Victoria Falls Lion walk

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Nov 6th, 2005, 10:56 AM
  #1
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Victoria Falls Lion walk

Hi

I have seen that you can do a lion walk with Safari Par Excellence in Masuwe Estate, where you meet lions aged 3-16 months. My wife loves lions so is this worth doing ie. is it enjoyable and not exploitative of the lions? It's either this or the elephant safari - any opinions which is more fun?

Thanks
John
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Nov 6th, 2005, 12:24 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
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John, Please do a search on this board, there was a long discussion of this earlier this year. The upshot is that while this organization claims they are working for lion conservation, their "program" is ridiculous from a conservation perspective, and is totally geared to gaining tourist revenue. Basically , they are captive breeding lions...putting them out to interact with tourists while they are young, then claiming that they will re-introduce them to the wild. If they intended to reintroduce them to the wild, getting them accustomed to people is EXACTLY THE WRONG THING TO DO!!!!

While there are issues associated with elephant rides, safaris, these elephants were raised from orphans (after culls or other problems) and there is no fiction about returning them to the wild (though if you are talking about the same operation I visited a few years back, the elephants have a big reserve & lots of freedom, even to interact with wild elephants when they are not paying for their keep by giving tourists rides/bush walks.

I would much rather see tourists do the elephant-back activities than the lion walks. The latter are ill-conceived at a minimum, a conservation sham, and likely exploitative. Lions have no business interacting with humans...it teaches them all the wrong things. Sorry, I too love lions and big cats, and wish this were not the case. There are no reputable operations that will allow you to interact with lions. Anywhere. Period.
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Nov 6th, 2005, 07:42 PM
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I did the "lion walk" last month. It was the ONLY disturbing thing on my whole safari. The lions were 16-18 months old, and they were treated quite disrespectfully. In addition the "line of bull_____" that they gave about using them for a breeding program was just that - a line. They allowed people to hold the lions tail as they walked- kind of like catch a tiger by the tail. It is something that I am taking up to have stopped (I realize that it wont do a lot of good, but someone may hear me. I WOULD IMPLORE ANYONE NOT TO DO THIS PARTICULAR ACTIVITY!! I also saw some of the video that ws done for one of the safari par excellance ele trips- also disrespectful to the ele's. I did the ele safari with wild horizons. The experience was just delightful, the ele's happy, given freedom daily, breeding (1 baby was born the day before we arrived). A 5 month old came right up to me on the lawn, and was quite playful/ energetic, and naughty. I reccomendthe Wild Horizons ele safari. Suzi
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Nov 7th, 2005, 06:34 AM
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If you end up in South Africa and have a desire to get close and cuddly with wildlife, visit Camp Jabulani. It is a great elephant back experience. The camp is owned by Lente Roode whi is the champion behind the Hoedspruit breeding and research centre, where you too can walk amongst some of her rehabilitated animals. She has cheetah, Lion, various antelope species and three pens of wild dogs.

Making a viisit here would contribute toward research and release programs & she relies on poublic funding to keep this program running.
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