Cape Town - South Africa's lion populations have the odds against them. Whether captive bred or wild, lions are the targets of poaching now more than ever, as a quota to export lion remains are being considered by our Department of Environmental Affairs.
READ: #ShockWildlifeTruths: Horrific lion poaching exposed as DEA's legal exportation quota looms
Still, however, conservationists globally are doing their utmost to help keep lions alive and wild.
In an attempt to make a younger generation aware of the plight of lions, a new Roar-Off competition has been launched by YouthForLions, a global movement aimed at informing and engaging the world's youth around the realities of volunteering, cub petting, walking with lions and other forms of animal interaction, and their contribution to canned hunting.
The YouthForLions initiative is branch of the internationally-acclaimed and highly controversial Blood Lions team, in association with Wildlands, the Marchig Trust and Regulus Vision.
SEE: Blood Lions named Best Documentary at oldest global environmental film festival
The social campaign will help create awareness around the realities of wildlife volunteering, cub petting, walking with lions and other forms of animal interaction, and their contribution to canned hunting - something South Africa's new Tourism CEO Sisa Ntshona has spoken out against harshly.
"South African Tourism does not promote or endorse any interaction with wild animals such as the petting of wild cats, interacting with elephants and walking with lions, cheetahs and so on," Ntshona said shortly after his appointment.
"Our marketing efforts promote an authentic and credible tourism experience to all our tourists, and this includes an authentic wildlife experience to keep it as “wild” and natural as possible," Ntshona says.
He also said that conservation authorities' concerns about cub petting and other wildlife interaction practices are taken extremely seriously and that SA Tourism is in discussion with the "Sustainable Tourism Partnership Programme to see how we can work more closely with them to eradicate such practices".
SEE: New SA Tourism CEO hopes to 'eradicate' cub petting and animal interaction
Ntshona has been congratulated for his bold stance regarding the matter, and campaigns like the YouthForLions #RoarOff further aims to add weight to the 'eradication' of caged animals by raising awarenes.
How to get involved?
The global initiative is asking for wild lion-lovers across the globe to show their support for the #YouthForLions campaign by submitting - on camera - the loudest roar they can produce.
Firstly, watch the clip below:
Now, follow these steps:
Upload your clip or image to social media and tag YouthForLions on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, along with the hashtag #RoarOff
Nominate 3 friends to take part when posting
Remember to say what you are ROARING for
Apart from creating global awareness for lions in captivity, you also stand a chance to win a Samsung Galaxy Tablet to help you spread the message across the world. The competition ends 23 February at 12:00.
There have been some awesome #RoarOff inclusions so far. Check it out:
What to read next on Traveller24:
- SA public has 'no time' to contest annual quota of 800 lions' bones
- #ShockWildlifeTruths: Horrific lion poaching exposed as DEA's legal exportation quota looms
- New SA Tourism CEO hopes to 'eradicate' cub petting and animal interaction