The Lion Park
I think it is just selfishness but I absolutely loved the Lion Park in Johannesburg. I know that they have gotten a lot of bad reviews due to rumors that they sell their lions to hunting game parks. I don’t know if any of that is true and I don’t agree with breeding captive wild animals, but I like to visit places, learn what they do and then write about them so that others can make informed decisions. I also know that the staff at the Lion Park are quick to give you any information on their facility and animals, they answer questions that you may have as well. From what I encountered on our visit was nothing but pure joy. The people were so friendly and helpful. The guide was more than just a driver, he loved what he did and was so insightful during our tour. We did the private “quiet vehicle” tour or “photography tour” (whatever you prefer to call it), it was a little more expensive then the other tours but we wanted to get some one on one time with the guide and get up close with these magnificent animals. With our tour we had an extra guide or care taker following us around in a truck, this was for safety as well as to make sure that we had an amazing experience with the animals. Like I said at the start this was pure selfishness to be able to see these amazing animals up close, to be able to see their interactions with each other and their cubs, to learn about them and their behavior, so it was something I will never forget.
Don’t get me wrong, I questioned why this facility exist, why the animals are caged, are we supporting this type of tourist attraction, are we harming the animals by doing this, etc. The facility wasn’t like our Hlane tours where the lions were basically free and the guide had to track them, so the fact that these lions were in caged areas was a little sad. They were given more space than what we seen with the Cradle of Life so that was a plus and they seemed to have room to run around, they also had their family units. Unfortunately they were fed by humans, so they didn’t have that natural animal pleasure of hunting and killing their food; again a little disheartening. But overall, they were healthy and well taken care of, but is that enough, shouldn’t they be wild and use their natural instincts?.
From what I read the Lion Park sells their animals to zoos around the world or to other game parks. Which brings up another question for me that I will write on in another blog but if we condemn this facility what about the zoo’s around the world?
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