Afoot and light-hearted, they’re taking to the open road.
Amid the global lockdowns to curb the spread of the coronavirus, striking images taken in South Africa’s popular Kruger National Park — which has remained shut since March 25 — show a pride of some 15 lions napping in the middle of an empty paved road.
CNN reports that on any typical day, this area would be packed with tourists on safari excursions. But that doesn’t mean that the travelers would get to experience this sight.
“This lion pride are usually resident on Kempiana Contractual Park, an area Kruger tourists do not see,” the park tweeted Wednesday. “This afternoon they were lying on the tar road just outside of Orpen Rest Camp.”
That isn’t the only atypical sight.
“Lying on the road during the daytime is unusual because under normal circumstances there would be traffic and that pushes them into the bush,” Kruger spokesman Isaac Phaahla tells CNN. “They just occupy places they would normally shun when there are tourists … People should remember that [Kruger] is still a largely wild area and in the absence of humans, wildlife is more active.”
It isn’t just Kruger that’s shut down. Despite initially announcing a 21-day lockdown for the country, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said in early April that he would extend the quarantine at least until the end of the month.
This isn’t just a sight limited to South Africa. Worldwide, with the coronavirus keeping humans inside, wild animals have taken to the streets to have their own play — even in cities. People in New Delhi have spotted monkeys looking for food in an alleyway lined with closed shops. In Venice, Italy, clear blue canals have lured swans and fish before tourists return in gondolas.
Here’s a look at some more.
In the north of Wales, herds of wild mountain goats have claimed the empty streets of Llandudno as their own. Known as the Great Orme Kashmiri goats, they typically live on a nearby hill that looks over the town, rarely heading into it. North Wales police reportedly said the agency received a call about the wandering herd — which had been grazing on people’s hedges and gardens — but there was no need to intervene.
“We are not aware of officers attending to them as they usually make their own way back,” the police said.
More locally, 50-year-old Latonya “Sassee” Walker — who’s cared for Canarsie’s wild cat population for a decade, has doubled the number of cats she looks after. She told The Post that typically she cares for four colonies of feral cats. But with many elderly folks stuck inside, she’s taken on more. She brings the cats dry food, wet food and water, predicting she’ll spend more than $600 this month because with restaurants shut, there’s no garbage for them to eat. She’s even brought them in to be spayed and neutered.
“The cats have no clue what’s going on because nothing has changed for them,” she says. “It’s not in my DNA to see a cat suffering and not do anything about it. I’m equipped to make a cat’s life better, so I’m going to.”
In March, with Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium closed to the public, penguins got the opportunity to explore their home thanks to no human visitors wandering about.
“Without guests in the building, caretakers are getting creative in how they provide enrichment to animals,” the aquarium told the Chicago Tribune. “Introducing new experiences, activities, foods and more to keep them active, encourages them to explore, problem-solve and express natural behaviors.”
That means some penguins got to meet other aquarium inhabitants. One of them, a penguin named Wellington, saw Shedd’s Amazon Rising exhibit, looking around at the fish tanks with his head spinning in wonder. The fish even looked back.
“The black-barred silver dollars also seemed interested in their unusual visitors,” the caretakers tweeted.
Niem Chheng | Publication date 03 March 2020 | 23:27 ICT Share Content image – Phnom Penh Post The lion bones seized in December are being examined. Wildlife alliance
Authorities on Monday opened packages of more than 280 lion bones seized in December at the Phnom Penh International Airport as the case progresses against the suspected owners who remain behind bars, said NGO Wildlife Alliance.
It said the shipment of 281kg of suspected lion bones smuggled from South Africa was opened on Monday while two Vietnamese suspects remained in jail. Cambodian Customs officials were investigating the case, it noted.
“Cambodia is a well-known transit country in the illegal wildlife trade for products heading to Vietnam and China. It is suspected that the lion bones were intended to be transported to Vietnam where they are popular in traditional medicines.
“Wildlife Alliance is pleased to once again be working with our colleagues in Customs in another major Africa-Asia wildlife trafficking case,” the NGO said.
Last December, joint forces from the Ministry of Interior’s Anti-Counterfeit Products Committee, Customs officials, Camcontrol officials and a Phnom Penh Municipal Court prosecutor seized the lion bones at the airport and arrested two Vietnamese nationals.
