Lions are among the most majestic and proud creatures to roam planet Earth.
Seeing the big cats in the wild is a truly awe-inspiring thing. Heck, even watching them on National Geographic is enough to raise the hairs on my neck.
And yet, unfortunately, even these magnificent predators aren’t safe from hunters and poachers. Shocking footage has emerged showing the moment 10 lions were rescued from captivity, after being held at a farm in South Africa for ‘canned hunting’.
For those who don’t know, canned hunting is the process of raising animals in captivity, only to offer hunters the chance to come in and shoot them. The horrific practise is commonly associated with trophy hunting – the hunters are usually permitted to take trophies from the animals they callously slay.
Harrowing new footage and images have been shared by German wildlife orgaisation Wild@Life, who work in Africa tackling themes such as biodiversity, climate change, agriculture and wildlife conservation.
In a statement, Wild@life.e.V said: “During November 2019, our team reached South Africa to rescue lions from one of these farms. The team was overwhelmed seeing 10 lions kept in a totally secluded and closed shed with no light or grass.
“We had to fight hard for the lives of these lions. But dedication and passion made this work successful.”
As per reports, the team traveled 5,000km to reach the lions, before spending close to 10 hours freeing them from their enclosure. The cats were then moved to a sanctuary where they can ‘learn to be lions again’.
“A canned hunt is a trophy hunt which is not ‘fair chase’; it has been made too easy for the hunter,” a Wild@life.e.V rep said.
“Some examples of this include animals who have been kept in a confined area, such as in a fenced-in area, increasing the likelihood of the hunter obtaining a kill.
“In most cases, the lions are kept in tiny enclosures, are confined to horrible places, with limited or no food and extreme stress and with no hygienic and veterinary care.
“A ‘hunter’ can then choose the lions he wants to kill and conduct the killings in the easiest of ways, even just by sitting in their vehicle.
“Animals do not stand any chance. Such facilities even put male lions in small enclosures for them to fight each other, so the lions end up with scars on their faces.”
Thank God for organisations like this one, who make it their life’s work to find and free animals desperately in need of rescue.
I don’t know how you feel, but it truly makes my blood boil to hear about animals being hunted for trophies, even more so when they don’t even have a fighting chance of escaping the hunter.
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