Sometimes, reserves and parks offer visitors the possibility to pet wildlife and even walk with lions.
As we believe that lions and other carnivores are not pets, we refrain from participating in these activities. The lion cubs, once they have grown up with humans have a very low success rate of surviving in the wild and they may end up in the hands of trophy hunters in hunting farms after 6 months of age when they become too dangerous to handle.
This practice is called canned or captive-bred hunting which, according to the WWF and other organizations, provides no conservation benefit. According to the WWF: " 'Canned' hunting is a form of trophy hunting where the animals are bred for the purpose of being hunted and are usually confined or restrained at the time of the hunt." So, when you are given the opportunity to pet a lion cub, ask where it will be in 6 months.
Canned hunting is different from other forms of trophy hunting. Although not all may agree, the WWF is not against well-managed hunting programs. For more information on (canned) hunting and conservation, see: www.wwf.panda.org or www.wwf.org.za