Shenton Safaris

Did Melissa Bachman, and her friends, shoot your lion cub?

While it’s really great that Melissa Bachman has brought to the fore the despicable practice of canned lion hunting, it has also made me realise how misguided most people are in terms of the reality of what’s happening to South Africa’s lions.


It has been stated by many a hunter that Melissa Bachman shooting that lion contributed to lion conservation, community upliftment and job creation. How could it contribute to lion conservation when the lion was a captive bred lion that was reared for the sole purpose of being shot and killed as a trophy animal one day? Hunters will argue that this type of closed system hunting takes pressure off wild lions being hunted yet there is no evidence to support this.

In fact, wild lion numbers have dropped significantly in the past decade whereas captive breeders and canned hunting farms have mushroomed in that same period. More or less 10 years ago there were thought to be around 2 000 – 2 500 lions in captivity. Now there are estimates of between 6 500 – 8 000. During this same time wild lion numbers have plummeted from in the region of close to 100 000 down to anywhere between 15 000 and 30 000.

Three or more lions are shot every day in South Africa in the same manner that Melissa Bachman shot her lion. If you do a Google search today you’ll find many upsetting images and YouTube clips of lions and other animals being shot in a similar manner, with people posing alongside the lifeless bodies with broad grins on their faces.

What is extremely distressing is that many people completely miss the link between them going to a predator park and petting a lion cub to the lion hunting likes of Melissa Bachman. In fact it’s a well known thing to do in South Africa and is promoted by several reputable tourism organisations as a ‘not to miss’ experience. They fail to make – or simply choose to ignore – the connection between the cub they pet and the lion they ultimately see in the picture with Melissa Bachman.

I’m yet to be given a straight answer as to where all the surplus lions land up once they are too old to be petted or walked with. (Walking with lions is the new “in” thing). Many facilities will tell you how their lions go to ‘good’ zoos around the world, and others go to wilderness areas or game farms around South Africa.

Don’t get me wrong here, not all lions land up being canned hunted. There are a few facilities that get cubs and then keep them once they’re too big to interact with. These facilities don’t offer cub petting as an activity all year round, and I’ve seen such facilities owned by people with genuine good intentions. However be warned, by and large most of the lions land up at a hunting farm.


I suppose the question that runs around in my head is a simple one of basic mathematics. If you are a facility and you always offer cubs for the public to interact with, then you must have a constant supply of cubs from breeding females. If you take a lioness that has cubs and you remove those cubs to hand rear for your cub petting program, she will come back into estrus within a few weeks only to be mated and fall pregnant again. Within 110 days you will have another litter of lion cubs which if removed will start the whole process over again.

Now if you take how many facilities around the country are breeding lions (more than 160) and multiply this by just 1 lioness having an average of say 6 cubs a year, that’s 960 lions, just from one lioness at each facility. If you have 3 lionesses that number becomes 2880. At this rate all the bona fide zoos and legitimate game farms around the world would be filled to capacity in one year or even less, and then there would be no need for more, as a lion in captivity can live for up to 20 years!


We do know that the captive lion population has increased to around 6 500 – 8 000. Where have the thousands of others gone? It’s just not sustainable unless there is some sort of an outlet. i.e. canned hunting farms.

Unfortunately at the end of the day, it all revolves around money. The lion industry is huge business and the cub petting/lion walking part of it is extremely lucrative. A lion sold legitimately to a zoo or park around the world will fetch 5 – 6 times less than if sold to a middle man looking for lions to supply to the hunting industry. A predator park near Johannesburg undertook to abolish cub petting because of ethical issues. Unfortunately, the loss of income would’ve been so severe that the park reneged on its undertaking, and didn’t even stop it for one day. I’d love to know what those ethical concerns were? When it comes to money, ethics seem to fly out the window.

What would really be a breath of fresh air is for some transparency. Predator parks around the country continuously claim that their cubs don’t go to canned farms and haven’t been sold there in the past. If this is true then there shouldn’t be any problem disclosing where they did go. It would be wonderful to follow up on some of the lions that were bred over the years. It would also be good to see some sales figures which would clearly reflect to whom they were sold just by looking at the price.


Something that I find bizarre is the notion that because a facility keeps a lion alive, it makes it okay to keep it in a less than appropriate enclosure. I often hear the comment, “but at least he’s alive, seems healthy and gets food and water”. I suppose working so closely with lions over the past 16 years has made me realise that lions in captivity need so much more than just food and water and that there are very few facilities that can properly take care of their needs.

