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UK Zoo Linked with "Canned Hunting" Operations

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UK Zoo Linked with "Canned Hunting" Operations

From Captive Animals' Protection Society (CAPS)
June 2013

The article further raises arguments made by both CAPS and LionAid for some time; that white lions are not, as zoos have claimed in the past, a “rare species” of lion, but are born as a result of the possession of a recessive gene. By default, white lions in zoos have to be inbred in order to perpetuate their unusual colouring.

Following two significant exposés relating to the keeping and breeding of white lions in UK zoos in the last six months, CAPS and LionAid have continued to work together to expose the cruelty involved in this deeply unethical practice. A report in today’s national press links UK zoos with white lions to “canned hunting” operations and raises concerns that, despite recognising the inherent welfare concerns involved in breeding these animals, zoo industry body, BIAZA, has failed to take any action against its members that continue to do so.

The article highlights worries over the welfare of a small lion cub at Paradise Wildlife Park following the zoo’s recent attempt to make a “quick buck” from allowing visitors to handle her in return for payment of £250. CAPS condemned the scheme and pointed to the damaging educational message that is put forward by allowing this sort of event to go ahead.

The article further raises arguments made by both CAPS and LionAid for some time; that white lions are not, as zoos have claimed in the past, a “rare species” of lion, but are born as a result of the possession of a recessive gene. By default, white lions in zoos have to be inbred in order to perpetuate their unusual colouring.

Said CAPS Director, Liz Tyson:

“We have worked on this issue, alongside partners at LionAid, for a long time and are pleased to see that the truth behind the inbreeding, welfare concerns and complete lack of conservation value are now being brought firmly into the public domain. We have seen white lions sold from zoos to circuses, links with canned hunting operations, cubs being rented out for money and recognition that there are significant welfare concerns with the persistent inbreeding involved in keeping them. We will continue to work hard to educate and inform people on this issue”.