When the lion cub is about 6 months old and too big and dangerous to be petted by tourists and volunteers, he moves to the next stage: walking with tourists. This activity is sold to unsuspecting tourists as the “opportunity of a lifetime”: getting up close with semi-adult lions and exploring the bush.
Lion farms are walking a tight rope here, since semi-adult lions can be unpredicatable and accidents are waiting to happen. They know it is dangerous which is why guests have to sign an indemnity form so if they get hurt they cannot blame the facility. However, tourists pay happily for the experience. Accompanied by guides that are weaponed with sticks, they can even hold the lion by its tail. Of course, the lions have already been conditioned to the fact, that the sticks represent danger and pain.
Tourists pay on average 50 € per walk and with 5 participants per day, this represents an extra income of 91.250 €
Main image and image below courtesy of CACH (Campaign against Canned Hunting)