The big cat trade is a costly one. While there are many big cats that are endangered and very near extinction, hunters continue to kill them. In fact, the rarer the lion, the more a hunter will pay to hunt it. After the hunt is over, the body can also be sold to collectors.
Conservationists are begging government officials to step in and do something about these animals and way they are sold and hunted.
When a white lion named Mufasa was being prepared to go up for auction in South Africa, a group of conservationists created a petition to save him. They hoped that it would be enough to not only stop the rare lion from being sold and hunted but also raise awareness of the industry and the seriousness of the problem.
Care2 posted the petition.
“Mufasa is a white lion. There are less than 300 of his kind left in the world, of which only 13 exist in the wild. Mufasa was confiscated by law enforcement and handed to a wildlife rehabilitation centre to be cared for. The rehab centre acquired a second cub Suraya, as a companion for Mufasa. Mufasa and Suraya are now three years old and are inseparable.
“Nature conservation officials refused permission for Mufasa to be relocated to a sanctuary, who offered to care for both Mufasa and Suraya for their natural lives, free of charge.
“Instead, the rehab centre was told telephonically that Mufasa will be auctioned to raise funds for the department.
“We ask you to sign our petition, asking for both Mufasa and Suraya to be donated to a sanctuary chosen by the people who took care of them for the past three years, to prevent them from being exploited.”
Mufasa was rescued by a rehabilitation center as a cub and quickly bonded with another cub named Suraya. The rehabilitation center can no longer care for them, but a sanctuary offered to take both lions for free. They were denied. Instead, National Conservation officials chose to put him up for auction to the highest bidder.
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The petition did raise awareness, and Parliament is now investigating the captive breeding program in South Africa.
While this may not be enough to save Mufasa, it could help save hundreds of other lion cubs and adults.
Committee chairperson Mohlopi Mapulane said:
“There is an outcry, and we must find a way to address it as soon as possible. What is worrying is how this issue is affecting SA’s standing internationally. We cannot allow [captive lion breeding] to blemish our internationally acclaimed wildlife and conservation record.”
He went on to explain that the committee has demanded that the EMS Foundation and Ban Animal Trading report, “The Extinction Business – South Africa’s ‘Lion’ Bone Trade,” be provided to Parliament. That way, government officials can see what has been happening in the big cat world and how captive breeding and big cat trading is hurting these beautiful animals.
“Some people will argue that it has been compiled by researchers who are against sustainable use. But for us, as parliamentarians, it is important to get that info, so we’re able to make up our minds about this practice.”
Conservationists are worried that lion bones and complete skeletons are now more popular than ever.
This could lead to poaching as well as more captive breeding and big cat options. Dr. Kelly Marnewick‚ Senior Trade Officer for the Endangered Wildlife Trust’s (EWT) Wildlife in Trade Programme, said:
“The poaching of wild lions for body parts has escalated in recent years and we cannot rule out a link to the market created for lion bones from captive breeding institutions.”
Hopefully, South Africa’s Parliament will make a decision to stop the auction of Mufasa and send him and the other lion to the sanctuary, where they can live together. Something has to be done to put a stop to the selling, trading, and captive breeding of lions that take place in South Africa. Maybe this time, Parliament will put a stop it.
Watch the video below and sign the petition here.
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Mufasa will be auctioned off to trophy hunters unless we act now. http://bit.ly/2poobLE
Posted by Care2 on Tuesday, September 25, 2018
Source: The Animal Rescue Site