To think that lions were once revered by people around the world and thought of as ‘The King of Beasts’ – represented on coats of arms, adorning family crests and crowns of kings, present in statue form in almost every city around the world and represented as the national animal in no less than 13 countries – are now being farmed like battery chickens for slaughter. Excepting in this instance, it’s not even for food but as a trophy that is a result of nothing other than a sick form of self gratification or indulgence and greed.


Kevin Richardson

Kevin is a self-taught animal behaviourist, he has broken every safety rule known to man when working with wild lions. Flouting common misconceptions that breaking an animal’s spirit with sticks and chains is the best way to subdue them, he uses love, understanding and trust to develop personal bonds with them. Kevin’s unique relationships with these large predators have opened many doors and captivated the imagination of many people throughout the world. He has presented and produced several documentaries that detail his relationships with the animals and highlight the plight of lions both in captivity and in the wild. Kevin has also written a book appropriately named, "Part of the Pride" detailing his work over the years with the large carnivores and is now affectionately known by his fans worldwide as "The Lion Whisperer".

  • Robert Campbell

    People buying tags from the government and shooting lions are not the ones who are contributing to extinction. It is habitat loss, poachers, and diminishing natural resources.

    • Crackers

      bullshite. Did you even read the papers?

      • Robert Campbell

        Introduction of invasive species is not joke either.. Look into actual threats to biodiversity for yourself.

    • AfricanUtopia

      I agree Robert, these people are ignorant about conservation!
      And to CRACKERS— the media lies!!! they say what they want to say!!!
      Didnt your mamma teach you not to believe everything you read or see on the internet???

      • Robert Campbell

        I wish more people were really interested in conservation and ecology, but sadly most of the people who seem outraged are not informed or motivated to spend their time doing anything of great worth.

        Thank you for your response.

  • Caroline Mason

    Beware all those who go volunteering in South Africa – make sure you do your homework, ask the right questions. Do not be duped and if you find yourself at a place that has lion cub petting – and they are often a front for canned lion hunting, report it to the travel company you went with when you get back – sometimes, these companies do not make the proper checks. And Robert read the article and do the maths.

  • Alexandra Hunter

    Why is that woman smirking? A gun, with a scope – dear me, she couldn’t miss. Now, if she had wrestled said lion to the ground, unarmed, and managed to kill it with her bare hands, we all might be impressed. Possibly. Or she could just try something really dangerous like knitting.

    • Vinson Parkhill

      I take it that you’ve used a rifle and scope before, hence the “can’t miss” comment?

      • ohyeah

        and we can all take that you are an idiot who doesn’t understand that if she does miss that she is at such a distance it will not matter in reference to her safety.

        • Vinson Parkhill

          Ow. A name caller!

          Can you go back to the technical part of my question or are you merely some pussy behind a keyboard?

          • ohyeah

            Can you tell me what part of that question had anything technical in it?
            Oh yes of course firing a gun is technical. lol
            Well maybe it is touted as such by low grade losers like yourself to try (and fail btw) to make up for any actual life achievement.
            Same kind of loser who associates gun use with not being a pussy.

            But to answer you “technical” question.

            Yes I have. .22, 30cal Enfield, sks. Have owned and used all of them (scoped and iron sight) for last 30 years. But none of them I hold up as anything special as I have better things to do.

          • Vinson Parkhill

            Yes. Tell me how the scope makes one not miss.

            Very strong muti, there.

          • ohyeah

            Point out someone as a name caller and then call them a name. Brilliant
            But then again what do expect from a moron who finds using a scoped gun as “technical” .
            Or perhaps another underachieve who tries (and fails) to hold up gun usage as a life achievement.
            Same kind of gutless fool who needs a gun to not feel like a “pussy”.
            In answer to your “technical” question.
            Ruger 10-22, 30cal Enfiled , and an SKS.
            20 years of target shooting both scoped and iron sights.
            None of which I would hold up as an achievement as unlike you I’m not a jack off.

