Cat Chat 43

Cat Chat 43

Lisa Horsborough shares her experience from volunteering at a facility in South Africa that claimed to be raising white lions and golden lion cubs for release into Kruger National Park.

Audio file


Cat Chat 43 talks about the practice of raising white lion cubs, walking with lions and cub handling in South African lodges.

To find out what happens to cubs raised by humans when they are too big to handle:

Join us in the March for Lions event to raise awareness about the plight of lions:

Join Big Cat Rescue’s Carole Baskin and her cat experts from around the globe.

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In 44 cities around the world, from Stockholm to Sao Paolo, from Vancouver to Melbourne, Hong Kong to Cape Town.



If you are not marching, and even if you are, write protest letters and send emails to all the national and provincial authorities whose contact details are listed in this newsletter:


Ask the SA government to ban lion farming and trophy hunting;

if in EU, lobby the European Commission to ban the import of trophies;

if in USA, write to US Fish and Wildlife calling on it to raise the status of lions to ‘endangered.’ That would stop the import of lion trophies there.

Canned Lion Before After

Why are we marching?

The SA canned lion industry is one whose whole business model is cruelty to helpless animals.

The cycle of cruelty starts at birth, and the callous practices brought in from factory farming. A miserable life in captivity ends with a violent death at the hands of sadistic hunting thugs.

This brutal enterprise is hidden from public view by hunting propaganda, which is designed to whitewash the sickening details. And, incredibly, the propaganda is promoted by the SA government.

Concerned citizens are routinely assured by both SA government officials and PHASA that: ‘canned hunting is not permitted in SA.’
Lies, lies and more lies.

Propaganda tries to cloud the issue by arbitrarily adopting a definition as narrow as a knife edge, and then denying that killing a tame lion in a larger camp is ‘canned hunting.’ But even some hunters are complaining about this public relations gimmick.

On any sensible definition,all hunts of captive – bred lions in SA are canned hunts.

About 1,000 lions are canned hunted annually in S.A. – about 3 per day.

Who is organising?

For an idea of what the marches will look like, and to see photos of some of the organisers, click on this link here.Organisers and marches.

To see a list of the 44 cities where marches will take place click here:List of cities

To read more about the march, and to see a list of all the cities, go to: GlobalMarch4Lions

Why lion farming and Canned Lion hunting should be banned:

1. Well let’s start with the cruelty.  Bow hunting of tame lions is permitted in some provinces. Imagine the public outcry if farmers allowed hunters to come on to livestock farms and shoot sheep and cattle for sport?

2. It is causing a backlash against tourism to South Africa. Ethical tourists are already boycotting SA, causing losses to the legitimate tourism industry. These boycotts will surely increase over time.

3. It is a wasteful use of land and resources for no public benefit outside the narrow commercial interests of the hunting industry.

4. Private deals with rich foreigners give plenty of opportunities to unscrupulous soldiers of fortune for fraud and foreign currency swindles. Forensic audits need to be conducted across the industry, to protect the fiscus.

6. It is fraudulent at so many levels, right down to the sale of lion bones as tiger bone wine or cake, that have no proven medicinal value. Read Millions of dollars for old bones

On our website you’ll find all you need to know about canned hunting, with a selection of relevant TV videos.

South African Government Email addresses

1a) Ms Olga Kumalo
Department of Environmental Affairs

1b)Mr Mpho Tjiane
Department of Environmental Affairs

The Chief Executive Officer
KwaZulu Natal Wildlife

The Chief Executive Officer
Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency

The Head of Department
Free State Department of Tourism, Environmental and Economic Affairs

The Head of Department
Gauteng Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Environment

The Head of Department
Northern Cape Department of Tourism, Environment and Conservation

The Head of Department
Limpopo Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism

The Head of Department
Eastern Cape Department of Economic Affairs, Environment and Tourism

The Head of Department
North West Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Environment

