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While the romanticized imagery of an African safari may swell some imaginations toward the adventurous, in reality, many modern chartered hunts are anything but.
Canned hunting, or captive hunting, can bring South African lion breeders up to $50,000 for a male lion . And while lions are protected under the Endangered Species Act in the United States  wealthy foreigners are eager to pay that price in South Africa for a rare "trophy."
Global concern for endangered species is on the rise, and attitudes in South Africa are no different. Canned hunts are experiencing greater condemnation these days, according to CBS News .
"Most people think lions are terrifying creatures but in actual fact it's the lions who are terrified in a canned hunt," says Kevin Richardson, founder of a wildlife preserve an hour north east of Johannesburg and half an hour from Pretoria in the Welgedacht Private Game Reserve.
Richardson's work has led to the rescue of dozens of lions in South Africa, and he's not alone in the fight. The documentary, Blood Lions, focuses on the canned hunting industry, as well. According to National Geographic , the film was quickly requested in theaters in 185 countries and territories after its 2015 debut in Durban South Africa.
Campaigns to end canned hunts have since led to changes on a national level, with Australia banning the import of lion trophies in February 2015, and France 9 months later.
Even airlines are refusing to play along with this "sport." According to Canned Lion , IAG Cargo, Lufthansa, Brussels Airlines, Singapore Airlines, Emirates Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Qatar Airways Cargo, Canadian Jetlines, Virgin, BA and United, and American Airlines all refuse to transport hunting trophies acquired legally or illegally.
While canned hunts are still legal in South Africa, growing pressure from animal advocacy organizations, governments, and global corporations no doubt has a persuasive effect on the country's lawmakers. Tell the South African Department of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries that canned hunting must be banned immediately!
Dear South African Department of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries,
The practice of canned hunting in South Africa is not only a great detriment to a currently protected endangered species, it's a sport for cowards, and deserves to be brought to an immediate end.
Global concern for endangered species is on the rise, and attitudes in South Africa are no different. Canned hunts are experiencing greater condemnation from people and corporations. Many airlines will not even transport hunting trophies, obtained legally or otherwise.
Australia has banned the import of these reprehensible trophies, as has France. And lions are now protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. It won't be long until other countries follow suit, leaving South Africa's lion breeders facing a lack of interest in their cruel business.
These animals are not meant to be bred inhumanely, shoved in a pen and shot for entertainment. They are endangered animals, and deserve protection.
I urge you to make canned hunts illegal in South Africa, and stand up for these regal animals, as the rest of the world has already done.