Cud­dle Me, Kill Me

South African Country Life - - Wheels -

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

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