Blood Lions – The Canned Hunting Industry Exposed

canned lion hunting

This film exposes the ugly truth behind South Africa’s canned lion hunting industry. It will premiere at the Durban International Film Festival on July 22, 2015.

In South Africa there are some 10,000 lions and the numbers are increasing all the time. But the lie behind this statistic is revealed in the fact that South Africa is the only lion range state that has three separate classifications for these great cats: captive, managed and wild. And so we find that only 3,000 – less than a third – are truly wild and living in designated conservation areas.


Read more at: http://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2015-07-14-blood-lions-the-film-that-blows-the-brutal-lid-off-the-canned-hunting-industry/#.VaUpKnzbK00

News Source:  Daily Maverick
Image Source: Daily Maverick

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New Report – 10 Asiatic Lions Killed in June 2015 Floods

10 Asiatic lions killed in flood

According to a new report, 10 Asiatic lions and dozens of people were killed last month by monsoon flooding in Gujarat, India.

The report, submitted this weekend to the state and federal environment ministries, said the rains also killed at least 10 of the country’s 523 lions — the last members of the subspecies left anywhere in the wild — as well as prey animals including more than 80 spotted deer and 1,670 Asian antelope called blue bulls…The lions’ deaths occurred in two badly flooded areas near the lion sanctuary in Gir National Forest in southern Gujarat. Other lions were found in “weak health and shocked condition” and were given treatment and food supplements, the report said, according to the Press Trust of India.

Source:  www.torontosun.com
Photo Credit: www.torontosun.com
Read more at http://www.torontosun.com/2015/07/12/monsoon-floods-in-india-killed-10-endangered-asiatic-lions-officials

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New Asiatic Lions Documentary

asiatic lion documentary

On July 6, 2015 the Discovery Channel premiered a new Asiatic lion documentary “India’s Wandering Lions”. The lions were tracked and filmed for over 3 years.

 Today, the Indian lion population has rebounded to a population of over 400 – a cause for celebration. However, their success has surpassed the natural capacity of the Gir Forest Sanctuary, forcing lions to spill over its borders and seek new homes. Can they remain out of trouble and keep their human neighbours onside for the long term? We have worked with Kosmik Global, Earth Touch and Discovery India to bring this incredible story to light. With unprecedented access by locals and the various forest departments, we have uncovered one of the most extraordinary stories of recovery of our generation. Our 4K cameras bring a beautiful richness and clarity to the imagery, while colour starlight and hi-res thermal techniques allow us to create striking images, day or night.

 

 

Photo Credits: Featured Image/IndiaToday.com

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Silver Lining for Lions of West Africa (Panthera)

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It was recently reported that there are less than 400 wild lions in West Africa. In this story, Panthera talks about a possible “silver lining” for this critically endangered species. The Silver Lining for the Lions of West Africa was originally published at Panthera.org on February 13, 2014.

PANTHERA: In a press release published last month, Panthera outlined the results of a new report confirming that lions are now Critically Endangered and face extinction across the entire region of West Africa.

Led by Panthera’s Lion Program Survey Coordinator, Dr. Philipp Henschel, the study required a massive survey effort extending across 21 parks and 11 countries over a six year period. The results, unfortunately, are somber: today fewer than 400 lions remain in four isolated populations in West Africa, with only 250 of these being breeding adult lions.

read more

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Canned tigers? (LionAid)

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Tiger “farms” in South Africa – where tigers are bred for trophy hunting. In this article, Pieter Kat from LionAid talks about captive-bred tigers. Canned tigers? was originally posted on January 27, 2014 at LionAid.org.

LIONAID: Many of you will probably know about the “tiger farms” in China that breed tigers to supply skins and potions like tiger bone wine. There is considerable outrage about these farms internationally, not only because of the conditions under which the tigers are kept, but also because of the ethics of breeding animals for their body parts.

I wrote a short blog on the issue in September 2012.

Earlier that year I also wrote a blog about the tiger breeding that goes on in South Africa.

