Canned Hunting

Hunting DOES NOT Pay for Conservation

Insights from Humane Society International about the economic value of wild lions as a resource for foreign tourists to look at compared with their value as a resource for foreign hunters to shoot.

In 2017, HSI commissioned a report by Economists at Large entitled: The Lions Share? On the Economic Benefits of Trophy Hunting. A summary of the report can be found here: The report examines the estimated economic benefits of trophy hunting in eight African countries – Botswana, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe conducted by Safari Club International (SCI), published as “The Conservation Equation.” The report does not specifically break down lion trophy hunting.

However, this IUCN report by Bertrandt Chardonet entitled RECONFIGURING THE PROTECTED AREAS IN AFRICA  includes calculations that to conserve a lion for hunting costs around 4 million USD, whilst the market price for its hunt is around 50,000 USD (see pg 17 & 33-35). “The turnover from tourism in sub-Saharan Africa was 66 billion USD in 2016, with wildlife tourism generating a significant percentage of that total.” When compared to the revenue obtained from tourism, the value of the lion is worth far more alive than dead. The report adds that “The sales price of a safari to hunt lions is on average 50,000 USD (the price paid by the hunter who killed the lion called Cecil in Zimbabwe in 2015), in other words 1.25% of the cost price” and that “In Tanzania, the income from lion and elephant hunting represented 23.5% of the global revenue from tourism operators before 2010, in other words around 1 USD/ha/year on a turnover of 4.24 USD/ ha/year. This is therefore a significant loss, and not the only one, which turns the economic operation into a loss maker, the profit margins already being low or even negative.” See a summary of the report here.

This Huffington Post article “Eco-Tourism Worth More to African Economies Than Trophy Hunting” makes reference to revenue figures around Cecil – the Zimbabwean lion shot by an American trophy hunter.

In South Africa, “canned lion hunting” is the process whereby hunters pay to shoot captive-bred lions in enclosures from which they cannot escape. These huts are considerably cheaper than so-called “wild lion” hunts. This industry has been largely condemned by lion experts, conservationists and even hunters. A report conducted by the independent South African Institute for International Affairs has revealed that “the opportunity costs and negative externalities associated with the predator breeding industry may – along with other threats facing wild lion survival – undermine South Africa’s brand attractiveness as a tourism destination by up to R54.51bn over the next decade.”

Canned Hunting

Find out more about Blood Lions at

Killing Tamed Wild Animals in Fenced Areas for Sport

Petting Cubs in Africa Supports the Canned Hunting Industry

In this episode we investigate the so-called “green con”, where volunteers are paying exorbitant amounts to come to South Africa to hand raise lion cubs under the impression that they are doing it for conservation. Activists allege that most of these cubs end up in a “canned” hunt or as breeding robots for farms.

We also focus on the alleged abuse of the permit system for the breeding and hunting of lion and ask whether the country needs to have standardised regulations across all provinces.

Part 2 looks at the lion bone trade which has grown hugely over the past few years. Many people know about how the rhino is being poached for its horn, which is used in traditional medicines in Asia, but few know that lion bones are also being used as a replacement for tiger bones in tiger bone wine in Asia, since the tiger numbers have plummeted so drastically. There are concerns that the trade, which is now just a by-product of the hunt, will eventually spill over into wild lion populations.

Download this excellent white paper on how petting cubs at parks in Africa provides lions for canned hunts there.  Panther Canned Hunts

The term “canned hunt” refers to the shooting of exotic animals on game farms or hunting ranches that are in the business of breeding or buying exotic animals so that “hunters” can pay to be guaranteed a kill.  Tamed animals from zoos, backyard breeders and those who mistakenly got them as pets are their favorite targets because they are accustomed to being around people and won’t run when the client walks up to them to take a shot.

Wilder animals are baited with food into shooting range and the truly wild, such as bobcats, cougars and lions, are shot in their transport cages or in the back of the trailers in which they arrived.

These operations claim to only offer non-endangered exotic animals to would-be hunters, but provide a smokescreen to enable illegal activities such as hunting endangered animals.

One common source for big cats in canned hunts in S. Africa comes from the game farms where the owners tell the public that they are raising lions for reintroduction to the wild.  They sell a sad story about how the cubs were orphaned or rejected by their mothers and tell you that for a fee you can help bottle feed them and thus do something fun and help insure that the cub gets a second chance to live free.  What customers don’t know is that as soon as the cubs are too big to handle, they are turned out into fenced yards where hunters shoot them after paying a fee.

Want to DO Something About It?

Visit and take action now!

There is no legitimate facility that will allow you to have contact with big cats.  If they are allowing such contact, you know immediately that you should just Say NO!

Purchasing this book helps end canned hunting.

Panthera Article on How Pay to Play ends up being Pay to Kill


2012 – Tourist kills tame lioness in her pen

Another Video Expose

Published on Apr 3, 2013

This is a video of a sick canned lion hunt in South Africa, where these tourists drive a pick-up truck inside a tame lioness’ enclosure and kills her with a high-powered bow and arrow.

Canned hunting is big business in South Africa, tourists pay to kill tame hand raised lions inside enclosures. The lioness in this video is clearly no threat, she playfully runs around the pick-up truck and rolls around on her back. There is very little risk to the killer as there are always other guns pointed at the lion should it try to attack, you can see a rifle pointing out of the front of the truck and most likely another one from the back.

Trophy hunters are nothing but sick sadistic killers who take great pleasure in killing animals. The South African government are more to blame for letting this happen.