “trophy” animals are on the Endangered Species list…meaning they are on the fast track to extinction. Trophy and sport hunting of endangered species is the ultimate in human arrogance and complacency. These so-called hunters are utterly sickening.

Eileen McCabe

these people show a total disrespect for nature… I would like to
see them lined up in a canned hunt…. They give all humans a bad name.. look at those disgusting families all proud to murder a magnificent animal… they are souless monsters and I hate them.

Ronda Richardson

I can’t believe people actually voted no for this. Where is your humanity?

Kevin Sarens

hugh randall ! differend from you , i would like to kick your as , il pay for it !

Anne Jii

Sick people – sick world. Hope they die in pain and misery! Even children are with absolutely idiot parents!!!

James Chumas

this brakes my heart

Terri Allen

Karma will find these killers someday

Maru Marulina

This must end now!

Deanna Martin

You are a bunch of idiots who see these beautiful creatures as a commodity. Wake Up?!

Cyndee Crumly

This is so horrible. And then to pose there like they’re big shots….

Hugh Randall

As a conservationist, I would prefer to see them stop wild lion hunting first! We purpose breed all sorts o animals to kill, fish, birds, mammals, even reptiles! Why not lions? Logically, there is no difference to breeding and killing a sheep for money than there is doing the same thing with a lion! And every person who eats meat is also a killer even if it is by proxy. Competition for habitat from people kill far more wild animals than bullets ever have or will.

Matthieu De La Mettrie

This is disgusting and it needs to be stopped urgently!!!!

Michael Rodriguez
I am all for hunting. I don’t believe in hunting purely for sport though, and I believe that if you shoot it, you better eat it! My uncle taught me that when he took my siblings and I rabbit hunting. He made us skin them too. This kind of “hunting” I am totally against though because it isn’t really hunting; it is a stroking of someone’s ego so they can tell all their buddies that they shot some exotic game. What a damn waste of a good animal. I can’t believe such amazing creatures have to die because of what… Read more »

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