Lion Encounter - walk with Lions in Zimbabwe

Sep 25th, 2007, 11:00 AM
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nyama, yes, I'm not an economist, but other countries seem to manage, or at least limp along without resorting to this kind of thing. The Mugabe government doesn't make life any easier, I think we can agree on that.
Momliz is offline  
Sep 25th, 2007, 11:13 AM
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We have the same problem in the US where places breed lions and tigers to use the cubs for photos for a few months. There are way too many unwanted adult lions and tigers in the US due to this.

I put together an article on releasing captive bred animals to the wild, if anyone's interested it's the last few pages in our program:

wildcatzoo is offline  
Sep 26th, 2007, 08:13 AM
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Thanks Nancy, I'm glad you found this thread.

That's a very good summary read on the larger issues that are involved with reintroduction from captive populations, starting on page 8. The social nature of lions probably makes them a much easier species to reintroduce than the Amur leopard or other solitary cats but as I detailed above lion populations are still plenty large enough that easier and more successful tools such as translocation are available. This paper also details how there is a temendous amount of genetic stock that is available through the zoo community that is carefully managed to maximize diversity and there are breeding techniques that do not even necessarily require physically moving cats which is why I see no justification for continuing to breed 12 additional cubs per year out of a limited gene pool except for the financial gain of using them in the tourism industry.
PredatorBiologist is offline  
Sep 26th, 2007, 12:54 PM
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It really is looking like Antwelope Park is in this purely for the $$$. So many people have asked questions which are simple to answer but they are still skirting around them.
I'm very sad to hear that there will be TWO programmes aired on the park - this surely will seal the fate of thses lions and future lions there.
Is there any way to make the producers of these programmes question the ethics of this place or indeed find the answers we are all asking here? Is there anyone we could contact - even just to 'edge' them towards asking these questions themselves?? I really hate to think of people going to this place thinking they are supporting something beneficial to the lions when in fact it is looking like it is the exact opposite (I'm open to being proven wrong) - after all, if it wasn't for Fodors Africa I wouldn't know anything different.

OnlyMeOirish is offline  
Sep 26th, 2007, 01:01 PM
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Oops, should have spellchecked ....
OnlyMeOirish is offline  
Sep 26th, 2007, 01:19 PM
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These $$$ help to keep game ranches like Antelope Park, Masuwe Estate and Woodlands Estate alive. The lions are a big tourist attraction. Stop the programme, and what will happen to these private conservation areas? Will there still be enough visitors, enough money to run these places which also support a lot of other species? Currently there are not so much choices in Zim.
nyama is offline  
Sep 27th, 2007, 12:40 AM
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walk with lions, captive breeding, elephant back safaris: they all have one thing in common:
where there is a demand there will be supply and vv.
regarding EBS: these companies kidnap small ellies from wild herds in order to train them for their sick elephant back safari business.
regarding lion walks: they shut the lioness and take the cubs, hand rear them in order to tame the cats. a hand reared lion can NEVER EVER be released into the wild! many attempts to do so have proven that vital fact!
DON'T BELIEVE THESE COMPANIES statements regarding rehab programs. some assure you there soon will be shot a documentary on their "work" to be broadcast at national geographic. it's a lie but nothing than a lie! they just want you to be sure you are nothing do wrong and they tell that for the last 5 or so years!
every visitor must admit: he/she does this in order to pet a wild animal without thinking of the consequences the animal has to face!
instead - go on safari and search for the lions in their natural habitat. it's much more thrilling when one sees these magnificent cats in the wild!
and don't say "YOU HAVE NOT KNOWN THIS": a bit of common sense should have told you that there is something really wrong with this business. and human selfishness is the reason these establishments exist!
PUT AN END TO THAT!!! don't bring your holiday-dollars to such establishments!
Sep 27th, 2007, 01:30 AM
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Amen, Pippa. Supposedly informed adults wanting to walk with and pet wild animals in the first place is very disturbing. It bespeaks an ignorance of the destructive nature of this activity on every level which some have enumerated already.
linhelen is offline  
Sep 27th, 2007, 01:36 AM
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Hi Nyama,
These people are basically stretching the truth if not telling blatant lies about their aims. I for one do not wish to support schemes like this but if others do then it's up to them BUT let it be an informed decision. Right now people are going to see these lions unaware of full truth.
These are my personal opinions and in my opinion this place is mis-selling their 'product' and in the long term, 'possibly' causing animals suffering (are the lions eventually sold for canned hunting etc???). To me, making even just one animal suffer is unethical.

OnlyMeOirish is offline  
Sep 27th, 2007, 04:04 AM
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Currently, Africa spends some US$100-million on conservation annually. Estimates for the management of Africa's protected areas (nine per cent of the continent's total area) range upwards from US$300-million a year. Conservationists believe that Africa's protected-area network should cover at least 15 per cent of the land mass if biodiversity is to be properly secured. Annual cost estimate? US$800-million plus. (source: John Hanks, Africa Geographics)

If looking at such figures I regard some of the opinions here as poor luxury, far away from the big picture and reality. You should be happy about EACH dollar that helps to conserve land, regardless if some animals are treated unethical or not.
nyama is offline  
Sep 27th, 2007, 05:32 AM
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Speaking for myself, I am NOT happy about any dollar spent on the unethical treatment of animals! I could not knowingly give any group dollars in the name of conservation, knowing that group mistreated and abused the animals in their care - that seems beyond crazy!

