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The new trends to walk with lions and to pet lion cubs cause them a lifetime of suffering. And by participating, tourists are inadvertently helping to fund their ongoing torture.

Lions are incredible animals, majestic, regal and deadly – I can understand why unsuspecting tourists want to get up close and personal with them. It is tragic to see this interest in wildlife driving the demand for a cruel industry.

There are, of course, many ways to see lions in their natural environment. In the wild you can see their true behaviours and witness what really makes lions the awe-inspiring kings of the jungle.

Denying Lions of a Natural Life

Lions that “walk” with tourists have been denied their natural lives. They are normally hand-reared to develop the necessary strong bond with humans. They are never given the chance to live as a real lion. They will never learn to hunt or be able to play for hours with the other cubs and adults in their pride.

They are also unable to spend their adolescence with their mother, learning from her, and being nurtured by her and this is a critical part of their development process.

The end result is abnormal adult lions without  the necessary social and survival skills for life in the wild. Consequently, lion park claims about their animals being the “real thing,” and “living as nature intended,” couldn’t be further from the truth.

To be hand-reared, lion cubs have to be separated from their mother at a very early age. Like all mammals, lions depend on their mothers as they grow up and they form an attachment very quickly. Separated cubs become incredibly distressed and fearful while the mother becomes distraught at the removal of her cubs.

Lions Can’t be Tamed

Lions can never and nor should they, be tamed or domesticated. Their needs are just not compatible with our needs. And why should they share their lives with us when they have evolved for thousands of years to live in the environment they do?

One interesting study found that lions are entirely unsuitable to life in captivity. In the wild, lions have one of the largest home ranges of all large carnivores, in which they travel in on a daily basis. This means that when they are caged, lions will pace more than other animals.

When these lions aren’t “entertaining” tourists by walking or being petted by them they are kept in a cage for hours at a time. This happens especially during periods in the low tourist season, and at night when they should be most active. Cooped up lions become frustrated and bored, and they will often perform stereotypic behaviors such as pacing. This is not only heart-breaking to watch but is a clear sign that an animal is not coping with their environment.

Sadly, the tourists visiting walking and petting attractions will be unaware of cruelty involved and the behind-the-scenes suffering. This is why we are telling the lions’ stories for them.

Take Action

You can help. Lions and other wild animals are suffering at cruel tourist entertainment attractions. Join our movement and help us put an end to it.

If you are interested in learning more about how captivity impacts lions, check out these additional resources:

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16 comments on “Why Life Entertaining Tourists is No Life at all for Lions”

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Sheryl Schroeder
1 Years Ago

This article fails to mention how this awful practice feeds directly into the CANNED HUNTING INDUSTRY. The lion cubs you pet today will be killed, brutally in a confined area with no hope or chance of escape. Please see the movie Blood Lions. Here is a link to the trailer. You will be floored. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-T86GCjCpus

Whenever you do this, whenever you pay to play with baby lion cubs or get a selfie with them or feed them or walk with them when they get older you are part of the problem. See this also, utterly devastating: http://www.you.co.za/news/outrage-after-video-of-canned-lion-hunting-surfaces/

john pasqua
1 Years Ago

the animals are not props here now.

Sharon Toscano
2 Years Ago

People need to find other more compassionate ways to entertain themselves and think of consequences for animals of their actions.

Ineke Jansen-Alblas
2 Years Ago

Yanin RH
2 Years Ago

Hanny Semo

Kaarina Reimalahti
2 Years Ago

Cindy Young-West
2 Years Ago

People who find this offensive need to document the exploitation, publish the offending venue and socially shame the practice. Keep sharing.

Vera Paschke
2 Years Ago

Stop this exploitation!

Lauren Butcher
2 Years Ago

Some humans just don't get it and that makes them part of the problem. Unfortunately they don't see it that way.

Leah Anargyros
2 Years Ago

Michael Nargy


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