Klaserie River Sands

Lion Park’s canned hunting exposé

EXTRACT FROM THE FOLLOWING PARTY SOURCE: iOL Travel

Gauteng’s top tourist attraction is one of numerous lion farms in South Africa that breed the big cats for the canned hunting industry and make money from its spin-offs like cub petting and volunteering, says an animal activist group.

© Jennifer Bruce

© Jennifer Bruce

“(The Lion Park knows) that volunteers and tourists would never visit lion-breeding facilities if they were told upfront that the cubs that were petted today were destined to be sold for canned hunting,” says Chris Mercer, the founder of the Campaign Against Canned Hunting.

Mercer was reacting to a recent CBS 60 Minutes exposé, which revealed that the Lion Park in Lanseria bred lions to ensure a supply of cubs year-round. When the lions reached maturity, they were shipped out to canned hunting operations because they were too dangerous to be near tourists.

The Lion Park said this week it planned to take legal action against the show’s producers. “We will take this matter to the highest court in the land. There is nothing to hide here at the Lion Park,” said Win Booysen, general manager of the Lion Park. He said that for the past 18 months, the park had “traced every single one of our lions” through its new criteria-driven lion cub policy.

“We don’t sell our lions to people we don’t know or get a proper profile on… to make sure they don’t end up for hunting.” Booysen conceded “lions were sold by the previous guys who didn’t make sure where the animals were going to”. But he said this had stopped.

“A lion won’t leave here until we know where it goes to. There are no sales in our books for the past 18 months.” This was with the exception of lions sold to Nazir Cajee and Joanne Hulley, whom 60 Minutes exposed as having links to hunting outfits.

Lion Park owner Rodney Fuhr conceded many of his lions ended up at hunting facilities, but said he would stop the practice. “This whole thing about canned hunting… I think it’s grossly exaggerated,” Fuhr said in his interview. “What (about) the jobs we’re providing and the hunting industry? Thousands of jobs.”

Booysen said Fuhr’s comments had been misunderstood. “He was just saying hunting is a big industry.”

Mercer said captive adult lions that started their lives as cubs for the petting industry were destined to be hunted. “Four hundred lions have passed through the Lion Park. Where have all the lions gone?”

The Lion Park was recently voted Gauteng’s top tourist attraction.


To read more about the link between the canned hunting industry and tourist parks that offer lion petting and lion walking, read our blog article “Is walking with lions good conservation? Probably not.” or our online magazine issue “Lion King or Commodity?“.

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  • jade

    What about our famous private game reserves!!!! Guests wouldn’t come if they knew. J

  • JK

    Do the Right thing Rodney

  • Ana Zinger

    This must be spread like fire! And the argument that is better to kill canned lions than the wild ones is twisted! Hunting is nothing more than glamorized poaching. Shame on the African countries which allows it.

    • Clinton

      My reply below applies… is that bacon on your plate?

      Great reply and I can accept that only if you also do NOT eat meat of any kind… there is no industry quite as cruel as the meat industry; which includes all meat including milk which is liquid meat – check out the cruelty of those industries…

    • Zick

      Hoping the other place I know/worked for does not start this

  • Toto

    How DESPICABLE,canned hunting of any wild life should be reported & made public at every opportunity,it is the cowards way of possessing a wildlife trophy,read elsewhere on NEW24 that
    some bloody Yank wants to import to America a Rhino carcass.Well like I said once before I so wish you bloody Yanks would stay out of our country.Please don’t come with your assumption that your government donates millions to this country,it doesn’t,it fills the the pockets of our oh
    so esteemed baboon for a President.So please take your extremely expensive weapons elsewhere,Canada or how about your own Bison.Leave our wildlife ALONE.As for the LION PARK in Johannesburg,I will & have notified as many people as I am able to ,not to visit your sanctuary THAT IS IF YOU CAN CALL IT THAT.

    • Jhm0699

      We are doing our best here to prevent the import of that rhino carcass. The hunter wants an exception to the laws against the import but petitions are circulating and letters are being sent to the legislators demanding that the law stand.

