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Demand for big cat parts fueling lion killings

South Africa licences the slaughter of 800 lions a year at predator farms to feed demand from South East Asia, where parts are used in traditional medicine.

ADRIAN BLOMFIELD: ‘A surge in demand for big cat body parts on South Africa’s black market is endangering the future of the country’s captive lion population, conservationists have warned. A series of recent attacks on predator parks, where hand-reared big cats are kept overnight in zoo-like enclosures, has raised fears that the safety of lions held in captivity can no longer be guaranteed.

Six lions died… when pesticide-laced chicken meat is believed to have been thrown into their enclosure at a wildlife park north of Pretoria over the weekend, the third known mass poisoning in three months… The heads and some of the paws of the lions had been cut off and removed, usually an indication that the perpetrators behind the attack were intending to sell the parts to criminal gangs feeding a growing demand for black magic…

At least 15 lions have been poisoned in predator parks in South Africa since April, although conservationists believe the number could be considerably higher… South Africa licences the slaughter of 800 lions a year at predator farms to feed demand from South East Asia, where parts are used in traditional medicine’. SOURCE…

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