Court spokesman Kuch Kimlong, the Anti-Counterfeit Products Committee and Wildlife Alliance could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.
Last year, the Ministry of Environment warned souvenir vendors of trafficked goods made of exotic bones and wild animals that they would face legal action similar to those involved in money laundering and financing terrorism.
The notice came after 32 businesses in Siem Reap and Preah Sihanouk province were found to be selling souvenirs made from rhinoceros horns and elephant ivory.
In February, UK-based Traffic, an NGO working on anti-wildlife trade, released a report saying Cambodia had seized more than 17,000kg of ivory from 2009 to 2018, including a seizure of more than 3.2 tonnes of ivory in 2018 that came from Mozambique.
It said more than 780 ivory products were recorded in 10 shops in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap in 2015, with hundreds more recorded in 2019. It said almost 25,000 live mammals, birds and reptiles were seized from 2007 to 2015.
The NGO said the challenges for Cambodia in combating wildlife crimes were low penalties for criminals which did not serve as deterrents, difficulty in effectively implementing the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, and the country being a transit point for transnational organised crime groups en route to Vietnam or China.
Meanwhile, the World Wildlife Fund Asia Pacific offices on Tuesday applauded China for its decision to ban the trade of wild animals and end unregulated wildlife trade, linking the consumption of wildlife to the possible cause of Covid-19.
WWF regional director for Asia Pacific Christy Williams said in a press statement that Southeast Asian countries must learn from China’s example and ban the sales of wild meat for the health of their citizens and to prevent damage to their economies, as is happening currently due to Covid-19.
“This means that they must stop the trade from moving into their territories. As we saw in the case of the domestic ivory ban in China, the trade will just move across borders where enforcement is less robust, creating new trade hotspots,” Williams said.
Animal rights activists are campaigning to save a group of lions who look set to be shot after they mauled their keeper to death.
Swane van Wyke was killed by the animals while going about her routine tasks in their enclosure at Zwartkloof Private Game Reserve in Limpopo, South Africa.
An outpouring of grief from the tragedy has led some to call for the animals to be killed in response to the incident.
Officials from the zoo said in a statement: “We are obtaining advice from the proper authorities and agents in order for us to make an informed decision.”
Swane van Wyke was found collapsed in the enclosure with bite and claw wounds, and was pronounced dead on the scene by paramedics.
Activists say the case is further evidence that lions should not be kept in captivity at zoos.
Drew Abrahamson, of animal welfare group Captured in Africa (CIA), told SAPeople: “It’s sad yet again, that an innocent person has been attacked and lost her life, due to the confinement and abuse of lions in South Africa.
“Whilst the world’s conservation, wildlife and tourism professionals have long denounced this diabolical lion breeding industry, it’s further saddening to see that South African authorities continue to allow this unnatural industry to continue.”
Welfare group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals reinforced calls to save the lions. “It seems as though the appropriate informed decision would be to retire all the animals at Zwartkloof to reputable sanctuaries instead of caging them for human amusement and endangering their lives as well as those of the ranch’s workers,” the group said.
“The facility states on its website that it houses buffaloes, zebras, wildebeests, giraffes, leopards, and others and rents out rooms on site to people seeking a ‘bush experience’.
“No reputable facility would allow dangerous contact like this.”
Police confirmed the lion keeper was performing her regular duties when the lions attacked her.
It is not known the exact circumstances in which she was attacked, or how many lions were involved. Police said it is the responsibility of the zoo to ensure staff safety in animal enclosures.
What does this incident say about lion captivity? What should happen to the lions involved in the death of their keeper? Share this story!
Annually, thousands of tourists flock to South Africa to experience our unique wildlife. But behind this booming industry is an ugly truth, many wildlife encounters support the mistreatment of iconic species, such as lions.
Tourism plays a vital role in job creation and contributed over R130-billion to the economy in 2017, about 2.9% of the total gross domestic product (GDP).
However, exploitative wildlife interactions such as cub petting, walking with lions and the associated volun-tourism sectors are all closely linked to the captive predator breeding, canned hunting and lion bone trade in South Africa. All of which has the potential to drastically damage South Africa’s reputation as a tourist destination.
