(Part 3 of 3) People who get to interact with any animal whether it be a lion, a cheetah, a caracal, or an elephant for example, will take away with them an awareness, an education and a lifelong memory that they will share with their families and friends by word of mouth or via social media, of the trials of life that these animals face every single day of their lives in their natural wild environments and in doing so will play an important role in the survival of the species they interact with. Also, by the time a lion has reached the age of eight years old his or her natural wild instincts will already be firmly in place, regardless or not of it being raised by hand in a captive environment. This is why there are so many incidents of otherwise "tame" lions attacking their handlers, keepers and trainers that they have grown up with since being cubs in circus and zoo environments. You can take the lion out of the bush, but you can't take the bush out of the lion. Once these hand reared lions which have been raised in a game reserve environment have reached the age of maturity, they will be (and are) released back into the wild where they will live the rest of their natural lives as wild, free and independent individuals or better still as members of an established pride. They will not end up in circuses, zoos or canned hunting breeding facilities.
(Part 2 of 3) The death of just one female lion with cubs, can lead to the deaths of up to three more next generation lions. However, some lion cubs get lucky and are stumbled upon and rescued by local wildlife authorities and taken to game reserves and other wildlife venues where dedicated and experienced staff work tirelessly around the clock to ensure the survival of these now orphaned youngsters who would otherwise have had no chance whatsoever of survival. Some people will say it is better to let nature take its course. But was it nature that took the life of a mother lion whose litter of cubs depended upon her to survive? No. So why shouldn't dedicated and professional humans take responsibility for the survival of up to three lion cubs whose mother was destroyed by other humans who encroached upon the lions territory in the first place? As a race, as a species, if we are responsible for the deaths of a parent animal of no matter what species, then we should consider ourselves responsible for the survival of the orphans we have created through taking the life of the parent animal. It is our ethical and moral responsibility to do so. Yes, by handrearing lion cubs we imprint ourselves upon these animals. We become senior members of their pride. We become their providers, the same as you who is reading this article does when you take in a kitten, a cat, a puppy, or a dog, - all of which have at some point been taken away from their mothers so as you can have a pet to call your own and look after. The only difference being that in most instances the kitten's, cat's, puppy's or dog's mother has not been killed at the hands of a farmer, hunter or poacher. There is no cruelty involved towards any lion cub that has been rescued from certain death, due to being orphaned by natural means or through hunting or poaching, by any wildlife authority and placed in the care of dedicated and professional game reserves or other wildlife venues. As these cubs grow older,
(Part 1 of 3) Just over a century ago, there were more than 200,000 wild lions living in Africa. Today, there are only an estimated 20,000. In fact, lions are extinct in 26 countries across the African continent. Some of the threats that lions have to endure (besides natural threats) include human threats such as population growth and agricultural expansion resulting in loss of natural habitat. Hunting, poisoning and poaching by livestock ranchers are also a major threat towards wild lions. The steepest challenge that lions currently face is that farmers and ranchers have no economic reason for not poisoning or killing them. The poaching of lions is big business, with many Asian cultures profiting from the widespread Asian cultural belief that animal parts such as powdered lion bones for example, have healing or sexual performance enhancing qualities. All nonsense, of course. Consuming any animal parts won't increase the size of your manhood, but killing any animal in the belief that by consuming its body parts will enhance your sexual performance, will make you look a big dick! Human encroachment on wild animal territory has been and continues to be an escalating problem. The more land that humans encroach upon, the less territory and space there is for wildlife. As a result, conflicts between man and animal are common occurrences. This is not the animals fault. Lions have to eat and provide for their pride, including their young, and if the lions natural prey has been decimated due to human encroachment, then lions will resort to taking livestock and, in some cases, human life in order to survive. This, of course, leads to humans taking revenge on the lion or lions responsible (and often not responsible) for the deaths of said livestock or people who may have lost their lives. As it is generally female lions (lionesses) that do the hunting it is these females that are persecuted and killed as a result. However, many of these females have cubs hidden