Big Cat Week

Dear Friends of Wildlife,

This week it is all about lions!

Lions in a circus in Wales. Yes, as Scotland and England move inexorably towards a ban on the use of wild animals in circuses, Mr Chipperfield has decided to test the public mood by setting up for ten days in Powys with tigers and lions.  According to my sources, a grand total of 22 people turned up for the performance in Friday 3rd July at 6.30 pm in Welshpool.

Let’s be clear.  In the public consultation carried out by Defra, 94.5% of people who responded called for an end to this form of animal exploitation.  In a similar exercise just completed in Scotland, 98% called for it to come to an end.  The Welsh Government is inclined to end it as well, once the Westminster Parliament  passes the necessary legislation which we hope will  be by the end of the year, according to Defra Minister, George Eustice.

This really is, in my view, the last roll of the dice but what will happen to the animals?  I know that Born Free and the RSPCA have offered to assist in finding suitable homes where they could be retired with dignity – but will that be what Mr Chipperfield has in mind or will he take his act to Europe where circuses are still, sadly, common place?  Our offer is on the table.

Lions in Bulgaria. Born Free is in the process of preparing to move two former circus lions from Bulgaria to Shamwari in South Africa.  Of course, lots of planning is now underway and there are mountains of paperwork to be done but I hope that later this year two more lions will find sanctuary in Shamwari and live out the rest of their lives under the African sun.

Find out how you can help here.

And some people want to look at lions down the barrel of a gun!

A new film, Blood Lions, is out shortly and you can be amongst the first to get a glimpse of what this extraordinary documentary has uncovered here and .

It seems barely credible that the South African government permits people to shoot a lion that has been raised in captivity and that may have been released into a large enclosure just a few days before on what is, in effect, a ‘no kill, no fee’ basis.  The lion cannot escape.  Its death is guaranteed – where is the sport in that?

I hope that Blood Lions will have the same global impact as Blackfish and cause a change in policy in South Africa and a change in attitude everywhere else.  This is not the 21st Century we wish to see.

My good friend and Born Free supporter, Peter Andre, has just returned from Kenya where he has been witnessing some of our work including building a Predator Proof Boma in Amboseli National Park designed to protect local communities and their livestock from night-time predation and to eliminate the possibility of retaliation killing which are all too often the result of livestock predation.

Here’s a link to Peter’s adventure and a big thank you to the Born Free team, Land Rover, Kenya Airways and Serena Hotels who hosted him.  And a big ‘Thank you’ to Peter who has been a consistent public voice of compassion for many years.

And you have the purrrfect opportunity to help big cats (and all wildlife) by taking part in Born Free’s Big cat Nap [LINK] where you can ‘Do Nothing For Charity’ in aid of wild animals in need! Wow!

There you are – a veritable ‘pride’ of lion issues for you to get your teeth into. Off you go!

Blogging off.


6 Responses to “Big Cat Week”

  1. Sue Main Says:

    Absolutely appaulling that Chipperfields still think it’s ok to use what should be wild animals in ‘circus performances’ it makes me feel sick needs to be banned ASAP & the poor animals rehomed to refuges – poor things will be never be truly wild but if they can live out their days in an animal park – with space to roam omg it’s better than what they now endure – shame shame shame on you Chipperfields and good on the welsh people for staying away – apart from the sad 22 who obviously need a bit of educating or are just complete ignorant fools

  2. maureen martin Says:

    The treatment of Lions and all big cats is disgusting. Ban wild animals in all circuses and canned hunts.

  3. Tina Smythe Says:

    It’s great that we can hopefully get this ban but what will happen to the lions and other animals is there a sanctuary they can all go to Has Born Free been able to get anything arranged for these animals ?

  4. gladys gauci Says:

    It is cruel to cage wild animals. They were not born to be enslaved by humans who beat them if they don t do their tricks. Who gave us permission to steal them from their mothers. These animals are best seen in their natural environment in africa in the wild they are a lot more exiting seeing them dping their own thing , what lions do seeing them in the wild is an unforgetable experience I know I grew up in kenya and we wete always going to see thr amomals in their own environment not doing dog like tricks that is so pathetic. So please let these poor animals go back in a wild life santuary as they probanly cannot look afterthemselves as himans destroyed that also but at least they will be roaming free not in a cage and not a slave anymore. Lions are king of the jungle and not puppet slaves to circuses.

  5. Donna Johnston Says:

    It must be difficult for people who see animals as disposable to realize they can no longer make a living using them. But all careers evolve and circus’ are certainly at that stage. It’s time to release the animals to a place that will care for them in a more natural setting.

  6. Dorelle Downes Says:

    It is time Chipperfields woke up to the fact that our society today does not agree with using these amazing creatures! Performing in circuses and zoos is not a natural way of life and I don’t care what anyone says, it is not ‘love’ and gentle treatment that gets them to perform on a daily basis! It is pure fear of the instruments of torture that are used on them! Like bullhooks on elephants! It is absolutely VILE and must be stopped through UK!