          • ohyeah

            Point out someone as a name caller and then call them a name. Brilliant
            But then again what do expect from a moron who finds using a scoped gun as “technical” .
            Or perhaps another underachiever who tries (and fails) to hold up gun usage as a life achievement.
            Same kind of gutless fool who needs a gun to not feel like a “pussy”.
            In answer to your “technical” question.
            Ruger 10-22, 30cal Enfiled , and an SKS.
            20 years of target shooting both scoped and iron sights.
            None of which I would hold up as an achievement as unlike you I’m not a jack off.

    • jayne mcauliffe

      yes – where exactly is the skill – it was a sure shot.

  • Linda Park

    Thank you Kevin. This is exactly what I have been saying for years – do the maths. When you ask any of these establishments what happens to all of their cubs, the answer is always the same. Should you start pushing for more information or disagreeing with them, the threat of legal action is always offered. Breaks my heart that these absolutely magnificent animals have been reduced to a money making commodity.

  • Rachel Moo Moore
    • Frans Gesell

      Hi Rachel,

      Questions you might want to ask include:

      • When it is said that they are released and at which location? How many are in Stage 4? If they are working on this programm since 2005 there should be a lot already in Stage 4 don’t you think?

      . Why remove cubs from their mother at 3 weeks, get them accustomed to humans and in a later stage try to reverse that? Does that make sense?
      How big are the area’s they are now using? Is it big enough for teh number of lins they have?
      Also I would like you to read as much as possible what other organisations think of this way of conservation. IUCN doesn’t support these methods. Panthera is very much in favour too?

      If you would ask y advive: stay away from Antelope Park and it’s affiliated organisations. (ALERT, Lion Encounter) They are only in it for the money.

      Research as much as possible and also investigate the cons.

      • Rachel Moo Moore
        • Frans Gesell

          No, they don’t have any lions in stage 4 yet. As posted on their website: “”

          If the mother doesn’t have any instinct, how can the cubs have it? Instinct is a natural born thing. So these cubs would never have that instinct and cannot ever be released in the wild too.

        • Crackers

          Why have human interactions at all if they are being primed for release? Seems very counter intuitive and would be very problematic if lions that were released had no fear of humans.there are a number of pages of fb that will give you advice also

        • Sharon van Wyk

          It is not legit. As I said. Avoid this place.

    • Lauren Welch

      If you want to see some of the lion rehabilitation work they do at Antelope Park, look into a TV documentary series called Lion Country. Great show.

    • Rachel Moo Moore
      • Sharon van Wyk

        You have had the wool pulled over your eyes, I’m afraid.

        • Rachel Moo Moore
          • ptree24

            If Kevin Richardson thinks Antelope Park is legit then it probably is. Good luck Rachel 🙂

    • Sharon van Wyk

      Avoid Antelope Park like the plague. It’s a no-go. Completely.

    • Richard White

      Question to ask, Have they ever released any lions into the wild?

  • Simba Lion

    all basta*ds with stick and not with a guns will be man in the as*…. we all have a protecting our nature! And not destroys all what we all see! Thanks smelly money!!! Killing all animals!!! When a Animals are better than humans!!! they are not so insidious and cruel like a humans!!! If you don’t want to die! So You will a protecting our nature! Now our nature killing a good humans! and not this bas*ards what only destroys! Lions are like humans! But better more good! they live with a families! They not killing thanks $ 1 ….. for fun also NOT!…

  • Simba Lion

    Canned hunt and concentrations camps where humans are as a FASCISTS but here haven’t jews but a lions and other animals! they killing also for money and fun like FASCISTS! THIS IS DISCRIMINATION ANIMALS!!! IT IS CRIME! EVERYWHERE

  • B Kimble

    She (and all the other C*ntresses) along with their male counterparts should be sent over to Iraq and Afghanistan to quench their thirst for killing- (And bring our troops home to be with their loved ones) Murdering for fun is obscene. Do these idiots know what “endangered species” or ” extinct” even means? When all the animals are depleted from the planet, who will they hunt then? The elderly? The physically or mentally disabled? And to think that these (in) human pieces of breathing excrement can afford to spend up to $350,000 for the “privilege” of murdering such magnificent beasts? And then they have the audacity to stand (or squat) by the carcasses and grin like baboons- Do they realise how many people despise them, and would take them out in a New York minute if they had the opportunity? I believe they are hated just as much as pedophiles, and rapists who murder their victims. I think that Dallas Hunting Club (and others) should be shut down!! There shouldn’t be anyone profiting off the death of animals, whether it’s poachers, hunters, or the brokers.

    • Vinson Parkhill

      What nations still have troops in Iraq?

