12,000 Lions Are Being Bred In Captivity To Be Hunted By Tourists

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Lord Ashcroft

Thousands of lions are being bred in captivity so they can be shot dead by tourists in Africa, Lord Ashcroft has revealed in a new book detailing the horrors of hunting.

The businessman and philanthropist traveled to Africa to investigate how many of these amazing creatures are being killed for these ‘canned hunts’ or for the bone trade.

In an excerpt of Unfair Game: An Exposé Of South Africa’s Captive-Bred Lion Industry, Ashcroft revealed there is now believed to be 12,000 captive-bred lions in South Africa alone, which is four times the number of wild lions.

In addition to the book, Ashcroft also released a short film highlighting the grave situation. Warning, some of the clips in the video are disturbing.

In speaking with the DailyMail, Ashcroft had this to say:

‘My research suggests it is highly likely that there are now at least 12,000 captive-bred lions in the country, against a wild population of just 3,000. Yet, strikingly, just a small number of people – a few hundred – profit from this abusive set-up. Thanks to South Africa’s constitution and laws, they seem able to operate as they wish.’

As part of his investigation, Ashcroft commissioned two undercover operations: Operation Simba and Operation Chastise. Together, they found evidence these beautiful creatures are being bred in captivity and illegally killed using packs of dogs.

The lions are not being fed properly, often kept in tiny, unhealthy living spaces, drugged and even beaten if they do not perform for tourists.

Ashcroft also has concerns about the bone trade in the region. His concern is that the lack of control over the illegal trade could cause another ‘coronavirus’ style pandemic.

Lion bones are heavily sought after in the Far East, where people believe they can be used in medicine or as an aphrodisiac and one lion’s carcass can be purchased for many thousands of pounds, before their bones are turned into cake or wine.

Ashcroft is now campaigning to have captive-bred farming banned in Africa with all the proceeds from his book, being donated to wildlife charities throughout the region.

Unfair Game: An Exposé Of South Africa’s Captive-Bred Lion Industry comes out today, June 16.