Last night, Panthera’s President, Dr. Luke Hunter, was featured on the ABC Nightline segment entitled ‘Living with 8 Lions.’ Watch the Nightline program to learn about a woman in South Africa living with 8 lions, along with leopards, servals, caracals and other wild animals in her home and in a private zoo, and see what Dr. Hunter had to say about the dangers associated with keeping wild animals as ‘pets’, the lack of contribution made by these operations to wildlife conservation and more.
Read an excerpt of Dr. Hunter’s comments on Nightline here:
“Big cats kept like pets cannot be returned to the wild. You can never take them and train them possibly in anyway so that they become effective at being a wild animal. So really claiming that keeping a lion as a pet has something to do with conservation I think is really, really dubious...It's really dangerous to think that there is no danger. I think it's very easy to think that when they are little and they’re lovely and they cuddle. And they really do rely on the person to be their surrogate mother. But ultimately that will change. They become adults in real life. They don’t stay with the mother forever, they have to kick out as an adult on their own and that inevitably sets up a situation where there is real danger and real harm.”
Learn about Panthera’s wild lion conservation efforts across Africa through Project Leonardo.
· Read a telling article from Dr. Hunter on ‘Walking with Lions: The Myth of Conservation.’
· Read a Q&A with Dr. Hunter about the impact of Africa’s ‘Walking with Lions’ enterprises on wild lion conservation.
· Listen to a BBC Radio interview with Dr. Hunter on the viability of reintroduction efforts for wild vs. captive lions to repopulate lion populations.