Image credit: World Animal Protection. A staged production of a trophy hunting scene.
Brutally ripped from their mothers, exploited for tourist encounters, and hunted to be turned into a trophy. Will you help protect South African lions from a lifetime of exploitation and suffering?
Please be the voice of vulnerable lions who are being exploited from cradle to grave for financial gain in tourism, canned trophy hunting and traditional medicine.
Right now, lion cubs in South Africa are being taken from their mothers, in some cases within days of being born, and crammed into filthy enclosures to be exploited for profit on commercial lion farms often disguised as harmless wildlife experiences.
In the wild, lion cubs spend the first two years of their lives with their mother who teaches them how to hunt, interact with members of the pride and other important life skills.
A lifetime of abuse
Unfortunately, on a commercial lion farm, these captive-bred cubs can be passed from one tourist to another for several hours a day while they pine for their mother.
For a lion cub, this is just the beginning of a lifetime of abuse for commercial profit. But you can help end this cruel cycle of abuse by adding your voice today and supporting the courageous work to expose the horrors of this industry.
Captive lion cub in South Africa venue. Image credit: Pippa Hankinson / Blood Lions
Undercover investigation exposed Khosana’s heart-wrenching story
In 2022, our wildlife experts received intelligence from an anonymous source at an off-grid commercial lion farm which revealed the heartbreaking plight of Khosana, a lion whose appearance told a story of years of prolonged suffering and neglect.
He was deliberately being starved by the venue to save money – a practice that we learned was common during the low hunting season from October to April.
Unfortunately, by the time we were informed about Khosana, it was too late because he was no longer in the facility. He may have met the same fate as many other victims of the commercial lion farming industry – a terrifying death at the hands of an amateur hunter in a canned trophy hunt. But you can help ensure that no other lion ever suffers such a cruel fate by acting now.
Image credit: All the images provided by sources, including the ones of the lion we named Khosana, had to be withheld to protect source identity. This is an image of a lion from a publicly accessible commercial captive lion facility in South Africa, shared for illustrative purposes. This image reflects how the conditions in these lion facilities fail to meet the lions´ needs, but the conditions for Khosana were even worse.
Exploited for entertainment then butchered for their bones
When farmed lion cubs grow too large to be handled by tourists, many of these sentient beings are exploited for other activities such as ‘walking with lions’.
After being exploited for entertainment for several years, an adolescent lion can become too aggressive to be in close contact with humans.
At this stage, some breeders sell them for canned trophy hunting – an activity in which an unsuspecting lion is released into an enclosure with no chance of escape and can be brutally shot many times before dying a slow and painful death.
Even after their tragic lives end, the exploitation does not stop. After being slaughtered, a lion’s bones can be illegally exported into the traditional Asian medicine market.
Lion skull. Image credit: Blood Lions
You can help end this vicious cycle of abuse
Right now, a staggering 8,000 to 10,000 lions like Khosana are suffering in horrific conditions in private commercial captive breeding and keeping facilities in South Africa. And with the commercial captive breeding and canned hunting of lions still being legal in the country, the number of victims of this inhumane trade will only grow unless we speak out against this cruelty.
By adding your voice today, you will be joining a compassionate community of Kiwis who are helping our ongoing work towards exposing the horrors of commercial lion farms and lobbying for loophole-free laws to protect lions from being exploited at the hands of breeders. With your support, together, we can continue putting pressure on the South African Government to bring a mandatory time-bound end to the commercial captive breeding of lions and put a permanent end to the barbaric international lion bone trade.
Whilst not all farmed lions will pass through every stage of this cycle, many are exploited for human gain at multiple points in their lives.