A canned hunt is a trophy hunt which is not “fair chase”; it has been made too easy for the hunter. In some examples, animals 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 most easy way, even sitting from his vehicle. Animals do not stand any chance. Such facilities even put male lions in small enclosures for them to fight each other, so lions can have scars on their faces and the trophy can seem to come from a total wild lion.
Canned hunting is a fast-growing business in South Africa, where thousands of lions are being bred on more than 160 farms to be shot by wealthy foreign trophy-hunters. There are now more lions held in captivity (upwards of 5,000) in the country than live wild (about 2,000).
Wild@Life e.V. Is dedicated to rescue such lions from such facilities with the local partners.
During November 2019, our team has reached South Africa to rescue 22 lions from one of these farms.
The team was overwhelmed seeing 10 lions kept in a totally secluded and closed shed with no light nor grass.
We had to fight hard for the lives of these lions. But dedication and passion made this work successful. For this rescue a total of 5000km has been done on road, 9.5 hours was spent to take 10 lions out of the shed, paperwork with the Ministry for import and export was issued with a lot of pressure from us, and we finally got a day set for the big day.
The team was ready to first rescue the 10 lions kept in the shed. Entering and darting was a big problem as the building had only one door and no other entrance. We have decided to drive in with the team and dart the animals inside. Wild@Life was in with the local team.
And darting has begun. Was an extra load of work and took a long time to calm the lions after each darting. These lions had no access to outside nor any light and grass, so their stress levels were much higher than usual. We were committed to take them out! So we did… one by one!
We worked non stop to move the lions to the transport trailer, which we drove back to the sanctuary, where they will learn to be lions again.
On our way out we met a lonely lion. He was not good or handsome enough to be sold as a trophy lion, his tale was crooked. He was lion number 22 in the registry. He was likely to be sold for the Asian bone trade to become part of a local medicine. We couldn’t let this happen. So we made a deal to secure the funds when back to Germany, Wild@Life HeadQuarters. We named him Georges.
And so we did! We will not let him behind. He will join the sanctuary once the semi wild enclosures will be ready. He will join the others and he will learn to be a lion again! With his own pride.
Below are some of the lions we rescued from the shed, who now live in the sanctuary, with proper trees and surroundings and most importantly: together!
Our work isn’t over yet. Many still await for help and we can’t do this without you.
If you want to be a part of the work to end canned hunting lion business, please support us:
Please support Wild@Life so the vital projects can be successfully implemented.