I will never understand the desire to shoot and kill a lion (or most other animals, for that matter), but there are places in Africa, like Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park, where most of the income for wildlife conservation comes from trophy hunting.
Still, I find the practice abhorrent at best, and then there’s canned lion hunting. As part of an investigation dubbed ‘Project Simba’, which was funded by Lord Ashcroft, a prominent British politician and philanthropist, the truth has now been laid bare.
According to Business Insider, based off findings from that investigation, “up to 200 farms in South Africa breed lions for such “canned” high-priced trophy hunts”:
It stretched over the course of a year and involved ” former Special Forces and security operatives” who infiltrated lion breeding in South Africa, Ashcroft said.
His team found a thriving business of captive lions, Ashcroft said, including “green hunts” where lions are darted with a sedative before for a trophy photo. Another aspect of the business, he says, is the creation of lion and tiger cross-breeds, ligers and tigons, in order to speed up growth and so have heavier bones to sell in the thriving market for traditional medicines in mostly China and South East Asia.
It’s true – a tiger cross-breed can reach the same bone weight at the age of three as that of a lion at the age of nine, so bugger all the birth defects and other issues that come with it.
“By allowing such a barbaric practice, the South African Government is harming the reputation of a country that treasures its position on the international stage in the aftermath of apartheid,” he said in a statement.
You best buckle up and get ready for some escalated blood pressure before watching this one:
Sick to my stomach.
Ashcroft has launched a new website – https://www.lordashcroftwildlife.com/ – detailing the full findings of his investigation.
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