Reviews

STREAMING REVIEW: Bred for the bullet

2019-06-15 00:00

Blood Lions

Available on Showmax

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Environmental journalist Ian Michler tells the story of lions that are being bred for predatory and canned hunting. The 2015 documentary, which has become increasingly important over the years, unpacks how over 800 captive-bred lions are being killed annually by trophy hunters.

Tourists are lured to South Africa in the hopes of petting a lion cub or walking with young lions, some even come as “volunteers”, paying to stay at lion breeding facilities where they hand-rear cubs, all completely unaware that they are being sold a lie.

What is alarming is that those tourists claiming to be interested in the conservation of lions do no research to see how these wild animals are being stripped of their natural instinct so that our exploitative species can do what it does best – cause devastation and portray cowardly dominance. Blood Lions exposes the bloody and brutal industry in which cubs are being pulled away from their mother within their first three to 10 days so that their mother can go on to breed more cubs – though, too many times in her life cycle, creating lions that aren’t genetically healthy.

Are we still claiming to be a nation of animal lovers when every day two to three captive-bred lions are being slaughtered in canned hunts? This is an industry that takes no responsibility for the extinction of these animals, claiming that the numbers are going up – but the actual truth is that these animals are being massacred because they are taken out of their natural environment, tamed and then put in a space where they have no chance of escaping the hunt of a vulturous and cowardly human paying a substantial amount of money for a guaranteed kill.

Michler interestingly narrates in the documentary that the canned and predatory hunting industry is being run by people who in their lives had no regard for human rights under apartheid, therefore to expect them to make the leap from having no regard for human rights to considering the welfare and rights of animals is beyond their frame of reference. Perhaps other countries can ban the importation of these hunted animals, while our government decides which department is responsible for the legislation and regulation of this destructive industry.

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August 25 2019