Major international tourism trade fair ITB Berlin has asked for the ground-breaking film Blood Lions to be shown at the event, taking place from the 9th to the 13th of March.
Blood Lions said in a statement on its Facebook page that the response from the global community to the practice of breeding lions, as well as the mis-management of wild lions – purely for the entertainment of the tourism community – over the last year has been astounding.
“Who would have thought that a single lion, Cecil, and a documentary such as Blood Lions would have brought upon such a rapid and engaged response?”
In addition to the special screenings, Blood Lions will take part in panel discussions and a workshop to unpack how tourism and travel activities can play a part in ensuring the exploitation of predators is no longer an acceptable practice – click here for event details.
Blood Lions is a feature documentary that exposes the captive lion breeding and canned hunting industry in South Africa.
It is estimated that approximately 1 000 captive-bred, hand-reared lions were killed in the country in 2015, fuelling a multi-million-dollar international industry.
“There is still a lot of work to be done though and unfortunately the abuse of the “Voluntourism” dollar is still high, with lion cub petting and lion walking still being promoted heavily in Southern Africa,” said Dr Simon Morgan of Wildlife ACT.
“Wildlife ACT and Fair Trade Tourism brought the message about this abuse during the World Youth Travel Conference in Cape Town, by hosting a screening of Blood Lions with a follow-up workshop with the conference delegates and producers of the film.
“It was at this conference in Cape Town that some organisers of ITB realised the importance of bringing this message to the global travel industry and kindly offered the Blood Lions team, in partnership with Wildlife ACT and Fair Trade Tourism, the opportunity to bring the same message to unsuspecting supporters of this abhorrent practice of breeding lions to be bottle-fed, petted, cuddled, taken for walks and then ultimately hunted for profit,”Morgan said.
In this chain of exploitation it is the tourism dollar earned from the “voluntourism” market and the add-on lion walks that are really cashing in on these poor animals which are bred simply for the bullet.
Blood Lions also said it was excited about the release of the official Blood Lions DVD, in March 2016 – stating “it hoped that many South Africans are able to watch it and join us in this awareness campaign on canned hunting, cub petting and predator breeding.”