On Saturday March 15th 2014 there will be a Global March for Lions across 55 cities worldwide. The Global March of Lions aims to raise awareness of the shocking practice of canned hunting in South Africa.
Canned hunting can be defined as the captive killing of tamed lions. Lions are bred in captivity after having been taken from their parents at birth. The cubs are hand reared and become part of the growing petting industry. Once they are too large to be cuddled by humans, they are introduced to a park where rich foreigners pay to hunt them. There is no sport in this, as the lions are tame and unafraid of humans, so they are much easier to hunt than in the wild. Effectively, these lions are being bred to be shot.
This practice of canned hunting is legal and un-policed. There are currently about 11,000 lions living in Africa, about 8000 of which are in captivity. In the last 15 years, over 160 canned lion farms have been established in South Africa, and this is growing. Tragically,
the extinction risk for lions is even greater than for the rhino.
The Great March for Lions is an awareness campaign being launched around the world to inform people about canned hunting. More information can be seen about this on their canned hunting website.
Oyster Worldwide has actively been supporting the international animal welfare charity Four Paws in its work against canned hunting since 2010. Four Paws owns and runs a sanctuary for big cats in South Africa, many of which have been rescued from the tragic fate of canned hunting. Volunteers help out at the sanctuary to care for and monitor these lions, which now number over 80.
To find out more about volunteering with lions and helping to fight canned hunting, see our lion conservation web page.