Stop the exploitation

Lion cubs (part 2)

South Africa’s wildlife attracts the attention of thousands of international tourists every year. The National Parks are famous for the big five, the smaller five and huge diversity in landscapes. The international community is also well aware of some the challenges that South African conservation faces and as a result they donate money, support our conservation industry and some even come here, to South Africa, to volunteer. Tourist-volunteers pay to be accommodated at wildlife centres and then work as labourers, cleaning cages, feeding orphaned animals and cuddling cubs. However, while these volunteers feel like they are contributing to saving a species, this is not always the case. Lions bred in captivity very rarely get put back into the wild and what happens to them once the volunteers leave? We can only guess. Some lion cubs are handled so often they sustain many injuries and more sinister are the later use of lion cubs for canned hunting and the lion bone trade. We cannot help but ask what some of these organisations are doing with so many animals? And if our international volunteers knew about some the more sinister practices, would they still be offering their services?

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