Responsible “petting”

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Don’t we just all love to have the opportunity the pat/walk or feed a baby lion cub, ride on an elephant’s back or even interact with a wild animal (like a tiger or shark) in nature?

Yes, we’ve seen the pictures, we’ve heard their stories and even perhaps participated ourselves. But we need to take at least three steps back, stop and look at the bigger picture from an ethical impact and what happens to these animals down the line, long after we’ve left.
There is cause and effect that some operators will not reveal, though cleverly answer in a round about way without conscience. But we can not sleep at night knowing that we know the truth!

Blood Lions is one such campaign that has rocked our socks off and we implore you to take some time to read more and arrange a screening in your home of this documentary, as soon as possible!

Here’s how you can take action!
  • Get involved by petitioning South Africa Tourism or the South African Government.
  • Do not visit a private lion farm. Ask questions before you book a voluntourism trip working with lions (see below).
  • Watch Blood Lion, the movie.
  • Like the Facebook page.
  • Born to Live Wild: If you are a tourism business then sign the pledge for tourism operators.

According to Ian Michler of the Blood Lions campaign, if you do find yourself on a breeding farm or predator facility, be sure to ask the following questions:

  • Do they offer any activities based on animal and human interaction?
  • If it claims to be a sanctuary, do they offer life-long care for the animals?
  • Are they trading in animals?
  • Where did all the animals come from and where do some of them go?
  • Who is their recognized predator ecologist or scientist?
  • Have any of their animals been released into the wild? And if so, where and when?

Before enrolling as a volunteer or going as a visitor, check the social media sites and blogs for comments and feedback on the particular farm or facility.

So, let’s plan that next activity/safari to Africa (or anywhere in the world) with sharper focus,  a lighter tread – and with our conscience intact.

The caption to the above picture is: What the end of the uninformed road looks like – lions in a crate!

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And this one is: Cute, but at what cost?

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