MSNBC’s Blood Lions, Exposing the Appalling Truth Behind Captive Canned Lion Hunting in South Africa
The death of Cecil the Lion by Minnesota dentist, Walter Palmer, who flew halfway around the globe to illegally lure a majestic lion to his death to mount in his living room—triggered deep outrage and disdain for his actions around the world. Walter Palmer and his wealthy safari sport trophy hunting compatriots pay tens of thousands of dollars to hunt and kill for sport many of Africa’s most magnificent wild and endangered animals.
The film Blood Lions exposes the ugly legal industry of captive or canned hunting, where animals are bred in horrible conditions for the sole purpose of providing a “guaranteed kill” in a fenced area where the animals are captive and unable to escape.
The documentary reveals the sordid truth about this cruel, immoral industry where so-called “hunters” gun down defenseless, captive animals for a “trophy” to hang on a wall, at the cost of enormous suffering, pain, and cruelty for the animals. The documentary reveals how these wealthy American trophy hunters are fanatically obsessed with the killing and collecting of as many “heads” as possible of both endangered and captive African wildlife, despite the fact that nearly all of these animals populations have been decimated by “illegal” hunting, and captive hunting causes them to suffer by breeding and raising them in extremely depraved and poor living conditions.
Director of Blood Lions, Bruce Young” says, “Most of the lions exist in appalling conditions, exploited at every stage of their lives. Even the people in South Africa do not know that lions are being bred for the bullet – and that it is totally legal. We want to show the world what is going on, who is involved, the impact on the animals and how much money is being generated by this industry.”
Safari Club International, the world’s largest club for wealthy trophy hunters, is behind much of the trophy mania. In A Humane Nation, Wayne Pacelle says, “They are notorious for encouraging hunters to kill the rarest animals in the world by offering prizes and awards. The “Grand Slam Cats of the World” requires a hunter to kill four species of wild cat, for example, and the World Hunting Award requires a hunter to kill hundreds of animals. The African Big Five Grand Slam requires a hunter to kill a lion, an elephant, a rhino, a leopard, and a Cape buffalo.”
In 2014, over 3,100 animals were killed and imported into the United States by trophy hunters, including 741 lions, 311 leopards, 1,412 Cape buffalo, 671 elephants, and 32 rhinos. (Statistics from A Humane Nation, October 6, 2015)
More About Captive Canned Hunting
- Canned hunting is also known as captive bred lion hunting, where hunters are allowed to select their lion ahead of time and complete a hunt in a matter of just three days.
- Canned hunts provide a cheaper, faster, and a surefire way of hunting predatory animals, compared to wild lion hunts which may last weeks with a much lower probability of success.
- Americans are largely fueling the industry, with 62% of the trophies being imported into the United States, according to Humane Society International.
For more about trophy hunting, see the recent report by The Humane Society of the United States called, “Trophy Madness,” which captures the “bloodlust and vanity” that motivates wealthy Americans to kill endangered and captive animals.
“MSNBC Documentary Pulls Lid Off Sordid Practice of Canned Lion Hunting,” A Humane Nation, by Wayne Pacelle. October 6, 2015.
“Ending the Madness of International Trophy Hunting of Rare Animals” A Humane Nation, by Wayne Pacelle. September 30, 2015.
“Blood Lions” MSNBC Documentary, premieres Wednesday, October 7th on MSNBC. Director, Bruce Young.
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