A recent study has shown that nearly half of the captive lion facilities in South Africa are directly linked to tourism through offering one or more of these unethical activities, explained Fiona Miles, country director of FOUR PAWS in South Africa, one of the largest national animal welfare organisations fighting for the protection of big cats.
Dragging down the South African name
“Although global trends in responsible tourism are showing that tourism is moving away from such exploitative captive wildlife interactions, many tour operators at home and abroad continue to promote these activities to their clients,” said Miles.
“Local and international visitors carry on supporting hands-on captive wildlife facilities either through a lack of awareness or purely to get that perfect wildlife selfie.”
In addition, the captive lion trade has the potential to tarnish South Africa’s reputation as a conservation leader.
A recent Legacy Report of the Portfolio Committee on Tourism in the Fifth Parliament on the effects of wildlife interaction found the safari niche market has been marred by the growth of animal interactions and canned hunting, which have “damaged the country’s brand as a champion of wildlife conservation”.
According to a report by the South African Institute of International Affairs on the economics of captive predator breeding in South Africa, our tourism brand value could potentially be negatively affected by as much as R54 billion loss in revenue over the next decade, if the captive lion breeding industry is allowed to thrive.
Take a stand
But there is a way to prevent further damage to our image as a tourism destination, believes Miles, and this starts with ending the demand for these devastating activities.
“Collectively, we need to stop supporting any type of cub petting, walking with predators or associated volunteering options, whether this involves lions, tigers, or cheetahs, as none of these activities support conservation of the species in the wild, as many facilities would like you to believe,” added Miles.
“It is also time for all of the establishments offering these activities to put a stop to it.”
This is why FOUR PAWS is challenging both the tourism industry and the public to commit to their Lion Longevity Oath: A commitment to end all support of activities and interaction with captivate lions and raise awareness of lion trade and canned lion hunting.
Six major tour operator companies have already signed the oath in against visiting establishments where lion cub and other animal interactions take place.
A FLORIDA TROPHY hunter has permission to import what is thought to be the first lion trophy from Tanzania since January 2016, according to the Center for Biological Diversity, an Arizona-based nonprofit that advocates for endangered species.
In that year, two subspecies of African lions were listed as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, meaning that those lions can be killed for trophies only if it can be shown that the hunts would enhance the survival of the species in the wild.
In May, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the agency that oversees trophy hunting imports to the United States, approved a hunter’s application to import the skin, skull, claws, and teeth of a lion killed in Lukwati North Game Reserve, a hunting concession leased from the government and run by Tanzanian safari operator McCallum Safaris. That’s according to records obtained from a Freedom of Information Act request submitted by Tanya Sanerib, international legal director for the Center for Biological Diversity. (See more from FOIA: We asked the government why animal welfare records disappeared.)
The hunter, whose identity could not be confirmed by National Geographic, originally applied to import a lion trophy from Tanzania in November 2016. It’s unclear exactly when he killed the lion. Nor is it clear whether the trophy has been imported. The permit to do so, issued by the Fish and Wildlife Service, expires in May 2020, a year after it was issued.
African lions have disappeared from 94 percent of their historic range, and populations have halved, to fewer than 25,000 since the early 1990s, according to the nonprofit Wildlife Conservation Network. The main causes of the decline are retaliatory killings of lions that attack villagers and depletion of their prey animals. Tanzania is home to 40 percent of Africa’s lions.
Sanerib, who calls the country a “stronghold” for lions, worries that the decision by the Fish and Wildlife Service could be a signal that the Trump administration will “open the floodgates” for future Tanzanian trophy imports for lions and other species, including elephants. The news of this approval of a lion import comes on the heels of a decision last week to allow a U.S. hunter to import a black rhino trophy killed last year in Namibia.
According to Laury Marshall Parramore, a spokeswoman with the Fish and Wildlife Service, “Legal, well-regulated hunting as part of a sound management program can benefit the conservation of certain species by providing incentives to local communities to conserve the species and by putting much-needed revenue back into conservation.”
Sanerib says she’s concerned about the lack of detail in the Fish and Wildlife Service’s determination that this hunt enhances lion conservation in Tanzania. She claims that the service didn’t do due diligence when approving the import permit. As part of her FOIA request, she says she obtained emails in which the service asked general questions of Tanzanian government officials, such as whether they were monitoring trophy hunting.