    • Sonna

      So are you saying that they should go to Iraq & Afghanistan to kill innocent humans now? The gun should be pointed to the governing bodies that send the troops and that start the wars. Let’s not mix up a quench for killing to get this out of our system – violence and taking a life is wrong, no matter how much you hate the enemy. There is so much violence in our “entertainment” we have become numb to what’s real and what’s not. I believe that our culture, our greed, our governments and our emptiness as a species is a root cause for the complete disregard of another living sentient being.

  • cate

    I wish that writers would stop using pictures of that smirking idiot for these articles–for someone like that any publicity is good publicity. She’s a heartless idiot.

    If you want to go to a safari ‘camp’ choose a good one like Londolozi which is just outside of Kruger Park—you can see the lions, cheetahs, leopards and all the animals you want and take some superb pictures–even the ones I took are good! I just cannot imagine shooting something with a gun!

  • AfricanUtopia

    I am from South Africa and none of you people know what you are talking about. South Africa is very populated in the North with natives that live in THIS area that the lions are.These people live in poverty and there homes are little huts made of clay or grass, they are people that have lived there for a very long time, these natives are also not hunters like the bushmen, they are farmers and they fish. So there is no protection for them, they are small in posture and are not strong enough to fight these beast if attacked! Man and beast cannot live together. If these people are threatened by these lions someone will come and take the lion out just like you would if you have a dog in you neighborhood that bites! If there is no one looking after these lions and they are not bread the way they are then by now South Africa wouldn’t even have lions anymore. That is just the way of life, as populations grow humans have to make space to survive – How would you like it if a lion eats your children? These people have nowhere to go they have lived there for generations. Just like the rhino hunt! I ask you what have you contributed to conservation other than your opinion????? How can you sit there and say this is wrong, did you pay your $5 at WWF this year. Well that very old Rhino that can almost not walk anymore will die out there anyway. But the money that they received for conservation will help to employ more guards, security and GPS’s for the other Rhino’s – mother that are carrying babies and young rhinos that still have a chance. Why dont all you eye pickers leave your jobs and volunteer to go guard a rhino. South Africa needs money to protect there animals. Nobody works for free.. unless I could maybe talk you idiots into leaving your jobs and going to live in a shack so you can go and guard them. South Africa have guards, armed forces, helicopters, gps’s, fences and many other ways to try protect the animals (Its is a very costly operation!!!) … So the next time you bird watching, game viewing or WWF or tv watching people that really know nothing about what goes on behind the scene have something to say first think about how much you really contributed to the cause!! $5???? and a mouth full of crap!! these hunter create jobs and protect the animals, they pay 1000000000 for there hunts. They have more to say than you have — why dont you donate your salary to conservation and shut up!

    • Nature lover

      In truth if most backward ass africans practiced Birth Control and actually had an education… they would not live in areas which have ALWAYS been the living space of wild animals….Man tries to live in areas which are wild… then do not complain if your kids get eaten…. Most of bloody Africa would not be there or even have anything if the western world did not send aid… we as a human race screw nature… we should let nature take its course and stand back to let natural selection sort it out…. and yes my liuttle black bush people… the animals would win

      • AfricanUtopia

        Yes that is true, most of them have to many children! But that is part of their tradition as well. The more children the more fortune- as those children grow up and they have to look after you. Just like what happens in this Northern area in South Africa – the grandparent take care of the the grandchildren while parents go to cities and work and they send their money to the grandparents to look after the children and contribute to to old peoples life. Yes it has always been the animals living space, but so is the very place that you live in! So why dont you leave your home , because I am sure you kill a spider or roach every now and again and I am sure that you are in some part of natures way, chopped a tree down to build the place you live in (Like I said they live in poverty – they cannot just pack up and go, where would they go?) Why dont you offer them a place to stay? And yes people destroy more than anything but we are on top of the food chain and that is the way it is— Nature Lover!!! Part of nature is also having children you know not birth control!!! Why dont you blame the Chinese they are the ones screwing Africa and the rest of the world up – not the Africans. They started using animals for potions, before that Africa did just great, we love our animals. the Chinese should be banned from Africa, they are causing all these problems – poaching animals for some bs cure for cancer and taking rhino horn for their tiny wheenies— have they ever heard of viagra???? the hunters and locals arent the bad guys — the chinese are. Look at them they have destroyed their country and now the are spreading like leaches to the rest of the world to F,,, ut it up too!!! I say South Africa should keep the Chinese away !!!

