My faith in humanity is already at an all time low, and then these images surfaced.

Neglected lions, raised for tourists to pet on a farm in South Africa reflect a dismal silhouette of what should be a magnificent big cat.Mange covered, almost bald, in tiny cramped enclosures.

Credit: HSI.org

Mange is caused by a parasite which attacks the animal’s skin, causing itching, irritation, hair loss and scabs and lesions, secondary infections often occurring.

The HSI provided some shocking figures regarding the ‘snuggle scam’ where up to 12,000 animals are bred annually on roughly 200 farms.

These animals are reportedly then sent to petting centres where tourists are afforded the opportunity of a close encounter with them – think of those pics you see on Instagram of the girl who ‘found herself’ next to the tiger?

They’re sent on to safaris which offer ‘walking with lions’ tours, holiday makers unaware of how the animals suffered to end up there.

Credit: HSI.org

Pienika Farm was investigated by the NSPCA and what they discovered shocked the officials. 108 neglected lions were found on the premises, two cubs unable to walk.

A number of caracal, tigers and leopards were also discovered in these filthy conditions.

Lion cubs usually remain with their mothers for anywhere between 15 & 24 months in the wild, whereas in captivity, they are removed soon after birth, used as photo props, leaving the mothers exhausted by the constant breeding.

Credit: HSI.org

Audrey Delsink, Wildlife Director at Humane Society International/Africa, said:

“South Africa’s captive lion breeding industry is a vicious cycle of exploitation, from cradle to grave.

Lion cubs are ripped from their mothers at just a few days old, to be hand-reared by paying volunteers from countries around the world such as the United Kingdom, who are misled into believing the cubs are orphans.

The cubs are exploited their whole lives, first as props by paying tourists looking for selfie shots whilst petting or bottle-feeding the animals, then later as part of ‘walking with lion’ safaris.”

Read more and do more by clicking this link from the HSI : https://www.hsi.org/news-media/captive-bred-lions/

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