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16 lions face death because of a shortage of funds to feed them

Posted by Think Extraordinary on 11:46 PM 1 comments

Lions at the SanWild sanctuary in Limpopo province, South Africa

Lions at the SanWild sanctuary in Limpopo province, South Africa. Photograph: SanWild

Sixteen lions on a South African game reserve are facing death because of a shortage of funds to feed them, it emerged today.

The SanWild sanctuary, in Limpopo province, has issued an urgent appeal for donations to save the three prides of 14 adults and two cubs.

Officials have warned that if the sanctuary cannot meet the 45,000 rand (£4,000) monthly cost of meat to keep the lions healthy it will be forced to have them put down them ‑ possibly as soon as next month.

"The situation on the ground for our lions is dire and, unless we can urgently find sponsorship, the lions will have to be put down," Louise Joubert, founder trustee of SanWild, said. "We find ourselves in a difficult situation. We can't allow them to start starving. We would rather euthanise them than let them end up as a trophy on some hunter's wall."

The eight males and eight females have lived at the sanctuary, near Tzaneen, since 2003 and 2004 after being rescued from the canned hunting industry in which animals are usually bred in captivity to be hunted in a confined space.

Each pride now lives in a six-hectare (15-acre) enclosure. Each animal requires 4-5kg of meat per day and would be unable to fend for itself in the wild. All the males have been sterilised to prevent breeding.

"They are stunning lions," Joubert said. "But last year, due the worldwide recession, we really battled to get funding for them. We've managed to keep them going until the end of March, but we're really desperate to get people to adopt the lions or provide sponsorship on a monthly basis. Small donations do make a difference."

She said SanWild was bringing a court case against the South African government next week over what it claims are broken promises of financial support.

The South African courts are reviewing rules that could effectively ban the canned hunting industry, which kills an estimated 1,000 lions per year.

However, such a move would raise the prospect of thousands of lions being put down because they cannot be released into the wild and there are insufficient resources to protect them in parks or reserves.

Yolan Friedmann, chief executive of the Endangered Wildlife Trust in South Africa, who supports the ban, said: "This is the question on everyone's minds. Three to four thousand lions would need to be put in a free range reserve, but here we are struggling with 16."

VAI :- guardian


1 Response so far:

wildtalk said...

There are about 4000 wild free roaming Lions in Tanzania, and in South Africa there are 4000 'pet' captive bred Lions. They are bred for hunting purposes and tourist attractions they are expensive to feed and some organizations abuse donors to feed them. Lions are easy though expensive to breed in captivity thats why they are overpopulated in this tamed environment. Don't be fooled put your money to save wildlife not domestic pets? There are hundreds of causes were they need money to save our wildlife in their natural environment, give your support there.

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