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Dramatic moment 10 lions bred to be shot by hunters were rescued from a squalid South African farm 

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Dramatic moment 10 lions bred to be shot by hunters were rescued from a squalid South African farm

  • 10 lions bred to be shot were rescued after being held in captivity on a farm 
  • Canned hunting is the killing of captive-bred wild animals in small enclosures 
  • The rescue operation was carried out by German wildlife NGO, Wild@Life e.V

By Sophie Tanno For Mailonline

Published: | Updated:

Footage has emerged showing the moment 10 lions were rescued after being held in captivity on a farm where they were bred for ‘canned hunting’ in South Africa.

Canned hunting is the killing of captive-bred wild animals in small enclosures and the controversial and widely criticized ‘sport’ is most commonly associated with the trophy-hunting of lions.

The footage and images were shared by Wild@Life e.V, a German incorporated NGO working in Africa on Biodiversity, climate, agriculture, and wildlife conservation.

Lions bred for the bullet are often starved so that they are an easy target to canned hunters. The lions in their enclosure are pictured above 

The lions when they were found on a squalid farm in South Africa, pictured above 

Photos have emerged showing the moment 10 lions were rescued after being held in captivity on a farm where they were bred for ‘canned hunting’, left and right 

The organization conducts anti-poaching, human-wildlife conflict mitigation, law enforcement, education, and direct action on wildlife rescue.

They explained: ‘In November 2019, our team reached South Africa to rescue lions from one of these farms. The team was overwhelmed seeing 10 lions kept in a totally secluded and closed shed with no light or grass. 

‘We had to fight hard for the lives of these lions. But dedication and passion made this work successful.’

The team travelled a total of 5000km by road and spent nearly 10 hours removing the lions from the horrific enclosure and gaining the correct paperwork to rescue them.

Outside the enclosure where the lions were kept when they were found on a squalid farm in South Africa

The lions when they were found on a squalid farm in South Africa, pictured above 

The organization conducts anti-poaching, human-wildlife conflict mitigation, law enforcement, education, and direct action on wildlife rescue. Above, the lions are released in to their new sanctuary home

They were able to safely remove the lions by tranquillizing them but noted that the animals needed to be calmed as their stress levels were high due to the lack of light and grass.

‘We worked non-stop to move the lions to the transport trailer, which we drove back to the sanctuary, where they will learn to be lions again.’

Thankfully, the lions are now able to live in the sanctuary surrounded by proper trees and a comfortable environment but perhaps most importantly, they are able to be together.

They were able to safely remove the lions by tranquillizing them but noted that the animals needed to be calmed as their stress levels were high due to the lack of light and grass. Above, the lions are released in to their new sanctuary home

‘A canned hunt is a trophy hunt which is not “fair chase”; it has been made too easy for the hunter. Some examples of this include animals who have been kept in a confined area, such as in a fenced-in area, increasing the likelihood of the hunter obtaining a kill.’

‘In most cases, the lions are kept in tiny enclosures, are confined to horrible places, with limited or no food and extreme stress and with no hygienic and veterinary care. 

‘A “hunter” can then choose the lions he wants to kill and conduct the killings in the easiest of ways, even just by sitting in their vehicle.’

Thankfully, the lions are now able to live in the sanctuary surrounded by proper trees and a comfortable environment. Above, the lions in their new sanctuary home

Canned hunting is a fast-growing business in South Africa, where thousands of lions are being bred on more than 160 farms to be shot by wealthy foreign trophy-hunters. Above, the lions in their new home 

‘Animals do not stand any chance. Such facilities even put male lions in small enclosures for them to fight each other, so the lions end up with scars on their faces.’

Canned hunting is a fast-growing business in South Africa, where thousands of lions are being bred on more than 160 farms to be shot by wealthy foreign trophy-hunters. There are now more lions held in captivity – an estimated 5000 – in the country than those in the wild – an estimated 2000.

Wild@Life e.V. Is dedicated to rescuing lions from such facilities with the help of local partners.

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