Tom Kellie

South African lion management plan released

27 posts in this topic

 

~ @@COSMIC RHINO

 

Thank you for bringing that to out attention.

I apologize, as I had somehow overlooked your original posting of the full plan.

Tom K.

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I have to say that many of the NGO's who are making alarm about lion are selling a substantial amount of misinformation.

 

We have debated this a number of times on ST and the common rhetoric comes to the fore "Lion numbers have declined by 90% over the last 50 years" - Well despite the fact that there were never accurate counts 50 years ago - the biggest decline has been in central and north Africa historically as habitat becomes under pressure from human encroachment.

 

From a South African perspective lion numbers are on the increase. And at this stage - I need to draw clear and definite difference between "wild" and "captive bred" lions. Its important to understand that they are (in my opinion) two totally different things. A bit like a cow and a buffalo. Captive lions will never be released into the wild - for a few reasons - The most important reason is simply because there is no "void" spaces for new introductions, and secondly - that there is always a source of wild lions should a new area seek to introduce.

 

There are estimated to be over 100 reserves between 20 000ha and 50 000ha and even bigger that have lions. Each one of these produce surplus, and have to be managed. Some are resorting to sterilisation, some sell and some cull. Hluhluwe Imfolozi is an example where there are too many lions they have currently over 200 and should be holding 70 - 100. The impact is difficult to miss.

 

Now it seems that the NGO's are loosing face because their claim that lions are in decline is not relevant in SA. In fact its not the case in Namibia either. We are all aware of the complex social structure of lions and that young males will leave for about 2 years and roam until they can find their own pride. Lions are able to breed like rabbits if left alone, and I can only think of two reserves in SA Kagligadi and Kruger where lions limit their own numbers. Outside of those circumstances lions need to be managed.

 

So a lion management plan is no surprise in SA. I urge the "save the Lion" NGO's to focus on areas where lions are in decline and address the reasons for it (which is almost always human conflict) rather than trying to draw attention to themselves and take cheep shots at SA.

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Posted (edited)

@@Bugs - what is the official SA position on selling surplus lions for their fat and bones to be used for a variety of purposes in TMC, muti etc? I see that the management plan talks about this a bit but I cannot make out whether they officially endorse such uses or not. I suppose if hunting for trophies is okay, then hunting for any other purpose should also be okay?

Edited by Sangeeta
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@@Bugs - what is the official SA position on selling surplus lions for their fat and bones to be used for a variety of purposes in TMC, muti etc? I see that the management plan talks about this a bit but I cannot make out whether they officially endorse such uses or not. I suppose if hunting for trophies is okay, then hunting for any other purpose should also be okay?

 

I understand your concern.

 

I will state this here and we can reflect on it in a few years. If they make lion bone etc illegal - we will see exactly what is happening to our rhino happen to lion. The moment you apply prohibition you create a market for criminals - and they will out manoeuvre you everytime.

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@@Bugs - I was just curious to know how SA conservationists view this matter of the lion bone trade. Most people are somewhat horrified at the thought, but I have actually come to believe that once an animal is dead, then what happens to its carcass afterwards is not that important. So whether it is hunter taking a trophy or a trader taking the bones, how does that matter.

 

But do you see no slippery slope in this sort of management plan at all? Since they are such good breeders, there can be a huge potential financial upside to breeding lions and then selling them on to hunting facilities and/or simply shooting them for their parts, right? Are there any controls or restrictions on private owners at all? And if so, who monitors this trade?

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Posted (edited)

@@Bugs - I was just curious to know how SA conservationists view this matter of the lion bone trade. Most people are somewhat horrified at the thought, but I have actually come to believe that once an animal is dead, then what happens to its carcass afterwards is not that important. So whether it is hunter taking a trophy or a trader taking the bones, how does that matter.

 

But do you see no slippery slope in this sort of management plan at all? Since they are such good breeders, there can be a huge potential financial upside to breeding lions and then selling them on to hunting facilities and/or simply shooting them for their parts, right? Are there any controls or restrictions on private owners at all? And if so, who monitors this trade?

