The graphic images of a rain of bullets penetrating a lion that was about to feast on the bait that lured him to his death trap are etched into my heart and mind. I am haunted by the expression of pure disbelief on his face; the human imprinted lion seemed incredulous, not understanding that he had been “bred for the bullet”. This was one of the disconcerting opening scenes of Blood Lions. It is uncomfortable to watch, but it paves the way to open the public’s eyes to the atrocities of the predator breeding and canned lion hunting industries in South Africa.
On Friday 28 August 2015 we attended an official screening of Blood Lions at the White House in Plettenberg Bay. It was a fullhouse and we got to hear more about the film during introductions by Ian Michler, the lead character, a safari operator, specialist wilderness guide, consultant and environmental photojournalist; and member of the Blood Lions team.
As the lights switched on at the end of the documentary feature film I was doing my best to wipe away the tears and appear composed, but in reality I wanted to wail at the injustice. Wail about the lack of respect and love for all interconnected creatures. Wail about man`s greed and cruelty. Wail about our apathetic government. Wail about our ignorance and the deceivers.
Thankfully the film does an excellent job at showcasing some of the successes that have been achieved in the global movement to end predator breeding and canned lion hunting; thereby empowering us to turn our sadness into support of their compelling call to action.
Seeing governments like Botswana and Australia take a stand gives hope that our South African government will get their head out of the sand and take strong legislative action to protect our heritage. I am certain that no one wants the association of wild lions that is synonymous with South Africa to be replaced with the negative stigma of canned lion hunting. This stigma has the potential to severely damage brand South Africa and our tourism economy.
Watch Blood Lions or at least read all about it so that you can make educated decisions before you visit, cuddle, walk, volunteer or shoot. Don`t be duped by places that are treating wildlife as a commodity for profit under the pretense of conservation.! There is a passionate, knowledgeable and determined team driving this campaign, please get involved, sign the petitions, share, educate, like and follow. Visit www.bloodlions.org for the full story.