It is with great sadness that SAPA learned of the poaching of two lions in the Emoya sanctuary. This is an abomination that should never have happened.
Unfortunately this situation is indicative of what has happened since the closure of exports from the captive bred lion industry. Regardless of any personal or supposedly ethical grievances individuals or organisations may hold, the demands of existing markets are a reality and will be met, one way or another. That is a reality. It is our responsibility to ensure that these markets are supplied from regulated, legal sources in order to ultimately protect lions in the wild and, as in this instance, in sanctuaries.
SAPA believes that the captive lion industry has played a vital role in doing exactly that - until external pressure led to the banning of imports from our industry. Not only has this prevented the captive lion industry from supplying the existing demands, it has caused huge financial losses to government, to owners of facilities and to communities who depend on the industry for their employment and livelihood.
There is a bigger picture here and we implore all people to look beyond the ideals to the realities that we are confronted with. SAPA is ready and willing to step in and, once again provide for the needs of the markets legitimately so that there is less opportunity for such deplorable acts of poaching to occur.