“Those are not the basic questions that I think that our government should be asking before we approve these types of practices. We should be way down in the weeds, getting all of the details to ensure that these programs are actually going to enhance the survival of species.”
“Organizationally, we’re opposed to trophy hunting—we don’t think we should be killing threatened and endangered species,” Sanerib says. “But if we are going to do it, if it is going to happen, Fish and Wildlife Service needs to follow the law, and they really need to ensure—and this is their own regulatory requirements—that this program has all the adequate safeguards to ensure that it’s going to be sustainable for the lion population.”
The Fish and Wildlife Service did not respond to a request for specific information about how this hunt benefits lions in Tanzania and for reaction to Sanerib’s concerns.
The lion decision is particularly troubling given Tanzania’s history of mismanaging trophy hunting, Sanerib says. In 2017, Hamisi Kigwangalla, Tanzania’s minister for natural resources and tourism, revoked hunting concession lease permits that previously had been issued to companies for a low set fee, citing a need for greater transparency about the process. The government then began auctioning off concession leases instead. But according to biologist Craig Packer, who had studied lions in Tanzania since the late 1970s, only undesirable concessions were put up for auction, a move he calls a “halfhearted” effort to reform.
Kigwangalla did not respond to a request for comment.
In 2015, Packer was barred from entering the country after he characterized the nation’s trophy hunting industry as corrupt. Trophy hunters are supposed to target only older male lions, thought to be less crucial to reproduction, but Packer says there was no accountability or oversight by Tanzania to ensure that this was happening. As trophy hunting declined in popularity, Packer says, concession operators charged hunters fees so low that they couldn’t possibly be providing enough revenue to maintain roads, hire rangers, and prevent illegal farming or grazing in the hunting reserves.
Whether this particular trophy import is good or bad depends on whether the hunt was shown to have a conservation benefit, Packer says. If the U.S. is rewarding responsible hunting operators, it will incentivize others to follow suit. “As long as the sport hunters are showing that they’re making a positive impact, good on them,” he says. “It would be great if the system is actually forcing some kind of reform.” But, he adds, the Fish and Wildlife Service “has no way of confirming whether Tanzania’s well-meaning policies are really being implemented.”
Representatives from the Tanzania Wildlife Authority, which implements the country’s Wildlife Conservation Act, the Tanzania Wildlife Research Institute, an organization under the Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism that conducts wildlife research, and the Tanzania Tourist Board did not respond to requests for comment about how the country manages its trophy hunting.
John Jackson, a member of the International Wildlife Conservation Council, an advisory group to the Secretary of Interior, is the Florida hunter’s attorney. Jackson welcomes more frequent trophy imports from Tanzania and says the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has been “too slow” to issue these permits—a pace Jackson calls “inexcusable.” Since 2016, he says, many hunting operators have had to surrender their lands because of a lack of revenue, which leaves the animals in those lands unprotected. More frequent trophy hunts would allow concession operators to afford anti-poaching safety measures. “Hunting is the single most important mechanism to save lion,” he argues.
Jackson disagrees that Tanzania’s trophy hunting is mismanaged. As home to about 40 percent of Africa’s lions, he says, the country has “managed to save more lions than anybody else.”
“I wish there was another country equal to it,” he says. “It’s easy to criticize people, but it’s much more important to work with them and support them.”
Sanerib says Tanzania deserves credit for having a “phenomenal system” of protected areas but that its lion conservation success has been despite trophy hunting rather than because of it.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s findings for lions also could apply to elephants, Sanerib says. In 2014, the Obama administration effectively banned trophy imports of elephants from Tanzania because of a poaching crisis in the country and concerns about the management of its trophy hunting industry. Sanerib says this lion trophy import decision may indicate that the Trump administration plans to overturn that ban.
In 2017, the service reversed the ban on elephant trophy imports from Zimbabwe. “So we have some history—some very recent history—to point to as evidence of them, I would say, leaping before they take a look,” Sanerib says. (After President Trump tweeted his dissatisfaction with the Zimbabwe decision, the service reversed course and decided to evaluate applications on a case-by-case basis. Since then, no elephant trophies are known to have been imported from Zimbabwe.)
