Over the past week, horrific photos have emerged over social media of malnourished lions on a breeding farm in Alldays in Limpopo Province. These lions belong to Mr Jans Walter Slippers, who runs three operations in Alldays – a breeding farm and a hunting farm that fall under the operation, Ingogo Safaris, and a coffee shop called Toeka Plaas Kombuis, where the cubs go to be petted during the day before returning to the farm.
Since the photos emerged, the NSPCA and LEDET have been alerted, and the NSPCA have visited the farms and confirmed that there are serious welfare issues for the animals.
Dr Andrew Venter, CEO of Wildlands emphasises that: “It is tragic to see lion breeders who have exploited lions for many years, simply abandoning their animals because they are no longer valuable. It clearly demonstrates that these breeders have no ethical conservation intent.”
Mr. Jan Walters Slippers, who is responsible for the negligent treatment of these lions, has been implicated in other dodgy dealings in the past. On 7 March 2012 he launched an urgent application against the Limpopo MEC: Economic Development, Environment and Tourism and the Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs because the department advised provinces not to issue hunting permits to Vietnamese citizens due to various concerns regarding illegal hunting practices.
Slippers had applied for hunting permits for five Vietnamese citizens who had not been issued permits. However, after his application was heard, the court ordered the MEC to issue the permits, so long as departmental officials could interview the Vietnamese hunters to verify their personal backgrounds.
The two departments made the necessary arrangements for the hunters to attend the interviews, but were informed on the day of these interviews that the hunters were not yet in the country. It was thereafter ascertained by the departments that there were certain legitimate concerns.
UPDATE: Traveller24 contacted Walter Slippers and he “denied the lions are currently underweight, saying the images are old and must have been taken in March when he was still in rehab after a heart attack. However, Isabel Wentzel, Manager for Wildlife Protection Unit for the NSPCA, confirmed that inspections were carried out at all of Slippers’ properties on Monday, 4 July and that underweight lions were found at the breeding farm.”