Despite these blogs, and raising the issue at various meetings with UK Members of Parliament and Defra, there continues to be silence and complacency about the SA tiger farms. There, tigers are raised for live export to a number of countries including the United Arab Emirates, Myanmar and Vietnam. During the ten years 2002-2011, a total of 170 live tigers were exported to such dubious destinations. But perhaps more strangely, tigers in SA are also available to be trophy hunted.

It is the only place left in the world where you can go and trophy hunt a tiger. I have not been able to determine how much a tiger hunt costs, but it would appear to be substantial. Over the ten years 2002 – 2011, CITES records indicate that 17 tiger trophies were exported (not re-exported) and that the source was captive-bred tigers.

Who would want to hunt a captive bred tiger? The trophies went to the United Arab Emirates (6), Norway (3), Poland (2) and one each to Spain, Germany, France, Lebanon, Pakistan, and an unnamed country.

Apart from needing a CITES export permit, these trophies do not need the usually necessary import permits required for a species listed on CITES Appendix I as they are hunting trophies and therefore “personal and household effects”.  Also, since these are privately owned exotic animals in South Africa, they further escape much regulatory notice.

Meanwhile, tiger breeders must be enjoying their “niche market” in South Africa out of the public eye?

Picture credit: http://bit.ly/19XfsF2

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New Study – West African Lion Population Under 400

West African Lion Facing Extinction

According to a new study funded by Panthera and National Geographic’s Big Cat Initiative, there are less than 400 lions in West Africa. Of the remaining lions, an estimated 250 are of breeding age.

“The situation is most critical for the geographically isolated populations in West Africa, where the species is considered regionally endangered.”

Field studies were conducted in 13 large areas where the lions are protected to establish the presence and size of any populations. Another eight areas were evaluated based on interviews and existing data.

Most of the data that was compiled came from track surveys, in which lions were tracked by following their footprints.

The report states that lions in West Africa have undergone a “catastrophic collapse.”  They have lost more that 99% of their historic range, with 88% of the current population (approximately 350 lions) living in one single population.

You can read the study here.

Photo Credit: Cubinnigeria Philipphenschel Panthera

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Lion Population Declining in Uganda

declining african lion population in uganda

In an article written in the Oryx journal, researchers are reporting that the African lion population in Uganda has decreased more than 30 percent over the past 10 years.  Reasons for the decline include

“…poisoning by local cattle herders, retaliation for livestock predation and other  human-related conflicts.”

Read more about the declining lion population at:  http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2013/10/24/Conservationists-warn-of-decline-in-lion-numbers-in-Uganda/UPI-62601382643564/#ixzz2iklxrZmw

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Rihanna Visits South African Lion Park

Rihanna Visits South African Lion Park

Rihanna visits Lion Park in South Africa before performing at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg.

The Lion Park is a breeding ground and sanctuary for African wildlife, with a focus on the Wild Dog, white lion and cheetah. The lions in the park come from Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Northern Gauteng and Botswana. There are currently 80 lions in the park.

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New Article by Author David Quammen on African Lion Conservation

african lion conservation

According to a new article on African lion conservation by science and nature writer David Quammen, recent surveys and estimates indicate an 80% decline in lions throughout Africa, with the remaining lions currently living in approximately 70 different areas. “But the smallest contain only tiny populations, isolated, genetically limited, and lacking viability for the long term,” notes Quammen.

Quammen states various causes of the decline, including:

  • Habitat loss
  • Habitat fragmentation
  • Poaching of lion prey for bush meat
  • Poaching snares that catch lions instead
  • Displacement of lion prey by livestock
  • Disease
  • Spearing and killing of lions
  • Tribal ritual killings
  • Trophy hunting

He discusses possible solutions to the problem, such as the controversial fencing strategies suggested by ecologist Craig Packer, a professor at the University of Minnesota and director of the Lion Research Center.  Parker claims that “few African nations can invest adequately in the management of the parks,” and that while fencing could destroy some migratory ecosystems, it would protect and save a much higher percentage of lions due to significantly reduced management costs.

Quammen also talks about a reduction in lion killings following the 2007 implementation of the Maasai Lion Guardian program, a Living with Lions project. Lion killing has been a Maasai “rites of passage” tradition.  The Lion Guardian program recruits and trains Maasai warriors to protect the lions instead of killing them.

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