Chair of the Scientific Authority
Mr John Donaldson

Ms Motlalepule Rosho

MEC North West Department of Economic Development, Environment and Tourism
Premier North West Thandi Modise

Marthinus van Schalkwyk (Minister of Tourism

1 Ms Sonja Meintjes
Department of Environmental Affairs

2 Mr Phillemon Mosana
Department of Environmental Affairs


CITES Secretary General – John Scanlon

Chief, Legal Affairs & Trade Policy – Marceil Yeater –

Chief, Enforcement Support – Ben Janse van Rensburg

Chief, Scientific Services – David Morgan –

Elderly lions, leopard getting extra attention at Indian zoo

Andhra Pradesh

Zoo ‘veterans’ getting special care

Staff Reporter

Fifteen animals have crossed their average life span

Most of the identified animals are carnivores

They have been moved to summer house

HYDERABAD: Hansraj has crossed the age of 20 years and so does Karuna. Even Lakshmi and Bujji have crossed the 20-year-mark and have been put in the list of animals categorised as ‘veterans’ at the Nehru Zoological Park in the city.

‘History sheets’

The zoo has took up the task of identifying animals, which have either entered their prime or crossed their average lifespan has ended up with a list of 15, most of which happens to be carnivores. “We have ‘history sheets’ of animals. In case of animals that were not born here, we go by the parentage, approximate date of birth and other factors to arrive at their age,” says S. Sarvanan, Zoo Curator.

In wilderness, the average longevity of carnivores such as lions, tigers and panthers is put at 15 years to 20 years, while in captivity, they live more.

Identified animals

Featuring in the list prepared by the zoo happen to be Asiatic lions, two African lions, one white lion and a panther. “The lifespan of panthers is known to be about 15 years and our panther has already crossed 18 years of age,” he points out.

A wild ass and a Malayan Sun Bear apart from four monkeys too have been categorised as old in age and include two Colobus monkeys, one wolf monkey and a golden rhesus monkey. Rani and Asha are the two elephants at the zoo which have crossed 65 years of age.

The zoo took up the exercise of identifying these animals to be able to provide special care such as special diets and more extensive health monitoring. “For carnivores, the usual diet is beef but in these cases we will also work on soft meat to help them feed according to their age.

Also, they will be given vitamin supplements and liver tonics,” informs Mr. Sarvanan. The identified animals have been moved to the summer house and are regularly monitored by the medical team at the zoo.


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South Africa: Tourists sue Sanbona safari park after too-close encounter with lions

November 19, 2009

Chris Smyth and Sadie Gray

Eight British tourists are suing a South African safari park after they became trapped by a pride of wild lions when their tour vehicle overturned.

The group are claiming hundreds of thousands of pounds for injuries and post-traumatic stress allegedly suffered when they were exposed to the “threatening conduct of the lions” at Sanbona Wildlife Reserve northeast of Cape Town.

One of the animals also stole a boot from the tourists, they say.

Papers lodged at Cape Town High Court claim that the injuries were due to the irresponsible actions of Natasha Van der Merwe, a park employee.

According to the papers, the vehicle she was driving toppled over as she tried to reverse away from a pride of lions in March 2007.

The lions then approached the stranded tourists, causing them distress.

Richard Cornish, from Wimbledon,southwest London, who was on a honeymoon with his wife Sandy, suffered concussion, three broken ribs and internal bleeding during the accident, the papers claim. His wife suffered “severe shock and anguish”.

Other members of the group say that they suffered heavy bruises and post- traumatic stress disorder and are claiming a total of £582,000 for loss of income and medical bills.

One of the group said yesterday: “The lions were about a metre and a half from us, and one went off with my boot.”

Michael Hawker, 71, from Solihull, said: “The whole experience was terrifying and frightening, and I’ll do anything to make sure nobody like us has to go through that again. We were lucky it wasn’t worse — it could have happened to people with children.”

The group was eventually driven to safety by another vehicle.

Along with the Cornishes and Mr Hawker, the group includes Mr Hawker’s wife Patricia, Charles and Fiona Buck, from Chiddingfold, Surrey, and David and Susan Shearman from Highbury, North London.

