In the northern western province of South Africa, an abandoned facility was discovered with more than 100 lions and other animals left malnourished and on the verge of death.
Luckily there was a anonymous tip to a investigative journalist which brought this to light. The journalist contacted the National Council for Societies for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA), which is an organization responsible for the well being of animals in South Africa.
When NSPCA arrived at the location there was a horrible sight of about 30 lions sitting in a filthy cage with a capacity for 2. Many of the lions had mange a parasitic condition, which had caused the fur of the lions to fall away.
3 cubs had a condition called meningo-encephalitis, one of cubs had to be euthanized, due to the condition, the remaining two had lost the ability to walk.
This episode is not the only one that has happened in the past several years. The last documentary called blood lions concentrated on following the protagonist called Ian Michler, who estimates that about 10 000 predators many of whom are lions are held captive in South Africa, with a less that satisfactory conditions.
Facilities like the ones above exist primarily for tourism. Lions are a major tourism attraction, they are especially attractive when your can bottle feed, pet or even walk around them. Many of these lions have horrible faith as they are shot by trophy hunters.
In the documentary fill, Michler claims that bone trade is a huge business in the world of Asian traditional medicine. Often times the breeders of the lions do not care about their health, since many of them will be sold as “lion bones” medicine.
Where would this case and investigation finish. It is unknown, there definitely needs to be justice for the neglect of living creatures. According to Michler, there is very little that would change even if there is a strong decision made against the owners of these facility. The trade market is too large to slow abuses of this kind from occurring.
The remaining lions are held in the facility, waiting on the final ruling of the case. The lions will not be able to live in the wild since all they have known is captivity, therefore, they will be placed in a sanctuary area, the only problem is that there is very few credible sanctuaries in the South Africa.