An Overview of the Breeding of Lions for Hunting and Bone Trade
The rapid expansion of the commercial lion breeding and canned hunting industries, particularly in South Africa, is a cause for real concern.
From small beginnings a decade or so ago, there may now be as many as 8,000 lions and other predators spread across more than 200 captive breeding facilities, many languishing in poor conditions. These animals are unashamedly exploited for profit by their captors at every stage of their often short lives.
Cubs are removed within a few days of birth in order to bring their mothers back into breeding condition quickly, and to provide unwitting tourists with cute photo props and misguided volunteers with cubs to handrear in the mistaken belief that they are genuine orphans and that, one day, they are destined to be returned to the wild. As the animals grow, they are used for other tourist activities such as ‘walking with lions’.
The ultimate fate for many of these unfortunate animals is to be shot in a ‘canned hunt’ by a paying ‘hunter’, usually from overseas, to be killed so their body parts can be exported to Asian markets, or to be cycled back into the