Lions, already in decline throughout Africa, face a new threat: growing demand for their body parts, including bones, teeth and claws. These are sought after for use in traditional medicines and trinkets, mostly in Southeast Asia.
Though it's illegal to poach these big cats, and international trade in lion parts is mostly prohibited, South Africa has legalized the export of skeletons from captive facilities where lions are bred and raised. Multiple reports on that industry have pointed to terrible conditions in such captive facillities. In many cases these businesses also allow customers to pay for the opportunity to kill lions in so-called "canned hunts," with the option of taking the head or skin as a trophy.
This cruel exploitation of big cats has got to stop. They are magnificent creatures that belong in the wild, not on someone's wall or in a snake-oil pharmacy. South Africa should be taking the lead in protecting lions.
Sign now to demand South Africa ban the export of lion bones.