 

I cannot talk on behalf on our organisation, but will reveal that we have discussed the fact that we need to take a stand on the issue of lions. At this stage I regard it as an issue for the Animal Rights groups and am not convinced that it is a conservation issue. However the whole subject does leave a bad taste in ones mouth. If we are to take a view on the subject, then we need to consider what is best for the wild lions. Animal Rights groups use this lion subject (and others) for classic "bait and switch" tactics - throw out an emotional picture of horrid conditions that makes people want to do something; - and then point them to your bank account.

 

I remember one colleague telling me to replace the word lion with goat, or chicken. In the case of lion - as I pointed out - you have to separate the "wild" and "captive bred" as two completely different animals. - Hence captive bred are domestic animals. Pieter Kat who featured in the article is no stranger to lion breeding farms, as you may remember he is the one scientist who supports ALERT - or Antelope park which exploits lions for petting, and walking - thus making money from voluntourists, donors and tourists alike. In my opinion they are no better than any other lion farmer. Oddly enough it was Africa Geographic who exposed ALERT a few years ago.

http://africageographic.com/blog/walking-with-lions-good-conservation-probably-not/

Edited by Bugs
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I hear you @@Bugs, but believe me, I am trying hard to separate lion-related AR issues in the context of this thread and trying to understand how lions are viewed in SA by the conservation community of the country.

 

I worry that in SA, lion farmers (like all other wildlife farmers) are so much a part of the mainstream that their ultimate financial gain has a strong bearing on the country's overall conservation strategy (at least this is how it appears to be based on the management plan cited above). I would love to be proven wrong.

 

I also note that in SA, many people cite wildlife numbers without differentiating between wild and captive bred. For instance, I would call the Hume ranch rhinos 'captive bred' but their numbers are often included in the overall rhino numbers to show how successful SA has been in increasing the rhino population.

 

What is the official SA position on the management of wild lions, does anyone know?

 

Would I be wrong if I said that these SA lion farmers are on exactly the same level as the Chinese bear bile farmers?

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In fact, in the management plan they distinguish 3 different types of lions.

1) Wild lions - completely fulfil their role in biodiversity processes and are largely unmanaged, and exist only in formally proclaimed national parks and game reserves. Conservationists do not actively manipulate vital rates and lion demographics. Which basically in SA are the lions in Kruger area, Kalahari - Gemsbok NP and a small area in North-East SA where there is a small population (Mapungubwe).

2) Managed wild lions - include all lions that have been re-introduced into smaller fenced reserves (<1000km2), and are managed to limit population growth and

maintain genetic diversity. Managers actively manipulate some vital rates and demographics. This includes areas like Madikwe, Pilanesberg, Hluhluwe (NOTE: the report states "The Hluhluwe-Imfolozi park currently has about 100-140 lions, although previous estimates have been as high as 200". The strange thing is that the previous estimate is dated 2012, while the current estimate is dated 1996...).
3) Captive lions - are bred exclusively to generate money. Managers actively manipulate all vital rates and demographics.
In SA there are very few wild lions hunted each year. There are a few harvest in the unfenced private game reserves bordering Kruger, and maybe a few bordering Kgalakgadi but in total I don't think it's over 10. Some lions are sold as wild lions, but turn out to be put-and-take lions. But maybe @@Bugs can shed light on this.
In the managed wild lion population you have indeed several options to manage them.
Translocation - usually not an option as all areas in SA who want lions, already have lions. Cost moderate amount of money, and often not even an option.
Birth control - often not desirable as having no cubs can mess with pride structure and cohesion, and cubs attract tourists. Cost a little money, possibly negative ecological effects.
Culling - often not desirable if you exploit your area as a photographic tourist area, but sometimes it's done (Madikwe). Cost little money, controls negative impacts of lions on other animals in the reserve (cheetah have known to be wiped out by lions, certain prey species can be depleted).
Harvesting - not desirable if you exploit your area as a photographic tourist area, but it can generate a lot of revenue and sometimes takes place in areas which usually are geared to photographic tourism. In those cases specific males are targeted, and they are sold for phenomenal prices (Madikwe, the private game reserves bordering Kruger). Actually brings in money, but potential of negative image to future photographic tourists and thus potential loss of future income.
Repleneshing prey - New prey needs to be brought in to sustain the lions. Very expensive.
Given these options, it depends on the financial situation of the park, and how you mitigate potential future revenue loss, on what to do with excess lions. Especially in the private game reserves, which are businesses, who need to generate money to survive.
Lions in SA are certainly not endangered I would say. Yes, there are only 3-4 truly wild populations, and only 2-3 are thought to be viable, but the managed wild population is generally safe. With wild dogs SA has proven to be able to manage metapopulations of large carnivores on small reserves.
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Its very difficult to get to the truth or find a source of lions that end up being hunted. I can't name any specific reserves - but an example I heard about the other day; was one reserve donated three surplus delinquent males to another reserve. That reserve - got a bit fed up with them and sold them on..

