An Open Letter to the President of South Africa: Operation
Dear Honourable President
I am sure you are aware of the global outcry (500 million
people world wide are aware and concerned) over the illegal hunting of a
large male lion, Cecil, in Zimbabwe by an American citizen.
Because of the media coverage of this incident, a
commission of inquiry has been launched in the United States of America by
President Barrack Obama.
Zimbabwe has arrested the hunting outfitter who
guided the American hunter.
Cruelty generally is becoming a global issue across the
world as more and more governments shut down circuses and inhumane zoos.
Inside our country exists a cruel and inhumane activity
called the canned lion industry. Lions are bred in captivity and then shot
for large amounts of money by overseas hunters.
More and more this industry is coming under scrutiny from
animal activists, journalists and international news and film crews.
The combined force of the above are already tarnishing
our South African image. They have the ability to hurt our valuable tourist
I have come up with a project "Operation Wild Lion", which I would like your
government to consider very, very seriously.
1) Your government illegalizes the holding and breeding
of lions in captivity. The government disassembles the canned lion industry
over a period of 5 years.
2) The government purchases the captive lions from the
breeders over a 5 year period at market related prices.
3) The government searches for areas of land which are
agriculturally unproductive, is good lion habitat and is close to
4) The government buys up these areas as part of their
land distribution programme. The areas are owned by the local communities.
5) Reputable game reserve, game ranch and hotel operators
are incentivised to lease these areas from the government. The mandate given
6) The areas can also be used to relocate rhino
populations that currently cannot be protected from poaching
Consider the following:
a) Some 5 000 lions, many are magnificent males, are
currently incarcerated in poor conditions. These same lions would be a huge
tourist attraction if allowed to roam wild across the African veld.
b) You allow rural people to participate in the South
Africa Tourist industry which is the largest job creator in South Africa.
c) By compensating the lion breeders, you prevent the
death of 5 000 captive lions and costly court cases as lion breeders seek
d) You turn a worsening situation of cruelty to animals
into a positive situation of lions being freed, the land being distributed
and poverty being alleviated.
e) You have in South Africa a strong private enterprise
system able and willing to lease the land from the government, provided the
incentives are in place.
Your government will need vision, resolve and large
amounts of money. I have no doubt that is is achievable.
I believe your minister of Tourism should launch a
campaign running hand in hand with "Operation Wild Lion" that "South Africa is a
I have copied this letter to the Honourable Minister of
Lands, the Honourable Minister of Tourism and the Honourable Minister of
Water Affairs and the Head of the Rural Development Corporation and
Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism.
Please respond to my request.
Tread lightly on the Earth
Co-Owner: Londolozi Game Reserve
Founder of Londolozi Productions
Founder of Tiger Canyons.
Today at Tiger Canyons a dominant male, Tiger Sariska,
was found dead.
Examination of his body revealed a
bite into the throat and a canine went into his head behind the ear.
Sariska was killed by Tiger Mahindra who has been expanding his
territory southwards for the last 2 weeks.
injured, is Tiger Sundarban. As I write this, vets are battling to save
his life. Missing is Ussuri's largest male cub, Antoine. Today's events
once again demonstrate the power of a male tiger and the ruthless
elimination of other rival males in their drive to capture a territory.
I will keep you all informed
Tread lightly on the