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South Africa is home to a shameful industry that poses an even greater threat to an already endangered species. The practice of "canned hunting" is common in South Africa, which currently has more lions in captivity than in the wild. "Canned hunting" breeds lions into captivity in so-called "sanctuaries." Lion cubs are taken away from their mothers too early so that they may be pet by tourists. When they are too old, these tame lions are released into large enclosures so that they may be easily hunted and killed by tourists—often by arrows, which is not a quick or painless death.
Once the lions are killed, their heads are exported as trophies to North America and the EU, where the majority of hunters come from. The rest of the skeletons are exported to Asia, where they are sold as part of the "tiger bone" industry.
The New Zealand Herald reports that the African lion population has been diminished by 75% in the past 20 years due to . The charity LionAid notes that many countries have experienced local extinctions of lions and that many more could also lose their lion populations in a decade's time. This includes the rarer white lion, which is more coveted by trophy hunters.
Join the thousands of protestors who will be marching across the globe against canned hunting this weekend by signing this petition!
To Whom It May Concern:
We, the undersigned, demand that the country of South Africa protect its lion population by putting an end to the industry known as "canned hunting." Canned hunting is complicit in the endangerment of African lions and the commodification of their body parts across the globe as trophies and spurious medicine. So-called "sanctuaries" where these hunts take place profit on the deaths of thousands of lions. This unspeakably cruel industry must stop now and we demand the South African government intervene to protect these big cats and their environments.