 

So while one reserve is sensitive to pressure groups and will not link itself to hunting, the other reserve had a choice to cull or sell. When you "sell" a lion - its destination is certain. Tembe is an example of how prolific lions are. They introduced 4 and within a few years they were culling - they have just donated 12 to Mkhuze. Another game reserve manager we met decided to introduce lions and let slip that he intended to do so, and he had people queueing up to supply him.

 

Oddly enough at Madikwe there was a summery of their predator management plan on the coffee table. It made interesting reading. At one stage they had 120 lions and reduced them to 75 - which the still claim is too heavy. The lions removed were euthanised or moved and details are sketchy - but you can be sure due to visitor sensitivity - they didn't end up being hunted. A genuine "wild lion" hunt can go for R500 000, and that has to help considerably with running costs.

 

I was also told that Madikwe had to buy in R1 million worth of game every year. But as you say, and it was revealed in their coffee table book; - when there are too many lions they see less of the unusual sightings - aardvark, pangolin, cheetah and of course wilddog take a knock. Now remember Madikwe is huge - 75 000ha, if I recall correctly.

 

I do know of other upmarket reserves that sell their lions rather than culling them, but won't give names.

 

This whole lion sensitivity is messing things up. Hluhluwe is clearly over populated with lions. I have spoken to people who were rangers in the old days, and they never let lions exceed 75. Today there are over 200 and there is clear trouble. I have it on good authority that Waterbuck are almost extinct, reedbuck, mountain reedbuck blue duiker and even steenbok are thought to be extinct. (In 1976 they counted 750 waterbuck). I am told that wilddog are at 75 - which is a reduction from the 125 I was told about a few years ago. Also remember the Hluhluwe Imfolozi is huge.. much bigger than Madikwe.

 

Remember - Kenya is estimated to have 2000 lions - that is the same number that is in Kruger Park. Interesting KTP is twice as big as Kruger and can only hold 500 lions.

 

I know people from Australia understand about huge pieces of land, but many people from Europe need to appreciate how, difficult it is to create habitat for lions. This is why efforts like iSimangaliso are so incredibly rare. If all goes well - there will be an area bigger than Kruger with 220km of coastline and huge lake systems rehabilitated for wildlife.

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Remember - Kenya is estimated to have 2000 lions - that is the same number that is in Kruger Park. Interesting KTP is twice as big as Kruger and can only hold 500 lions.

 

I know people from Australia understand about huge pieces of land, but many people from Europe need to appreciate how, difficult it is to create habitat for lions. This is why efforts like iSimangaliso are so incredibly rare. If all goes well - there will be an area bigger than Kruger with 220km of coastline and huge lake systems rehabilitated for wildlife.

 

~ @@Bugs

 

Thank you for your explanation. As one who has come very, very late to such issues, it helps to read this.

The time and effort you invested in responding to @@Sangeeta's questions is much appreciated.

Those who've lived in and worked in Canada, Alaska and Russia also have a sense of huge swathes of territory.

In Hawaii, a different story.

Tom K.

