Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Canned Lion VS Wild Lion Hunting

This post from the Planyourownsafari blog.  I visited a breeding farm during a visit to South Africa a few years ago. They were very closed mouthed on what the cats (they also had leopard and cougar) were being raised for. I found out later it was to sell to operations such as described below.
The owner was a very nice guy, ran a clean operation and took good care of his animals. To him it was an agricultural venture. As we talked, a 3 month old lion wrapped it's foreleg around my legs and lay down on my feet while the rest of it's litter mates slept on a near by picnic table. 

Canned Lion VS Wild Lion Hunting (Part II)

February 16, 2010 by pieterkat  
Filed under Guest Bloggers
This is my second post on this subject, please read the first one if you are just joining this discussion.
canned hunting Canned Lion VS Wild Lion Hunting (Part II)As a recap – “canned” lion hunting (defined as a “hunter” shooting a trophy lion from a captive bred source) is a big industry in South Africa. The breeders provide the animals, they are put in a fenced enclosure, and the “hunter” is then given the opportunity to blast away. Alternatively, the lion is drugged, driven to a “wildish” area (the hunter doesn’t know where he is anyway, looks like Africa to him…) and then he is given the same opportunity. Or she, quite a lot of hunters are women.
The practice of “canned hunting” of lions came under recent review in South Africa – the former Minister of Environment took a bit of a stance against it, the breeders complained, it went to court. The initial case was upheld by the courts, but was subsequently overturned by a court of appeals. So the practice will continue for now, perhaps with a few, a very few, controls.
I decided to do a bit of further research on the subject. CITES, the international regulatory organization that is “supposed” to regulate international trade in endangered (and vulnerable) species by issuing permits for export and then tracking where those exports go, has provided figures that make up this next graph of exported trophies from wild lions shot as trophies in South Africa versus “canned” lions.

The post goes on to say:

So what can we extract from this? I have a few choice conclusions, maybe you could add more.
  • Hunters from the United States basically want a lion served up on a plate. They care little about “ethical hunting” and opt for the take-away shortcut. This is despite the fact that a bill called the “Sportsmanship in Hunting Act of 2005”was introduced in the US Senate to restrict canned hunting. One of the provisions reads as follows: “Whoever, in or substantially affecting interstate or foreign commerce, knowingly transfers, transports, or possesses a confined exotic animal, for the purposes of allowing the killing or injuring of that animal for entertainment or for the collection of a trophy, shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 1 year, or both” (note that this does not prohibit anyone from “collecting” a confined animal from abroad – bit of an oversight?).
  • Canned hunting has been banned in 20 US States. The other 30 could probably not be bothered, one of them being New York.
  • The Safari Club International, a prominent pro-hunting lobby in the United States and abroad, accepts lions killed in “canned” hunts for inclusion in record books as well as in award categories! “Look honey, I got a prize for shooting a big one in an enclosure!”.  SCI is a hard-driving bunch of individuals, membership includes former US Presidents for example. They push hard for the “right” to shoot lions in Africa, and employ scientists to back their claims of high numbers of lions remaining in Africa. Strangely, they also espouse the concept of “ethical” hunting, and the concept of a “fair chase” where the animal has a chance to escape the hunter. I guess that could mean the “canned” lions could theoretically have the opportunity of burrowing under or jumping over the fence, or maybe quickly shaking off their administered drugs?
Read the full post and comments


  1. A first good step would be for SCI to stop recognizing "estate" trophies. I know this would piss off some of their high roller members, but it would elevate the club's stature and cut back on the demand for this type of shooting.

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