South African puts up fight to retain lion cubs
October 18, 2006 Edition 2
A Mossel Bay farmer is embroiled in a battle in the Cape High Court
with the Western Cape Nature Conservation Board over three lion cubs
he received last year after he decided to use wild animals to attract
tourists in an attempt to make more money.
The board wants him to return the lions to the Free State, where they
came from, but the man has asked the court to order that the board
speed up considering his application for a permit to keep them.
Lodewickus Johannes Jordaan said in an affidavit before the court
that he farmed in the Free State until the end of 2004 before
deciding to move to the Western Cape.
They bought a portion of the farm Groot Sorgfontein in Brak River. He
then realised that the prices of property in the Western Cape were
high and he had to try to generate a maximum income on his new farm.
He decided to become involved in eco-tourism and to erect tourist
facilities on the farm and use rare wild animals to attract tourists.
In January last year he established that a Gideon Odendaal had lion
cubs available in Rouxville in the Free State and approached him,
asking him to see to the necessary formalities. Odendaal told him
that he had obtained an export permit for the cubs.
Later, Jordaan found that he was being charged for the transportation
and possession of lion cubs without a permit.
Last month the Mossel Bay Magistrate’s Court acquitted him, but the
board has not yet considered his application.