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Its very difficult to get to the truth or find a source of lions that end up being hunted. I can't name any specific reserves - but an example I heard about the other day; was one reserve donated three surplus delinquent males to another reserve. That reserve - got a bit fed up with them and sold them on..

 

So while one reserve is sensitive to pressure groups and will not link itself to hunting, the other reserve had a choice to cull or sell. When you "sell" a lion - its destination is certain. Tembe is an example of how prolific lions are. They introduced 4 and within a few years they were culling - they have just donated 12 to Mkhuze. Another game reserve manager we met decided to introduce lions and let slip that he intended to do so, and he had people queueing up to supply him.

 

Oddly enough at Madikwe there was a summery of their predator management plan on the coffee table. It made interesting reading. At one stage they had 120 lions and reduced them to 75 - which the still claim is too heavy. The lions removed were euthanised or moved and details are sketchy - but you can be sure due to visitor sensitivity - they didn't end up being hunted. A genuine "wild lion" hunt can go for R500 000, and that has to help considerably with running costs.

 

They did cull and they actually did hunt at least one of the first two introduced males. The time had come they would start mating with their offspring, so they had it hunted and it generated a lot of revenue.

 

I was also told that Madikwe had to buy in R1 million worth of game every year. But as you say, and it was revealed in their coffee table book; - when there are too many lions they see less of the unusual sightings - aardvark, pangolin, cheetah and of course wilddog take a knock. Now remember Madikwe is huge - 75 000ha, if I recall correctly.

 

75,000 ha = 750 sq km, which is smaller than the 1,000 sq km mentioned in the report for wild lions.

 

I do know of other upmarket reserves that sell their lions rather than culling them, but won't give names.

 

This whole lion sensitivity is messing things up. Hluhluwe is clearly over populated with lions. I have spoken to people who were rangers in the old days, and they never let lions exceed 75. Today there are over 200 and there is clear trouble. I have it on good authority that Waterbuck are almost extinct, reedbuck, mountain reedbuck blue duiker and even steenbok are thought to be extinct. (In 1976 they counted 750 waterbuck). I am told that wilddog are at 75 - which is a reduction from the 125 I was told about a few years ago. Also remember the Hluhluwe Imfolozi is huge.. much bigger than Madikwe.

 

That's interesting. In many areas with lots of lions and lots of prey of different species lions seem to not target waterbuck. Mountain reedbuck, blue duiker and steenbok are also all unusual prey for lions. What's the leopard population in the park? Do the lions use the mountain ranges a lot? Wild dog populations, like any pack living canid population, vary a lot and do so quickly. The Kruger population has been fluctuating between ~100 and ~400 for example. A reduction from 125 to 75 isn't all that surprising, and anyway, Hluhluwe is way too small to sustain a wild dog population, 3-6 packs would be a 'normal' number of packs in that park, and even that would be on the high side, and average pack size is about 9 adults...

 

Remember - Kenya is estimated to have 2000 lions - that is the same number that is in Kruger Park. Interesting KTP is twice as big as Kruger and can only hold 500 lions.

 

You can't compare the whole of Kenya with Kruger, or KTP with Kruger. Those are all different ecosystems. KTP is semi-desert with naturally much lower game densities, and thus lower lion densities.

 

I know people from Australia understand about huge pieces of land, but many people from Europe need to appreciate how, difficult it is to create habitat for lions. This is why efforts like iSimangaliso are so incredibly rare. If all goes well - there will be an area bigger than Kruger with 220km of coastline and huge lake systems rehabilitated for wildlife.

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Hi everyone.

 

This is a very interesting subject and there are some well informed views that I am enjoying reading. I would agree that there are too many lions in iMfolozi-Hluhluwe as we were surprised to see fewer antelope than expected on our 2 trips this year. No waterbuck, no duikers or steenbokkies or reed bucks at all!

 

We didn't see any other predators which is unusual and we're wondering if it was due to poaching....seems like it might have been the king of the jungle and his family eliminating competition.

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Hi everyone.

