Whether they agree with it or not most people are familiar with what is involved with hunting animals. Fewer are familiar with what canned hunting entails. In a 'normal' hunt the hunter goes out armed with rifle and a bagful of patience. The animal is tracked down and killed, ideally with a single shot, a 'clean kill'. Often the hunter returns home empty handed. Where chance is part of the formula even the most stalwart anti-hunt individual would probably give a tiny degree of acceptance.
Canned hunting is different. In a canned hunt there is no patience, no chance and no skill. The animals in a canned hunt are enclosed, there is no escape. It is quite literally 'like shooting fish in a barrel.' One sick hunt organiser actually organised it so clients could use a computer from the comfort of their home and aim and shoot an animal many miles away.
Normally though the hunter orders the animals he or she wishes to kill. Yes, a lot of women do it too. The hunter chooses the weapon be it rifle, bow or crossbow and is led on a pseudo 'hunt' to his/her unsuspecting prey.
The choice of animals to kill is wide but most want to kill antelope, gazelle or deer with big horns. Lions and other mega beasts figure high in the top ten kill wish list.
Canned Hunt Footage
Where do these animals come from?
These animals are especially bred for killing. In Southern Africa there a number of so called reserves and game farms who either double up as canned hunts or supply the places which do. That 'pet lion' which so many tourists had their photograph taken with on their holidays will possibly end up with an arrow in it, maybe several. Luckier ones may be shot. White Lions too. They are different and so appeal to the canned hunters gore barometer.
It is not just Africa. Canned hunting takes place in the USA too. Usually it is specially raised deer and pigs but exotic animals are sometimes included. No reputable zoo would ever supply animals to such a barbaric 'sport' and in fact AZA accredited zoos are forbidden to do so. Sadly animals do get in via the back door. Good zoos may sell their surplus to dealers who do not have the same scruples and will sell on elsewhere. It is so important today that good zoos (in fact all zoos) are members of breeding programmes where the whole populations are managed and surplus becomes a thing of the past.
There is no legislation covering canned hunting in the USA and so if it can be aquired it can be shot. The endangered species act offers some protection to rare exotic and native animals but does not legislate against private ownership. No-one knows exactl y what animals there are, how many, where and what happened to them. The canned hunting of exoticgame is not just popular in the USA but it is a growing industry. Not everyone can afford the time to fly off to Africa. There are as many as 500 hunting ranches in Texas alone without considering the rest of the country. Although some states now have laws governing which species may be shot there are places where they do shoot Lion, Leopards and Tigers too. Even Elephants and Rhinoceros have been shot.
South Africa cracks down on 'canned' hunting
Who Are The Canned Hunters
Canned hunters are any sick individual who has the money to pay for the dubious 'pleasure' of taking the life of a defenceless creature. Hunters may come from Spain, the Middle East, Germany, Japan or the USA...in fact anywhere and anyone who has the cash. There are literally thousands of Game Ranches in South Africa and whereas not all are into the Canned hunting game there are no shortage of places which are.
The Canned Hunting Ban
In 2007 the South African government proposed that the canned hunt be better regulated. One of the proposals put forward was that the specially bred lions should not be shot until two years after release into a hunting enclosure. The proposal was not welcomed by the canned hunt market which protested loudly.
In July 2010 the issue is still not resolved and the lion breeders continue to protest that legislation will ruin their livlihood. They argue that there are not enough zoos to hold the 5,000 plus lions held for hunting. They are now exploring the possibility of farming the lions for 'bone'. They would then slaughter and then export of Lion bone to the Asian market as an alternative to Tiger bone if the market was there.
There is a Facebook Group Stop Canned Hunting that you may like to visit to learn more.