Anna Frostic, the managing wildlife attorney for the Humane Society, says the decisions to issue lion and black rhino trophy import permits indicate that there are more to come. She says the Fish and Wildlife Service “is making these decisions behind closed doors and without the input of independent scientists and the public.”
“The issuance of this one lion trophy import from Tanzania will likely be replicated and applied to the more than 40 other applications for Tanzania lion trophies that are pending,” she says.
Even though Tanzania is a stronghold for lions, she says the fact that overall lion numbers are dwindling means this potential new pattern is “extremely concerning.”
“The decision to legitimize that type of activity,” Frostic says, “is not only unethical and scientifically unjustifiable but is unlawful” based on the decision’s merits and because of the service’s lack of transparency in its decision making.
THIS is the horrifying moment inspectors found two fatally ill lion cubs locked inside a metal crate on a farm – seconds before discovering the bodies of 20 others stuffed inside a freezer.
Officers dropped in on Pienika Farm in South Africa as part of a surprise inspection arranged after they found other animals in dire conditions just four months ago.
The cubs, who ranged in different ages, were found suffering from neurological conditions and had to be euthanised at the scene.
Their bodies were later taken away from the farm, which was slammed in April after inspectors found animals in filthy and parasitic conditions, for post mortem examinations.
The discoveries sparked a further search, leading to inspectors finding approximately 20 carcasses of lions and tigers in a chest freezer.
According to Eduardo Goncalves, founder of the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting, the animals were being bred in captivity to be petted by tourists, bottle fed and then eventually shot for trophies.
The NSPCA removed five carcasses for post mortem examinations to determine the cause of death.
They stated that they will be laying further charges in terms of the Animals Protection Act No 71 of 1962, on the owners of the farm, who were initially charged in April.
Speaking to The Sun, Mr Goncalves, said: “Inspectors from the NSPCA previously found 27 tigers, lions, leopards and caracals in terrible condition at the same farm during an unannounced visit in April this year.
“They were kept in overcrowded conditions, had no water, were filthy and suffering from parasites. Two lion cubs were suffering from neurological conditions, likely to be the result of in-breeding.
“The farm is in Lichtenburg in South Africa’s North West Province. There are around 60 such facilities in South Africa breeding big cats for people to pet, bottle feed, and then shoot for a trophy.
“The bones are often sold off to dodgy dealers in Asia who make fake medicines out of them. This is the reality of big cat factory farming in South Africa.
“It’s simply obscene. The animals are kept in appalling conditions and their owners make a fortune out of their misery.”
Senior Inspector Douglas Wolhuter, manager of the NSPCA’s Wildlife Protection Unit, said: “With the release of The Lion King and the tribute to lions during World Lion Day, the rest of the world is celebrating these majestic creatures.
“Here in South Africa, where lions are indigenous and a massive part of our heritage, we are condemning thousands of lions to a life of captivity, where their basic needs are not being catered for, and we are subjecting what is globally known as the king of the animal kingdom to a pathetic life in a cage, waiting for death.”
In April, NSPCA investigators attended to a complaint at the same farm in Lichtenburg, where they found lions being kept in small, overcrowded enclosures and inadequate shelters with no provision of water.
The farm contained suffering lions, caracals, tigers, and leopards. In total, 27 of the lions had mange and the caracal were obese and unable to properly groom themselves.
An NSPCA spokesperson said: “The Inspectors were horrified to find two lion cubs that were unable to walk and appeared to be showing signs that they were suffering from a neurological condition.
“The NSPCA removed the two cubs for assessment and veterinary treatment by a veterinarian with a special interest in carnivores.”
The two cubs have since improved ‘with leaps and bounds’ and are now able to stand unaided.
The spokesperson added: “Two cubs that were unable to stand, and were paddling on the ground to try and move away from their own faecal matter, are [now] able to stand and even take steps.
A Canadian trophy-hunter, who was slammed for kissing his partner beside a lion they had just shot and killed in Africa, has now been disowned by his own daughter.
“Hard work in the hot Kalahari sun… well done. A monster lion,” Darren and Carolyn Carter of Edmonton, Alberta, had captioned their photo on Facebook, drawing flak from animal rights activists and social media users.
The couple from Edmonton, Alberta, was part of a tour organised by Legelela Safaris when they shot and killed the magnificent animal.