 

This is a very interesting subject and there are some well informed views that I am enjoying reading. I would agree that there are too many lions in iMfolozi-Hluhluwe as we were surprised to see fewer antelope than expected on our 2 trips this year. No waterbuck, no duikers or steenbokkies or reed bucks at all!

 

We didn't see any other predators which is unusual and we're wondering if it was due to poaching....seems like it might have been the king of the jungle and his family eliminating competition.

 

~ @@Scops

 

That's interesting — thanks for your field observation report.

I'm kidding in writing the following, but based on what I've observed in two visits to Kenya, either South Africa's waterbuck have come up to Kenya on holiday, or Kenya's waterbucks are enjoying unprecedented fertility.

Waterbuck, waterbuck, wherever I went!

Tom K.

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That's interesting. In many areas with lots of lions and lots of prey of different species lions seem to not target waterbuck. Mountain reedbuck, blue duiker and steenbok are also all unusual prey for lions. What's the leopard population in the park? Do the lions use the mountain ranges a lot? Wild dog populations, like any pack living canid population, vary a lot and do so quickly. The Kruger population has been fluctuating between ~100 and ~400 for example. A reduction from 125 to 75 isn't all that surprising, and anyway, Hluhluwe is way too small to sustain a wild dog population, 3-6 packs would be a 'normal' number of packs in that park, and even that would be on the high side, and average pack size is about 9 adults...

 

 

 

 

You make a good point - Waterbuck are easy targets for wilddog. My information comes from a number of sources who don't wish to reveal their identity for obvious reasons. They say that HIP is a predator pit. There are a number of questions that the same people are asking, which isn't equating to them either. For example, in the early days, when lion numbers were too high, they tended to leave the park and they had to cull as a result of complaints from people loosing cattle. The fences are worse now than before, yet there don't seem to be increased reports of escaped lions. Wilddog are usually responsible for wiping out Waterbuck and Steenbuck etc, although wilddog numbers were large a few years ago, they appear to have declined.

 

What also doesnt make sense, is that these lions have not developed a taste for buffalo, and buffalo numbers are unusually high. Wildebeest numbers are in serious free-fall. Although we had a few sightings of giraffe, they were all alone, which in my mind was very unusual.

 

BTW - what is also unusual, is that there are no Jackal.

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I am horrified that South Africa is willing to sell parts of Lions as in bones, etc.

There is no increase on Lion Population in South Africa, unless one counts the game farms, zoos and circus?

One lion cub petted ends on Canned Hunt!

A disgrace to SA and which I fight, hand on, for over 17 years.

When we talk about LION population, we are talking WILD LIONS.

IF SA wants to deal in Lions goods (?) where are we stopping?

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Yes, but in the report they distinguish the captive lion population from wild lion populations and wild lion populations are divided into 'managed wild lions', those in small game reserves where there is not enough space for a natural lion population, and 'wild lions' living in areas large enough to sustain lion populations.

You, and many other people, are horrified by what happens to the captive lion population. It's clear what happens to captive lions, and if this should or shouldn't be allowed is clearly a political issue. It's clear what could and should be done with the truly wild populations (protect, monitor, minimize human wildlife conflict). But what to do with the 'managed wild lions'? There are several options: Cull, move, birth-control, hunting.

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@@egilio

As you well said, the report is disguised, so, its time to shed some light as in truth about it.

Lions are on verge to become extinct in the Wilderness of Africa.

What happens to captive lions it just shouldn't happen = Canned Hunt!

On contrived reserves, its possible to make a plan, sort to speak, as in birth control or moving them. My company doesn't take anyone to contrived reserves that I know where they cull lions.

Let's speak out the truth, for once on the lion issue.

We are trying very hard to get these animals statues to CITES I and now SA comes with this new idea?

Please, let us make some noise and not allow them to do it.

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Posted (edited)

@@Grilointoafrica. I hear what you are saying and I think anyone who engages in the canned hunting industry is losing a little bit of their soul, but then I feel the same about lions in circuses and many other exploitations of wild animals by humans. I say that so you won't misunderstand where my heart lies.