        • Sharon van Wyk

          Yes. Very confused. Poor thing.

      • Rodney

        Nature Lover please stop with your insults
        . I am an African and I feel this is uncalled for. Are you insinuating that africans are the cause of lions numbers plummeting in the wild? So before you start commenting on public platforms get your facts right and stop talking garbage!

      • kaykay Jones

        Geez Nature lover, wth is wrong with you???? You act as if these people have a choice where they live, for one. I suppose you live in a highly developed area, where starvation is not an issue and you are innoculated against disease, for free. And sending aid….that’s laughable. The US rips through entire villages to get to their natural resources….on top of a corrupt government most of these people are just trying to feed their kids. My God, how ignorant and cold you are.

        • ohyeah

          “You act as if these people have a choice where they live, for one”

          They choose where they will have off spring that will.

          “I suppose you live in a highly developed area”

          Yes hence I have kids as through basic intelligence (you know what humans are supposed to posses) I determine I can do.

          “The US rips through entire villages to get to their natural resources.”

          Where???? Name where the US does that you dope.

          Or show you are a tool of shit making things up!!

      • Guest

        Your comment is so ignorant and rude. Racism has no place in this conversation. It is the WHITE people that are doing these stupid hunts! So if you want to discriminate against anyone , discriminate against the ones that are doing the hunting.

    • Annika

      Last year over 900 rhino’s were poached in South Africa (against 30 in 2007). Pretty soon deaths will outnumber births. Thats not just ‘old rhino’s that can barely walk’, thats extinction. And don’t try and tell that bs that its just poor people trying to make a living, or that the money goes toward conservation. Thats even bigger bs and you know it, or you have your head so far stuck in the sand that you’ll never be able to get it out.

    • Sharon van Wyk

      You are obviously very confused.

    • Alexis Kriel

      I am also from South Africa and I can tell you that hunting does NOTHING for conservation. 16% of our land is set aside for this and it brings in 0.0001% of revenue. What does bring in revenue is tourism – even more than our gold export. Please get your facts straight. .

      • Wayne Reed

        Your sport hunters who hunt for biltong are your biggest conservationists, if the animals become extinct the sport dies. Hunting is what started Game Reserves. I agree that canned hunting is disgraceful and disgusting. Hunting does bring in more money into this country than tourism.

        • disqus_rQDvjekRQa

          Please give me a sources on that answer as my sources tell me a completely different story.

          As per wiki hunting brings very little compared to tourism for Africa as most money goes to international outfitters.

          Again i ask for your sources you can search for trophy hunting wiki yourself and references are supplied.

          • Jackie

            wiki is NOT a valid source for information. Anyone can put any kind of story they want in wiki. It is not accepted as valid information.

          • disqus_rQDvjekRQa

            Research published by the pro-hunting International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, supported by other authors, finds that hunting companies contribute only 3% of their revenue to communities living in hunting areas.

            Below is a link to a full economist report published in 2013 it is a long read


            do you need another?

        • Valerie Lusaka

          Hunters can have proclaimed they are the best defenders of species conservation and sustainable use of resources, there is evidence that long hunt seriously harms the environment and decimating protected species. Trophy hunting is no exception to the rule. It is distinguished by the same disastrous consequences it induces on the animals covered by its barbarity and cowardice doubled when populations is to hunt down and kill animals “canned”, ie animals reared and therefore reluctant to be wary of humans.

          These practices, far from benefiting local, do enrich unscrupulous land owners.

    • kia

      Let them get eaten.
      All humans do is breed and take from other animals. We used to be part of the food chain, shouldn’t forget that. But now humans just think theyre above it. If a few villagers die by a lion attacking then its natural. Why don’t you take a proper look? Because you’ve obviously missed a few things. Sure those people are farmers and fishermen, so they’ll use land and they’ll take fish and they’ll probably forget all the other creatures they share that land and ocean with.
      Your country in my opinion doesn’t appreciate the wildlife it has. But then I don’t think any country does, especially if hunting is what brings you in your money.
      What does it say about your country when you have as many captive lions as you do?
      How would it be if humans were kept like lions are? Numbers decreasing on the outside?
      Conservation isn’t about the money. Moneys just there. If there wasn’t those who loved those animals there’d be no conservation.
      And you know what, there are people who do it for free. Do it for the animals! Because its not about money!