      • Toto

        I sincerely hope that this idiot is not permitted to bring in the Rhino carcass,we mostly the whites are passionate about our wildlife,be it the big 5 or in my case our precious Whales as I live in Hermanus.It is hearbreaking and sickening to see the carnage left behind when a Rhino or Elephant is butchered for gain.Then we have the Americans who pay top dollar for a trophy,if they want a trophy go to the real bush risk your life as our forefathers did.Don’t take the easy way out.With canned hunting the animal does not have a hope of survival.Please don’t get me wrong we have white vermin who will sell their souls for money,they too don’t belong here.My apologies if I sounded off in my first comment but have seen footage of canned hunting , it
        is heart breaking an inhumane.

    • Unafrican

      Please let me know if THIS Lion Park is the same Lion Park in the article is the Lion & Rhino Park near Krugersdorp, or which one it actually is. Where is this “Lion Park” located? They are all guilty of MURDER and making profit from the MURDER of INNOCENT ANIMALS – that have been entrusted to them !!! What kind of human beings are these ??? Get rid of the people to SAVE THE LIONS !!!

      • Toto

        Sorry for the long delay but the web page was unavailable yesterday,the park in question is the one in Johannesburg,some two months ago it was also downgraded for some reason that escapes me.I grew up in Pretoria and without a doubt I will say this must be the best zoo in South Africa if not the world.

    • Unafrican

      DITTO !!!

  • Rhyan

    The worms are out the can and the words of wisdom would be to stop this practice. Humans needs simply over power common sense they dont care as long as their pics with lions impress their friends they don’t care what happens to the lion after the petting stops!!!.

  • Jhm0699

    Here’s one Yank who never has and never will visit Lion Park or any “petting” zoo in Africa. The only weapon I take to Africa is my camera. South Africa should be ashamed of their canned hunting laws.

    • Toto

      I have voted you an up,as I do believe you are sincere in your hopes of preventing this
      poor animal being bought into your country.You are quite correct in your view that wildlife should be shot with a camera or a video camera.I am most definitely ashamed of my countries canned hunting laws,but am sure you must be aware that for quite some time now the ruling cANCer will do anything for a quick buck,so in actual fact anything goes.We who love our wildlife are stuck between a rock and a hardplace.
      Please I beseech you do all that you can to prevent this idiot from bringing in this Rhino carcass as it only sets a president.

      • Fiona Ayerst

        and also a precedent … lol

        • Toto

          Oh come on Fiona an honest mistake…lol
          PRECEDENT is this ok .

          • Fiona Ayerst

            😉 yes… I am a snob- I know…

          • Toto

            You do know that there is another name for snobs and a place where they can go.Need I say more.

          • Fiona Ayerst

            Helen- come on play nicely.. a literary snob is all I meant- there’s space for all types after all

          • Toto

            Fiona you like to dish it out I believe you should be able to take it.How am I supposed to know what you meant?

          • Fiona Ayerst

            It’s one of my fave.. and I thank you for the amusement it caused… 😉

          • Toto

            I was not amused as many others were not,you have a screw loose lady,if you find amusement in what you do “snob” by your own assumption,you are in need in serious pshycological help.Mabye even locking you up will put that toffee node back in it’s place.Case closed

          • Ninky Malinki

            Typical African, can’t take a joke – even when suffixed with a “lol”. Talk about chip on your shoulder. Please do point out where “many others” were not amused? I don’t see anyone else picking a fight over it, as you have. As a “toto” would. Your choice of username is ironic.

          • Toto

            No Ninky Malinki long legs frot Banana feet
            Ha,Ha,Ha.very amusing don’t you think.I am a white South African with continental roots.Is this site for commenting on wildlife or a lesson in correct spelling so I say to you,your name gets peels of laughter here too.

          • Toto

            You are correct,toto my user name might seem funny or of amusement to you,what would you call yours “nursery rhymes,it makes sense, either you are a geriatric resident,or you are in a crèche,either way you have too much time on your hands to bring up comments made 4 months ago,or you are bored with life,have a happy life, whats left of it,or a long life if you are in GradeRRR

          • Ninky Malinki

            Same place where people without a sense of humour can go, I would imagine.