 

Hiwever, regarding culling, if you have a protected area with very limited space and fences then even if it is quite large you will eventually come to a point where there are clearly unsustainable numbers of a particular animal and so you either remove some of them or other animals or important plants ror trees will be very negatively affected. As things are (not should be, but are) you can decide to cull them, sell them or relocate them to another managed area. It would be good to move them to an area that has lost its lions, but if an area has lost its lions (hardy animals as a species, which is why it is so shocking they have been eradicated in so many places) then unless the reason for that has been addressed you're basically spending a great deal of money that might be better spent to move the problem somewhere else. Assuming you don't sell them, you want to relocate to somewhere else in South Africa. But if you do that you generally have no way of knowing if they are eventually going to end up in the canned hunting industry, or sold for bones and stuff. If you are actually in that situation then don't you think euthanasia might be the heartbreaking but most ethical choice to make? I'm excluding options like keeping them in an enclosure or just releasing them in an unprotected area, although I understand why people do both - I just think that if I faced this as a real situation, I'd come to see that both options were about burying my head in the sand rather than the welfare of the lions.

 

Personally I am not sure what I would do, but I do see how someone who cares about lions more than me and dedicates their life to them could decide that humane culling is the right thing to do sometimes. So, if I were a tour operator (double hypothetical here, so awfully far from actual) I wouldn't draw a line over culling. With managed reserves I'd look at where funds are going, what the objectives are, whether what happens matches those objectives, how things got started, the circumstances that led to a cull, and other factors much more. If there were more space for lions.... but there isn't and surely that has to come first.

 

I should almost certainly "cull" a few words from this post since you likely know much of this already - I hope I don't sound appallingly patronising. I should probably have just asked "Don't you think sometimes that culling might be the best thing to do, given how things are at present?" ...... but I have to go.

Edited by pault
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@@pault

 

Thank you for your reply and kindness in approaching the subject.

 

Canned Hunting that I work to ban hands on for over 17 years must be totally banned. Its totally outrageous such practice and all its contours. I did throughout the years, undercover, to many of those canned hunt farms and what goes in there is horrifying.

There are many footage of how a Canned Hunt (?) goes.

On March 15th 2014 we manage to make the First World March to Ban Lion Canned Hunt.

So, this is one issue.

 

As for contrived reserves and culling their Lions because, usually, they do eat a lot of their general plains game, I would prefer them to look at the first option: moving them to another reserve. Recently that was done with two males.

Its not a very expensive procedure, unlike with other animals.

Option B, they could dart them, euthanize them, bury them BUT never ever use their bodies to sell it for Lion body trade.

If we go that route with Lion Body parts, we are only encouraging Lion poaching.

 

Its enough of the poaching and body parts of other animals. Let's not go and add Lions to the list. They are already there, so, lets not make it easier.

 

Lions, as you know, have a very social structure life. Imagine you go to a contrived reserve and watch, photograph, film these two wonderful male lions. You get so involved that you want to return there and see them again. You get back, but alas, they aren't there anymore, because they were culled. Usually guides do not tell guests the truth, for obvious reasons.

My company strives to deliver the best experience to our guests as possible, and this is not one that I like to give. There are out there so many more that do not do this and that's where we aim to send our guest, along with other conditions, such as involvement with local communities.

 

Thank you.

Irene

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@@egilio

As you well said, the report is disguised, so, its time to shed some light as in truth about it.

Lions are on verge to become extinct in the Wilderness of Africa.

What happens to captive lions it just shouldn't happen = Canned Hunt!

On contrived reserves, its possible to make a plan, sort to speak, as in birth control or moving them. My company doesn't take anyone to contrived reserves that I know where they cull lions.

Let's speak out the truth, for once on the lion issue.

We are trying very hard to get these animals statues to CITES I and now SA comes with this new idea?

Please, let us make some noise and not allow them to do it.

 

Easier said than done. Birth control has many negative consequences for the social structures of a lion pride, moving them is very rarely an option as all reserves who can have lions, and want to have lions, do have lions, unless

There are probably more reserves who cull and hunt lions than you would know. For example the well known private game reserves bordering the Kruger. Those lions are part of a truly wild lion population, which could sustain themselves. There is no need for those lions to be controlled, there is no need for them to be moved. But the lions they target would likely have been killed or evicted by other lions, so they choose to have them hunted to generate a considerable amount of revenue from them.