Kind regards

KayeN is offline  
Sep 27th, 2007, 05:49 AM
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Thanks for stating clearly that NatGeo is NOT shooting footage there. I had a hard time believing this also.

Side note; altough I do think TV programs should STOP pushing their limits further and further. Recently I've seen programs on animal encounters gone bad, a program on how to get as close as possible to a certain species of animal, etc etc... disgusting.

Nyama, I hear you, but... thing is; OK, THIS particular example is in Zim. But this kind of things pop up everywhere. Plus, are we prepared to go that way? Lowering ethical standards because of a countries situation? Where will that lead to?
pixelpower is offline  
Sep 27th, 2007, 07:39 AM
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Pixelpower -- to paint it in black and white: what do you want - high ethics, or conservation areas?

I guess those numbers speak a very clear language. There is by far not enough money to protect the current conservation areas in Africa. If you want to boycott or ban operations who treat some animals in an unethical way but also support conservation through game ranching, you should also give some WORKABLE alternative solutions. Otherwise I wouldn't call it pro-conservation.
nyama is offline  
Sep 28th, 2007, 02:48 AM
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To me it's sounds like you are giving me the choice between a quick death and a slow death. It's a thing I hear a lot from hunters; "at least in hunting concessions, we can keep the poachers out".

I will choose neither, because neither is the solution to the problem.

What I would like to see, is that the international community starts trading in wildlife resources, just like now they trade clean air (because of the CO2-regulations). Imagina guidelines obliging countries to keep a certain percentage of the land as national parks. Imagine minimum quota based on endangered species (depending on the ecology of the region), etc... those failing to meet the regulations (typically us, the richer, northern countries where we already screwed up most of it) will need to "buy" resources elsewhere (typically the southern, poorer countries, who still have unspoilt regions but who need more money for conservation).
pixelpower is offline  
Sep 28th, 2007, 04:24 AM
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pixelpower: "To me it's sounds like you are giving me the choice between a quick death and a slow death. It's a thing I hear a lot from hunters; 'at least in hunting concessions, we can keep the poachers out'."

And? Isn't this true? I know several places where this shows better result than in state-managed national parks. Hunters take only a few species, and the others thrive, whereas poachers take all they can get. For conservation as a whole this is far better than loosing all. Some time ago you learned that even important conservation bodies share this opinion. Do you think that all the people in these NGOs are idiots? At least, a 'slow death' gives you more time for finding better solutions, for instance building up the infrastructure for photo tourism in those areas.

pixelpower: "I will choose neither, because neither is the solution to the problem."

Daily life tells us that there are never ideal solutions; you have to compromise. Trading in wildlife resources? This already happens, on a more private level. Many African conservation areas are funded by western NGOs - that's our money. And wildlife tourism also fits into this scheme. Putting this on a more public level? Sorry, do you really think that this a realistic solution? I would call it a nice dream.

Btw, who is Walter?

One last question: where is the ethical difference between breeding lions for tourist leisure and breeding cattle for our slaughterhouses?
nyama is offline  
Sep 28th, 2007, 10:10 PM
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PB: thanks ..... very enlightening thread. I missed it so far, as i kept away from the title of the thread. Agree 100% btw, more exploitation of animals for financial purposes.......

Pixel : this thread just goes hand in hand with the other topic of discussion RE canned hunting etc etc., some months ago.

HariS is offline  
Sep 29th, 2007, 03:33 AM
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hi, momliz,

thanks for airing this topic. whilst we were in SA, we came across the cheetah project at spier, which we were rather dubious about, fears confirmed later by the rangers at Shamwari.

we also came across and in fact participated in an elephant encounter, which did not worry me at the time, as they claimed that the ellies they used were rescued/born in captivity, and that they were part of a return to the wild programme.

however, on further consideration, I worked out that on the time-frame they gave us, the first ellies would be returned to the wild in about 2050.

my doubts have been further crystalised by all the very helpful info here.

surely the same comments apply to shark -diving, and indeed some whale watching, we we did too.

regards, ann

annhig is offline  
Sep 29th, 2007, 07:52 AM
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now, this is where I wanted to post this - My impression of shark diving and whale watching is that they are just that - looking at the animals in the wild. Although the sharks are baited so that they breach...
Momliz is offline  
Sep 29th, 2007, 03:13 PM
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hi, mom,

yes, that's my problem with the shark-diving in particular - you don't just observe but actually attempt to affect their behaviour.

although whale watching may affect behaviour too, at least that isn't the object of the exercise.

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Sep 29th, 2007, 04:54 PM
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how different is that to the animals that are habituated to the humans driving around them? - although being habituated is a passive kind of effect.

Momliz is offline  

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