People have been campaigning for years to protect the incredible beauty that is nature. Lions have captured the hearts of many throughout generations, but some have taken their love too far and tried to keep the big cats as pets. Now, South Africa is putting an end to keeping captive lions.
The controversial farms
People heading to South Africa on safari often want to see the big five – including lions. While they bring in a lot of tourism to the area, it turns out that many farms are pretty controversial and don’t always have the best conditions for raising lions. One of the parts that have upset many people is that many cubs are used for lion petting and bottle feeding, meaning the big cats lose their natural instincts. Some are even used for traditional medicines sold throughout Asia.
The divide between wild and captive lions
One of the biggest causes for concern for many activists fighting for lions’ rights in South Africa came in the form of the divide between the number of wild and captive lions. Currently, people have to have special licenses to breed and keep lions in captivity, and it’s estimated there could be between 6,000 and 8,000 lions. However, other experts state there could be as many as 12,000 lions currently being kept on farms or as pets across the nation. This dwarfs the 2,000 lions that live in the wild.
Turning back the clock
In October 2019, a panel of experts gathered to discuss the issue of keeping captive lions, and they had a lot to read as a 600-page report was submitted arguing all the reasons it should be brought to an end. It also contained ideas about how to phase out captive lion breeding and how to leave the big cats in the wild where they belong. One of the many things included in the report spoke about banning certain hunting of lions and putting an end to parts being sold to other parts of the world. It seemed the argument won as the panel agreed to all of the recommendations.
Phasing out the captive lions
There is only one thing left to do: phase out keeping captive lions in South Africa. There is still a long way to go before the laws are brought in, as the parliament has agreed to the recommendations. However, they still need to present their case to the government before it is turned into a law. Thankfully, it seems it won’t be long before the farms are put to an end as the country has already started to revoke licenses and has shut down several organizations. Hopefully, it won’t be long before these lions get a taste of where they’re meant to be.
South Africa has come a long way in the last few years as it seems the nation might finally be putting an end to keeping captive lions. Amazingly, we could soon see the lions out in the wild where they belong.