Canned Hunting

Canned Hunting = hunting an animal in a confined area, increasing the likelihood of the hunter obtaining a kill. Therefore the hunt is “canned = fixed”. The animals are raised in captivity, and are accustomed to humans, so have no “fight or flight response” when seeing a hunter.

Canned Hunting in South Africa, refers to the hunting of lions bred for the bullet. Over 8000 lions at 200+ farms are waiting to be hunted by tourists, mainly from the US, Spain, Germany, Italy and Russia.

Many international Hunting Federations such as SCI (Safari Club International) and DJV (Deutscher Jagdverband) no longer accept animals killed in canned hunts for inclusion in their record books and call canned hunts „canned shoots“ since no real hunting is involved.   

Lions are sometimes drugged, so that they will not venture too far. Bait is also used to make sure the lion stays in one place making for an easy shot for the hunter. 

Hunters are often „tourists“ with little to no hunting experience. They go for the cheap thrill of shooting a lion on a tight schedule. Hunting outfitters promise a guaranteed kill in just one day for an affordable price. The hunting of a wild lion can cost over 60.000 $, captive lions can be obtained for as little as 16.000 $, female lions are worth even less. Tourists/Hunters can choose a lion fitting their criteria and budget from on-line catalogues.

Canned Hunting is officially “illegal” in South Africa. However, the hunting of captive bred lions is permitted. Obviously just a clever wordplay, mainly aimed at confusing tourists and the general public. According to the SA government a hunt is only canned if one of the permit conditions is violated. For example if the hunter fails to report details of the hunt to the local provincial conservation authorities within 48 hours of the hunt, then that becomes a canned hunt according to the SA government definition.

BBC footage – ca. 13 minutes

Main image courtesy of CACH (Campaign against Canned Hunting)