    • Melnee

      I certainly would go and guard the animals if I could!

    • Marie

      If trophy or canned hunting was such a great contribution to local economy, why is there still people living in huts as you claim? And why are some species on the brink of extinction? Ask hunters and outfitters; they kill and pocket the money. They don’t share. Like most people with money. You live in your own fantasy world. A live rhino bring much more money with eco-tourism, for YEARS, than a one-shot hunter.

    • ohyeah

      ” That is just the way of life,” Man is not part of the way of life.
      You just said yourself. “they are small in posture and are not strong enough to fight these beast if attacked!”
      So they they should not be there or procreating if it really follow the way of life right?
      You are a moron.

    • disqus_rQDvjekRQa

      Research published by the pro-hunting International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, supported by other authors, finds that hunting companies contribute only 3% of their revenue to communities living in hunting areas.

      Below is a link to a full economist report published in 2013 it is a long read

      Would you like to know more?

  • Ulrico Grech-Cumbo

    Well said Kevin, thank you for the info – will share. I guess this all is contributing to understanding & belief in the problem, but what are the solutions? How can the public get involved to curb this slaughter?

  • sara

    She is a loser and psychopath killing a animal have no joy especially when they are captive. Wild animal do not belong to cage this man is loser too. These people are shame of humanity.

  • Stacy

    Africa Utopia is I’m certain a hunter and a trophy hunter at that. And yes I’ve donated way more than ‘my $5’. Simple: humans are evil, greedy, selfish, self-promoting, lying, pompous, narcissistic idiots. I’d gladly give my life if all humans could be wiped off Earth. There is mo good reason to keep abusing, exploiting, and torturing these animals. And if you believe that funds from these canned hunts goes to the benefit of the remaining animals, well then you’re an even bigger foolish idiot than one could imagine. And I suspect that is, in fact, the case.

    • Vinson Parkhill

      Then start with yourself!

      • Mary

        Let’s start with morons like you Vinson. One less can only be uplifting.

  • Cherry Winters

    Canned hunting has been banned in some African countries. It should be banned everywhere! This is not a sport, but a cruel and inhumane activity! How can the people who do this live with themselves?!!!!! They must have no hearts or consciences!!!!!!!!!

  • Mike Drew

    So if there was billions of lions that would make it ok to murder a few?…I think not! killing any animal for fun is a disgrace, the amount of the animals is insignificant to me,killing is killing regardless and should be treated as murder….The treatment /killing of animals for the food trade is horrendous enough,but for fun….sick sick people.

  • AfricaInside

    I wonder how many of these lion hunters have pet dogs and kitty cats? The ability for people to disassociate to justify something like hunting is a disturbing and scary notion. It is what happens to serial killers. They have to disassociate in order to not feel the ethical and emotional experience of what they are doing. I would like to put up photo of someone holding a gun and their pet cat, smiling. This Melissa photo is the same thing. As for petting zoos. They are all the same. It would be an amazing experience to walk with lions but I wont do it. Even in these supposedly nice places, they are not living the life they were meant to.
    People, go on safari, get into nature, its the only way to have the genuine experience of connecting to animals and nature that we all want. Lori from Africa Inside

  • Antonio Renna

    Fucking bitch.

  • Melnee

    Shame on that pathetic thing we call a human. SHAME!


    I would love nothing more to be locked up in a room with this person Melissa for just 5 minutes. Use your imagination. She thinks she must be a woman because she shot the king of beast. She took the father and protector from a family of lions and now their fate is grim. People like Melissa should be the ones fighting in wars, lets see how much of a woman you would be then. Like I said give me 5 minutes in a room with her, just 5 minutes and lock the door……..

  • faustinaagatha

    What you say Kevin makes sense. But aren’t you encouraging the idea of lion petting this with your avatar? Not that I wouldn’t like to pet a lion or have a lion friend. I get tempted to try to pet the deer that show up in my back yard. But maybe such “totem animals” are meant to be admired from a distance.