    • D11111

      Unfortunately as sad as it may be, the
      country would not survive without the tourism industry which is found through
      places like this. South africa is predicted to make R500 billion a year from
      the tourism industry by 2020. Excluding informal trading from local sellers. It also employees 650 000 people making up of
      4.4% of the jobs in South Africa. It is known that with an increase in
      unemployment there is also an increase in crime which would be devastating to country
      with already 47 murders per day and a government with not enough money to pay
      to help remove any of these problems.

      • Jhm0699

        Absolutely tourism is a necessity for African nations. I’ve participated in tourism several times as I love going on safari. But tourism needs to be a responsible industry and “petting zoos” are not responsible businesses.

  • Robyn Hoffenberg

    I am familiar with a few people that are now working for these lion parks. I don’t think they know what is really going on with the lions as they state nothing is wrong. But, I don’t believe any of it. This is another money maker for them and they don’t care what happens to the lions. It needs to stop and people need to be aware of what they are doing before they go walk with lions. How anyone can consider themselves a hunter when they just stand there are shoot an animal that has no where to go. These people are the most ignorant people I’ve ever heard of.

    • Unafrican

      No person who KILLS ANIMALS with guns is a “hunter” – They are all MURDERERS! The identity of a MURDERER cannot be changed by altering the title – They are all KILLERS & MURDERERS & must be STOPPED!
      SHAME ON SOUTH AFRICA for allowing the Breeding & Farming of LIONS for MURDER by the persons with enough money to pay for the “privilege”
      STOP THE MURDER, PROTECT & SAVE LIONS & ALL WILD ANIMALS & ANIMALS.

      • Clinton

        Great reply and I can accept that only if you also do NOT eat meat of any kind… there is no industry quite as cruel as the meat industry; which includes all meat including milk which is liquid meat – check out the cruelty of those industries…

        • Unafrican

          Dear Clinton
          I do not perceive the breeding of Lions any differently to the breeding of
          Cows, Sheep & all the ANIMALS that are so cruelly bred, treated &
          slaughtered by humans, for profit.
          I DO NOT eat, drink or wear ANIMAL parts – I am serious about my sentiment of LOVE & CARING for all ANIMALS.
          IF ONLY THE REST OF HUMANKIND DID THE SAME, and protected and cared for ALL ANIMALS, wild and domestic.
          I do not see the breeding of Lions any differently to the breeding of Cows, Sheep & all the ANIMALS that are so cruelly bred & slaughtered by humans.
          SAVE & PROTECT ANIMALS – DESTROY MURDERERS !!!

          • Clinton

            Thank you Ma’am, I concur…

    • Toto

      My sentiments exactly,you want a trophy go out into the wild,no trackers no protection just you and whats out there make it equal as our forefathers did,canned hunting is not hunting it’s murder,as the animal is probably sedated or asleep then shot wow you big game hunters are classy,classy trash.

  • chantal baas

    we must protect the beautiful animals

  • Fiona Ayerst

    close them down- there’s no room for idiots

    • Toto

      Or snobs,it may contaminate our environment.

  • William

    I have a new double barrel shotgun. When can I test it on a “brave can hunter”.COWARDS. Looking forward to give them back some of their own treatment to feel the effect instead dishing it out to defenceless animals. Greed of the owners and egotistical BRAVE so called “hunters”

  • Markus

    Looking forward to the day that is open season on canned hunters and the owners, managers of these so called tourist attractions( greed and money grabbers on the backs of defenceless animals). Despicable.

  • Pamela Curtin

    Please sign my 11 year old student´s petition to stop canned hunting: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/488/653/750/a-world-with-no-wildlife/?cid=FB_TAF
    Many thanks,

  • liu wai ling

    stop and end again hunting our wildlife in parks , this is wrong and unfair , we are not accept hunting in every where zoos , please do right things , thanks

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  • Babette Lewis

    It’s all such a bad idea, that they dare to think they can grow lions to be shot and killed for profit is disgusting. Shame on Africa and it’s disregard for it’s wildlife.

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