Cuddle Me, Kill Me
Following the recent Blood Lions documentary exposé on ‘canned’ lion hunting, wildlife author Richard Peirce delves further behind the scenes to reveal how a growing number of South African breeders extract maximum financial value from the King of the Beasts. He shows how thousands of cage-bred cubs are exploited, almost from the moment of birth till their premature death at the hands of hunters, when even their bones are boiled up and crushed into cake form to manufacture Chinese tigerbone wine tonics. Peirce visited several ‘lion experience’ farms where visitors pay to pet young lion cubs. To extract further cost savings along the value production chain, foreign volunteers also chip in to help rear them – often in the naive belief that they are contributing to conservation by raising orphaned cubs. Peirce sees the predator-breeding industry as an increasingly streamlined production line with little to no conservation value. He thinks it is taking the ‘wild’ out of wildlife and poses some tough questions around the morality and ethics of profiting from formerly wild creatures.
Author: Richard Peirce Reviewer: Tony Carnie
Publisher: Penguin Random House/Struik Nature ISBN: 978-1-77584-593-5 Price: R200
Giveaway code: CUDDLE