It’s no secret that we’re ruining the lives of other animal species. Hard to pinpoint where that all began, but it’s not hard to see how it is happening these days, especially in African countries. One of them, specifically in South Africa, even dedicated a lion farm for the entertainment of tourists, some are actually bred and raised in poor conditions only to be hunted.
A recent investigation called Operation Simba headed by politician Lord Ashcroft has revealed one of the most troubling animal industries in South Africa. Around 12,000 lions are being held captive and bred in sickening enclosures for two purposes, to serve as hunting targets for people who can pay, and to be butchered and sold as medicine in the Far East.
“The investigation shows how up to 12,000 lions bred in captivity are destined either to be shot by wealthy hunters – in what is often a pathetic charade of a hunt – or killed in squalid abattoirs so their bones can be exported to the Far East,” according to Ashcroft
As it turns out, lion hunting, whether in lion farms or not, is actually a lucrative business, often amounting to millions of pounds or dollars in value. Based on a study, the going rate for a chance to hunt and slaughter a single lion is £42,000 ($54,300).
Worryingly enough, the lion farms in South Africa have been successful with their endeavor. The said population of 12,000 captive lions now outnumber the wild population by almost four to one. Each day, around 50 lions get killed in one particular lion farm.
While one can argue that this can keep the rich hunters away from the wild lions, the farms could have easily been used in lion conservation, which will benefit the lions but may not be profitable to humans, so there. Ashcroft and other concerned parties are now planning to crack down on the illegal animal trade, though they fear they might have only scratched the surface.
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