  • Jonathan Besler

    Kevin, you claim “More or less 10 years ago there were thought to be around 2 000 – 2 500 lions in captivity. Now there are estimates of between 6 500 – 8 000. During this same time wild lion numbers have plummeted from in the region of close to 100 000 down to anywhere between 15 000 and 30 000.”
    According to this, the African lion ought to be listed as Critically Endangered according to IUCN criteria A2abcd [An observed, estimated, inferred or suspected population size reduction of ≥80% over the last 10 years or three generations (20 years), whichever is the longer…] and perhaps even A1abcd […population size reduction of ≥90%…]

    As recently as 2 years ago, the IUCN reported “A species population reduction of approximately 30% is suspected over the past two decades (= approximately three Lion generations). The causes of this reduction (primarily indiscriminate killing in defense of life and livestock, coupled with prey base depletion: Bauer 2008), are unlikely to have ceased. This suspected reduction is based on direct observation; appropriate indices of abundance; a decline in area of occupation, extent of occupation and habitat quality; and actual and potential levels of exploitation.” This therefore justifies them as only being listed as Vulnerable.

    So either the IUCN report is wrong, or your report is sensationalist. I suspect the latter.

    “I often hear the comment, ‘but at least he’s alive, seems healthy and gets food and water’.”
    While I agree with the sentiment, that doesn’t mean I disagree with you on this either.
    My personal ethos is 1: prevent extinction (captive breeders do a very good job of conservation in this area) 2: sustainable and responsible care (as per 1, captive breeders are sustainable, much more so than those working with their wild counterparts; and as with anything else, whether it be breeders of lions, pitbulls, or “zoos” in general I’ll critique the individual, not the “industry”) and 3: preservation and management of wild populations (an aspect in which even well established organizations are clearly failing).

  • Richard White

    Volunteering to work with lions is the biggest CON in conservation, lions are one of the best mothers in the animal kingdom, these cubs are removed from their mothers to be petted and used as photo props, the females are then used in a continuous breeding cycle. When the cubs become juveniles they are used for ‘Walking with Lions’ experiences. Once fully grown they are then sold on to, at best a Zoo, or at worst a trophy hunting lodge, where they can be shot for $20,000. No captive reared lion is ever released into the wild. Before you pay money and volunteer DO SOME RESEARCH.

  • Heather

    How can that even happen. Man is disgusting you should be held in captivity and hunted. Hunters are no different than a serial killer hunts and stalks innocent prey.

  • Jacqueline Derrick

    I have read the comments in here and I find it very sad that we are attacking one another with insults. We should be more concerned about what is happening and stay focused on that. If you are truly concerned about these beautiful Lions being hunted and killed, then do your research and see if there is anything you can do about it. Even if it is just to promote it on your facebook page. But, we should stop bashing one another! I am sure you have heard this term “if you can’t say something nice, then don’t say anything at all.” Actually, when you are mean to someone, people look at you as the one with problems, not the one that is being attacked. So, be good to yourself and be nice.

  • samburumags

    These have to be the ugliest women on the planet and someone needs to tell them that.

  • Jason Dixon

    Ok all I know you see it one way but WAKE UP ! big game hunters and poachers are like apples and trout . Ya sure some one like Melissa Bachman or what ever twisted type person you are do this for sport killing captive animals but its Poachers Killing the wild ones and they’re get paid for parts Melissa Bachman paid to hunt………..poachers hunt to get paid. And either way both parties should be put to death by Lions

  • jayne mcauliffe

    I just don’t get why a person would want to shoot an animal and call it ‘sport’. Meliisa poses next to a magnificent lion she has killed and captions it “beautiful’? Why shoot it then – let it live. Send her to the middle east to shoot people who deserve it.

  • Lygeia

    She got her nails and hair done and is wearing an expensive necklace. And then she killed a beautiful lion. Just another day in the empty life of Melissa Bachman, but actions have consequences. I wouldn’t want her karma.

  • Diane van Daele

    People how are hunting for fun are very sick or very frustratet people.

  • Ислам Хаупшев

    As sad as it is, humanity is building a new global ecosystem around itself as a keystone species, and I’m not sure if there is a place for big, charismatic and dangerous animals like lions within this new ecosystem. I would hate to see them gone, but nature is always about survival of the fittest – it just happened to be humans at the moment. Lions, on the other hand, are incredibly unfit to live in the anthropocene. Would lions feel sorry if humans were suddenly all gone? I don’t think so.

    P.S. Anticipating a dumb commentary about how the world would be better off without humans – no, it wouldn’t. A sentient technological and scientific species is a treasure far grater than any one planet in the Universe with however diverse and unique ecosystem.

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