Lion farming in the Yemen

Unlike salmon fishing in the Yemen, lion farming is very real, as reported by The Guardian (4th February 2013). Pictured are two of six pregnant African lionesses waiting in a concrete cage for their soon-to-be-born cubs to be snatched away and shipped off to the Middle-East, destined for lives as ‘trophy pets’ in private collections.

The shipping of big cats – captive-bred or wild – out of the horn of Africa into the Middle East and potentially further afield is unacceptable. Firstly, it’s a trade that threatens species that are already struggling for survival. Secondly, it’s a creating a welfare nightmare. Thirdly, it puts money into regions where lawlessness, banditry and security issues are a global concern.  For these reasons alone, the international community should investigate and, if necessary, suspend all wildlife trade permits out of Somalia and into Yemen.  Furthermore, the Saudi authorities should demonstrate leadership and publicly condemn the private ownership of exotic wild animals as pets or status symbols.  Without resolute action, species are threatened, animals will die and people’s lives will be put at risk”.

It is thought that the lions ordinate in Ethiopia, via Somaliland. Stephen Brend, director of Born Free wild animals rescue projects in Ethiopia said ‘”The Trade is extensive, lucrative and with a low risk of prosecution. That’s probably why the trade is flourishing. This is having a devastating effect on wildlife populations in the region and also impacts civil society.”

Our wildlife rescue centre in Ethiopia is home to a number of big cats who have been rescued from the wildlife trade. But of course, as with all things at Born Free it is in need of funds. If you would like to donate to our project in Ethiopia you can do so here

4 Responses to “Lion farming in the Yemen”

  1. Pat sterling Says:


  2. sue Says:

    This is a disgrace and needs to stop. How can these animals possibly have their care and welfare needs met. Those involved should be caged and shipped themselves!

  3. Vania Maciel Says:

    Why keeping a wild life in a cage? Why selling them as souvenirs? This is a crime!!!!

  4. Carole Fromm Says:

    I dream of the day when these atrocities no longer exist! Thank God that there are groups like Born Free who work tirelessly to inform us of this.