To satisfy high demand, African lions are killed for their claws, teeth, and bones. When a poacher looks at these noble creatures, all they see are parts for jewelry, fake medicine, and even wine.
In a horrific March 2021 incident in Uganda, poachers poisoned and dismembered six lions in Queen Elizabeth National Park. Then, in July 2021, Vietnamese authorities seized a shipment containing three tons of lion bones – the equivalent of roughly 300 lions.
Wildlife advocates have been applying pressure on Vietnam for years, especially after a 2018 tragedy where Vietnamese poachers in South Africa killed 40 lions in 48 hours alone. Vietnam's July 2020 ban on importing wildlife parts due to COVID-19 risks is a step forward, but this is not a long-term plan to address the root causes of the trade. Vietnam must step up their enforcement of the law and not let organized wildlife criminals off with light sentences. This recent seizure of a major lion bone shipment should encourage us to keep up the pressure on Vietnam – so they keep up the pressure on lion bone traffickers.
To prevent lions from slipping further toward an endangered status, Vietnam MUST enforce wildlife laws to their full extent. They have the power to stop the lion bone trade in their territory and renounce the use of lions' bones in traditional medicine and wine.
Together, we will fight tooth and claw to protect these majestic creatures. We need determined wildlife advocates to sign our petition now – will your name be on it?
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