Our big cats are very endangered. Although if they found you, they would probably eat you (!), that’s nature. We need to protect them, the main dangers being loss of habitat, climate change, trophy hunting and tiger bone used in herbal medicines. Big cats are usually bored and unhappy in zoos, so support organisations that protect them in their natural habitats. Most children spend 20 seconds looking at animals in zoos: that’s entertainment, not education.
There are a few big cats: lions (British trophy hunters have killed 60 more lions since Cecil departed this planet), jaguars (South America), leopards & panthers, cheetahs (the fastest animals on earth) and of course, tigers (just a few thousand left in the wild). Although they kill around 85 humans a year, tigers only hunt once a week and if they were targeting us, would kill 85,000 humans yearly (the fact they don’t, suggest they only kill due to hunger and disappearing habitats). It’s been found that usually the only tigers that kill humans are old and infirm tigers (humans are easier to chase and kill than wildebeest) and bored unhappy caged tigers.
- Use your vote to elect people serious about global warming. If you don’t vote Green, then at least vote for MPs who don’t vote to stop progressive policies on climate change, logging, fracking etc.
- Reduce your personal carbon footprint to help stop climate change. This is the most helpful thing we can do to help big cats.
- Switch to a green energy company (it only takes 10 minutes). There are quite a few green energy companies now in the UK, and they are as affordable as the big corporate companies.
- Big cats should not be in zoos. They are miserable and often too hot. Boycott zoos and donate $10 to remove a poacher’s snare instead. You can report concerns of any animals in zoos (or circuses) to Freedom for Animals & Born Free (also take pictures and tell the local police, tour operator & local animal welfare charity).
- Big cats are still hunted for fur. The problem with ‘native hunting’ is that often some of it ends up for commercial use (DNA tests have found some ‘fake fur’ in coat trim and ornaments is real fur). So always look for shops that carry the Fur Free Retailer logo.
- Ask for proof that herbal medicine is free from tiger bone (and rhino horn). These items have no medicinal value (it’s all superstitious nonsense) and yet are still used extensively.
When a man wants to murder a tiger, he calls it sport. When a tiger wants to murder a man, he calls it ferocity. George Bernard Shaw
Why Do People Go Trophy Hunting?
It’s still legal to hunt big cats in many parts of the world. One company says ‘capturing all the species will lead to great hunting memories’. It beggars belief to most of us what is going on in the mind of someone who kills these animals for fun. One hunter in Zimbabwe shot 32 elephants in 15 minutes. And around 60 lions have been killed by British hunters, since poor Cecil went to pastures new. Cecil was not killed outright and took hours to die, the dentist paying £32K for the hunt. Apparently he has since shot one of the world’s rarest sheep, paying $80K to do so.
Psychologists have said the reason usually for trophy hunting is simply ‘showing off’ that they have lots of money and they can shoot dangerous animals. So if they can’t import the parts back to their home country, in their eyes ‘there’s no point’. President Trump massively relaxed laws on trophy hunting while in office (he doesn’t hunt himself, but his sons do – TV presenter Lorraine Kelly was visibly upset when she saw one son posing with the tail of an elephant he had cut off, after shooting it dead). Joe Biden has a good track record on voting for animal welfare, so let’s hope he turns the laws around soon. There were high hopes that a complete ban on trophy hunting imports was happening in the UK, but the law did not pass, sign the petition.
Dan Piraro once said that trophy hunting (killing animals in a canned area with no escape) is akin to shooting pensioners in old people’s homes, who can’t run away. The higher the price appears to be how more ‘difficult it is’ to kill the animal. One anti-hunting protestor suggested the most impressive hunt would be if you put the hunter in the same enclosure without a gun, and then see if he emerges victorious with a ‘trophy’.
Arlo: The Lion Who Couldn’t Sleep is a lovely illustrated story for children. With a gentler mindfulness message, Catherine Rayner writes a bedtime story for little ones who cannot get to sleep. Arlo is exhausted as he just can’t drop off, no matter what he tries. It’s either too hot or too cold; too loud or too quiet. But then me meets Owl. She can sleep through the day, which isn’t easy when most other animals are awake. Will Arlo ever get any rest? Perhaps his friend has some special ways to teach him.
Little Lion shows young readers what different members of the lion family get up to, and how they develop survival skills to use later in life. This charming celebration of lions shows just how extraordinary these animals are, and is a reminder to care for our planet and its creatures.