Lion cub petting is the ante-room of canned hunting

The vast majority of the petted cubs end up in the canned hunting industry as trophy of poachers. Reserves offering the opportunity to pet lion cubs are pretty popular. Tourists enjoying this special relationship assume that by paying entrance fees they contribute to wild life conservation. They are told that lions will be admitted by zoos once reaching adulthood, which is definitely not the case.



Breeding farms are operated to provide the cub supply of this lucrative sector. The hand-raised animals can not let back into the wild later, although they are not tame either. While interacting with humans, many of the cubs are overworked and get irritable by being poked. After becoming 6 months old, they become too dangerous for close interaction. The next stage in their carrier is the ‘walking with lions’ activity, which lasts until the age of 20 months. From this point the facilities can not draw anymore profit from keeping these creatures. Either they are put in over-crowded enclosures or sold to dealers and hunting farms.

Some wealthy people, bound to have serious personality disorders, flight to Africa from all around the world to shoot a lion in a hunting facility.   They pay a fortune to get a specimen of this iconic species as some kind of power projection. Actually this pseudo-chase happens on a rather limited territory and it targets hand-raised lions, which makes this battle far from fair play. It ofter happens that the prey itself deliberetly approaches the hunters.

The prospects of wild lions are also gloomy as they occupy less than 20% of the former range due to massive habitat loss.  Their current population is estimated to 20thd, which is a significant drop from 300thd as of 1960’. This rate of decline must be stopped in order to prevent wild lions from extinction.

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  1. Wow! I did not know that. It’s so sad what humans are doing to others just for their enjoyment. I’m so happy that people like you use your blog as your opportunity to educate the world. Thank you so much for this insight and I’m going to avoid places like these.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for helping spread the word exposing this cruelty. We also need to be aware of similar abuse of baby animals at petting facilities and tragic futures for other species too, including tiger cubs. Animal lovers and tourists should know that baby wild animals should be with their mothers and not treated as cuddly toys by a succession of strangers day after day after day.

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  3. I just took a safari in Africa and learnt so much, for instance that lion breeding farms also sell lions to hunting game reserves, for instance, which is totally lawful. Having seen lions int he wild I really can’t see why anyone would want to pet them, cubs or otherwise. It’s akin to supporting circus animals.

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  4. Oh, this made me very sad. I’m sure those who pet the baby lions think they are being part of nature. I am always opposed to taking animals out of nature.
    Zoos do promote information and help those who could never go on a safari, enjoy animals. I think trying to preserve wild animals in their own environment is important. Smiles Robin

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      • I only advocate establishing a small amount of wild animals to preserve their stories and present to many who don’t get to travel.
        I like the way more zoos have trenches and large ponds, as well as our kangaroos hop around on sidewalks and grassy areas inside a wooden gated place. They seem happy and relaxed hopping and stopping at will.

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  5. this is so heart breaking. I never understood how does hunting equate to being manly? The game started unfairly. If you want to get the pleasure of hunting fight it out with hands and feet not with guns.

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  6. It is appalling. I was fortunate to live in Africa and see many lions in the wild. And – though I had not thougth about that – some must sell the cubs to hunting farms. What a disgrace.
    I’ve just seen the population figures for wild lions. You are right. in the 20’s thsd. Tigers or cheetahs are even worse… A shame.

    Liked by 1 person

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