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@@Grilointoafrica @@egilio. My deepest respect for your work and knowledge about this sad subject. You are both great persons, thank you for inlightning me.

Cheers

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@@Grilointoafrica. I hear what you are saying and I think anyone who engages in the canned hunting industry is losing a little bit of their soul, but then I feel the same about lions in circuses and many other exploitations of wild animals by humans. I say that so you won't misunderstand where my heart lies.

 

Hiwever, regarding culling, if you have a protected area with very limited space and fences then even if it is quite large you will eventually come to a point where there are clearly unsustainable numbers of a particular animal and so you either remove some of them or other animals or important plants ror trees will be very negatively affected. As things are (not should be, but are) you can decide to cull them, sell them or relocate them to another managed area. It would be good to move them to an area that has lost its lions, but if an area has lost its lions (hardy animals as a species, which is why it is so shocking they have been eradicated in so many places) then unless the reason for that has been addressed you're basically spending a great deal of money that might be better spent to move the problem somewhere else. Assuming you don't sell them, you want to relocate to somewhere else in South Africa. But if you do that you generally have no way of knowing if they are eventually going to end up in the canned hunting industry, or sold for bones and stuff. If you are actually in that situation then don't you think euthanasia might be the heartbreaking but most ethical choice to make? I'm excluding options like keeping them in an enclosure or just releasing them in an unprotected area, although I understand why people do both - I just think that if I faced this as a real situation, I'd come to see that both options were about burying my head in the sand rather than the welfare of the lions.

 

Personally I am not sure what I would do, but I do see how someone who cares about lions more than me and dedicates their life to them could decide that humane culling is the right thing to do sometimes. So, if I were a tour operator (double hypothetical here, so awfully far from actual) I wouldn't draw a line over culling. With managed reserves I'd look at where funds are going, what the objectives are, whether what happens matches those objectives, how things got started, the circumstances that led to a cull, and other factors much more. If there were more space for lions.... but there isn't and surely that has to come first.

 

I should almost certainly "cull" a few words from this post since you likely know much of this already - I hope I don't sound appallingly patronising. I should probably have just asked "Don't you think sometimes that culling might be the best thing to do, given how things are at present?" ...... but I have to go.

 

~ @@pault

 

As I indicted in the original posting, this is all far beyond my ken.

I feel that the sum total of what I've read about this issue fails to approach the threshold for making a meaningful comment one way or another.

Frankly, I'm slow-witted and take time to come to terms with complex issues.

Nonetheless, the balanced consideration of the factors and questions in your post, as with @@egilio and @@Grilointoafrica, and @@Bugs, is highly appreciated.

As @@Africalover has noted, all of you are enlightening us with your discussion.

I greatly appreciate Safaritalk for being able to raise these complex values-laden issues for productive, civil discussion.

At this point I'm uncertain what to make of hunting, culling and the like, but the factors involved are becoming clearer, which is what I hoped for.

Hence, many thanks for your thoughtful response.

Tom K.

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Posted (edited)

@@Tom Kelly

@@pault

I can understand the reasons that you mention on your reply about culling lions.

Rather put them implants so that the reproduction doesn't continue? That is a solution used with Elephants in one reserve, although those elephants are extremely agressive due to the constant "researcher" fiddling with them....it takes much responsibility to do so.

But that is a way to go. On some other place, they did remove half ovaries to the lionesses and the reproduction was cut in half.........so, there are ways out.

 

As for Canned Hunting, who does it and who practises it simply has NO soul whatsoever.

Having worked on it hands on for over 17 years, going to all those horrific places, lets hope people will go and see "BLOOD LIONS" a masterpiece by IAN MICHLER who battles this for endless years. Proudly I stood and stand by him.

Please visit www.bloodlions.org

 

Thank you

Edited by Grilointoafrica
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