Latest Lion Aid News
Friday 14th June 2013
Hopefully this article in the Guardian newspaper (11th June 2013) will end white lion breeding and cub petting in UK zoos. It is not moral, ethical or in any way conservation, and has nothing to do with educating the public about the critical state of African lion populations. The zoos have engaged in the practice because these lions, inbred specifically for the expression of a rare recessive gene, are “cute” and an attraction for the misinformed public. West Midland Safari Park, another UK zoo involved in white lion breeding, even went so far as to sell some of their white lions via an intermediary to a Japanese travelling circus.
Indeed some zoos, bolstered by statements by among others the Global White Lion Protection Trust charity, mislead the public by claiming that white lions are a separate subspecies, and therefore must be “conserved”. These organizations even go so far as to say that they are conserving “genetic diversity” by breeding these white lions.
This targeted inbreeding of white lions (and white tigers) in zoos has to stop as the consequences of generations of inbreeding are severe and include skeletal deformities, neurological problems, digestive abnormalities, reproductive problems, and short lifespans. Such consequences are well documented and should not be accepted as collateral damage by zoos aiming to increase their gate receipts.
Further, zoos should in no way support South African lion breeders by buying their white lions – as these breeders also sell the animals to be trophy hunted. The zoo regulatory bodies like BIAZA and EAZA should censure members who keep, breed, and purchase white lions.
Picture credit: http://bit.ly/16m30sV
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Categories: Domesticating Animals
Posted by Chris Macsween at 11:57
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