“The tour operator regularly shares snaps of dead animals alongside proud hunters, often grinning as they hold up their guns, on their Facebook page,” reports Daily Mail.
Other photos showing Darren and Carolyn Carter posing in front of another dead lion were captioned: “There is nothing like hunting the king of the jungle in the sands of the Kalahari. Well done to the happy huntress and the team…”
As the pictures went viral on social media, the Carters were called “murderers”, “disgusting” and “cowardly.”
Sick couple kiss to celebrate killing magnificent lion in horrifying picture https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/sick-couple-kiss-celebrate-killing-18210999 …
I am thoroughly disgusted and appalled at these people. This is all for sport and it is absolutely disgusting. This has to stop now!
Canadian couple kiss and pose for photo by dead lion they killed.
Not brave. Not cool. Cowardly to the extreme. What sad sad souls to kill such a majestic & beautiful animal.
The pictures along with the Facebook page of Legelela Safaris have since been deleted. On July 16, Darren’s daughter took to YouTube to express her disgust.
“That just make me sick,” she said. “Like, I refuse to call him my dad anymore. Who does that? I’ll never understand people like that, that take pride in shooting a beautiful animal like a lion. … [K]nowing you trophy hunt beautiful animals like lions who are slowly getting endangered is just, it’s too much. I’m someone who loves animals and I never want anyone to hurt them. To know that my own father does that, I don’t even consider you my dad anymore,” she said in a 10-minute long video.
The Carters, who run a taxidermy business, have described themselves as “passionate conservationists” despite their trophy-hunting expeditions, reports Daily Mirror. “We aren’t interested in commenting on that at all. It’s too political,” Darren was quoted as saying.
Eduardo Goncalves, the founder of the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting, believes the lions were captive and bred for the sole purpose of being killed by hunters.
“It looks as though this lion was a tame animal killed in an enclosure, bred for the sole purpose of being the subject of a smug selfie,” he was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.
“This couple should be utterly ashamed of themselves, not showing off and snogging for the cameras.”
Trophy-hunting businesses targeting big-game hunters in Britain have been banned from a shooting show after public objections. The NEC in Birmingham said that it would no longer be welcoming safari operators selling hunting trips for sport at the Great British Shooting Show in February.
Campaigners had gathered 30,000 signatures demanding that the venue revoke admission for ten safari operators that wanted to market their tours to shoot lions, elephants and other big game in Africa. The announcement by the NEC yesterday came after organisers had earlier defended the safari operators’ appearance at the show as “controversial”.
The venue, which also hosts Crufts, said in a tweet yesterday that it had listened to its customers’ concerns “and have acted”.
“Taking these concerns and the safety of staff and visitors into consideration, we will be removing exhibitors that practise safari hunting from the show,” it said.
Among the exhibitors that had bought stands at the show were Umlilo Safaris, from South Africa, which offers packages including lion trophy hunts “in fenced areas” — a practice known as canned hunting because there is no way the trapped animals can avoid their fate. Another operator, Legelela Safaris, offers giraffe hunts for £2,400 and baboons for £160.
The safari firms had been expected to capitalise on an increase in interest from British big-game hunters, documented in a report by the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting. The report, based on data from Cites, the global wildlife trade regulator, tracks a sharp rise in souvenir animal trophies imported into Britain in recent years.
Last night the veteran explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes welcomed the NEC’s decision as “a small but positive first step”.
“The idea that animals may be killed, not in self-defence or for food but purely for entertainment, must surely be challenged,” he told The Times. Last week Sir Ranulph appeared at a reception in parliament calling for a ban on the import of trophies from endangered animals to Britain.
From 2004 to 2014 about 2,500 such trophies were brought home by British hunters. The UK is among the top 12 nations taking part in such hunting trips, along with the United States, Russia and Germany, according to Cites data.
Many of the lions being imported into Britain come from hunting farms in South Africa, which Sir Ranulph described as a “hideous trade”. The country has 3,000 lions in the wild, compared with up to 8,000 born in captivity for commercial purposes. Canned hunting is legal in South Africa. Supporters argue that it helps conservation efforts by giving greater value to preserving animals in the wild, as well as bringing revenue to rural areas.
Scientists consider captive-bred lions to have little to no conservation value.