A spokesman for the Sanbona Wildlife Reserve said that it would fight the claim in court. Acting Judge Alasdair Sholto-Douglas has postponed the case until February.

The reserve, which is three hours’ drive from Cape Town, charges up to £740 per night and is one of the largest privately owned game reserves in South Africa.

It offers dawn and dusk tours of its 54,000 hectares (210 sq miles) at the foot of the Warmwaterberg mountains, led by a qualified ranger and using open-topped Landcruisers to give tourists a view of the birds and big game.

The reserve claims to have the only free-roaming pride of white lions in the region after a successful programme to reintroduce the species into the area. Sanbona also boasts black rhinos, elephants, hippos, giraffes, cheetahs and leopards, and is a protected habitat for the endangered riverine rabbit.

Safari holidays are not without their dangers. In 2006 Patrick Smith, 34, of London, was trampled to death by an elephant while on his honeymoon in the Masai Mara game reserve in Kenya. He was with a guide and only 300m from their camp.


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Zoos Dirty Secrets About White Tigers

Zoos Dirty Secrets About White Tigers

Across the world, especially in the United States, a massive deception about white tigers and their origin is taking place.

Did you know that there truly is no such thing as a royal white Bengal tiger?

Did you know that there isn´t even a wild white tiger population, and that no white tiger has even been seen since the 1950s?

Did you know that there isn´t even a conservational value for breeding white tigers, nor that any are able to participate in any Species Survival Plans?

And finally, did you know that white tigers can only exist through rampant inbreeding, which causes heavy deformities, mental disabilities, and birth defects?

Most people don´t know these things. This is mainly because the zoos just don´t want the public to know. White tigers are the animal that everyone wants to see. When sold, they cost much more than a normal orange colored tiger. They are seen as more valuable because the public has naively believed the lies spread by countless zoos around the world.

White tigers are all related to Mohan, a white tiger cub that was captured in India in the 1950s. He was bred to a Siberian tiger (they hoped that the resulting cubs would be bigger due to the Siberian tiger´s greater size) in the hopes of producing more white tigers.

When all the cubs were orange, they were baffled. But, as they soon discovered, by breeding Mohan with his own daughter, some white tigers resulted. The inbreeding turned out to be necessary because the rarity of the gene that causes the white coloration, and because the gene is double recessive. From then on, all white tigers have been a result of such inbreeding.

Since the first breeding occurred between a Bengal and Siberian tiger, all subsequent animals were tiger hybrids. Because they were not pure species, no white tiger or orange tiger from that line will ever be able to be used in Species Survival Programs. Only pure subspecies can be used for that. Therefore, when zoos say they breed white tigers for conservation, they are trying to deceive the public. AZA accredited zoos typically frown upon the practice of breeding white tigers for this very reason.

With inbreeding comes many problems. The neonatal mortality rate for these animals is 80%. That means 80% of these tigers will die of birth defects. All other white tigers will have crossed eyes, whether it shows or not, because the white gene causes the optic nerve to be wired on the wrong side of the brain. The majority that survives suffer from profound defects and problems, such as immune deficiency, scoliosis, cleft palates, mental impairments, deformities, etc. The list could go on. So many of these animals suffer from deformities that it is estimated that only 1 in 30 white tigers will be put on display. The rest are sold off, either to another roadside zoo or placed in the exotic pet trade, or are killed. Zoos have no interest in animals they deem ugly.

This is the abuse that you are supporting every time you pay patronage to a zoo that has white tigers. This means that you must boycott such zoos and spread the word about this despicable practice. Contact any zoos you know of with white tigers and urge them to get their animals fixed. This is something that we can stop! We need to get our voices heard by the places that continue to breed these animals. When they realize the public isn´t falling for their tricks, they´ll realize that they have to stop the abuse in order to earn money.

When the people stop paying, maybe the killing and abuse can stop too.