“Canned” Lion hunting might become a thing of the past soon!
The canned lion hunting in South Africa has been critically exposed by Blood Lions, a documentary which has been shot in South Africa. Canned huts have been created in which captive lions have been kept and trophy heads are exchanged for fee ranging up to $50,000.
Given the fact that 8,000 such lions are being bred in captivity, people associated with hunting industry are minting money. But, hopefully things will change.
1 Governments forced to take action
The screening of the movie worldwide has had its detrimental effects and governments have been forced to take action. Import of lion trophies was first banned by Australia in February 2015. Similarly, France too initiated such a move in November 2015.
Large number of countries including governments of Spain, Italy and Finland are holding Parliamentary screenings of this movie which is likely to create a public mood in favour of banning this cruel practise.
2 Exposing the menace through a movie
The movie Blood Lions debuted on 22nd July 2015 in the Durban International Film Festival. Since then the movie has been seen in 185 countries and has been able to expose this problem to a large extent. In fact, it is scheduled to be shown at tourist conferences across Europe and Africa this year.
Ian Michler, who played the lead role in the film, is now busy conducting global campaign with the sole aim of ending canned lion hunting.
3 Substantial decline in population
Lion researchers and conservationists in South Africa have advised that any assessment of lion population in the country should exclude its captive lion population. South Africa now has only 3,000 lions when compared to 20,000 which are spread throughout the continent.
Hans Bauer, a lion researcher at the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit in Oxford University points out that there has been a substantial decline in lion population in South Africa. In fact, he points out that lions which have been bred in captivityfor this purpose are never considered to be part of any assessment and are largely ignored.
4 Concerns still remain unanswered
The movie was recently screened at the on-going ‘Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital,’ which is being held in Washington, D.C.
Speaking on the developments in this regard, Ian Michler points out that he and his team have been able to create a credible global campaign on this issue and the same has been shared with millions of followers on the social media platform.
Positive fallout of the development is that Professional Hunters Association of South Africa has reacted strongly against the predator breeders and has expressed its support in ending this menace.
In fact, global initiatives to conserve lions have gone miles ahead and U.S Fish and Wildlife Service has included African lions in its endangered species list. It is upto the conservationists in South Africa now to rise to this challenge and see that things move in positive direction in South Africa too.
For this move to take a firm ground in South Africa, it is essential that conservation status of lions get updated regularly and those who are associated with the move also get their due credit in time.
Commercial breeding of predators is a big reason that canned lion hunting has been going on unabated in South Africa. The movie Blood Lions talks of this menace and also exposes the nexus that exists between these commercial breeders and tourism industry.
The need of the hour is to motivate the tourism industry to shift their focus from this activity and instead motivate tourists to admire the pristine beauty of South Africa, so hopefully we will see more people looking at duck calling tips as opposed to lion hunting tips. Blood Lions has been able to create a platform for a fruitful discussion on this issue thankfully.
You can take a look at the trailer of the documentary here and if you think that lion hunting should be stopped, then you can help by spreading the word.