African Tourism: Schwarzenegger and lion play

By Friday Nwosu

Famous American Film actor, and former Californian Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger has been slammed by animal activists for petting a lion cub in South Africa, a gesture which is regarded as being in support of canned lion hunting.

The film actor was on a safari in South Africa and pictures of him interacting with a lion were posted on social media, an action that elicited criticism from animal activists.

According to comments posted of twitter by some the activists, cuddling a lion cub or bottle feeding one is seen as indirectly funding the canned lion industry.

“The harsh truth is when you’re cuddling a lion cub or bottle feeding one, you’re indirectly funding the canned lion industry.”
Although the film actor had a close encounters with an elephant at the safari while in South Africa, it was the pictures posted on social media that drew the ire of the activists.
According New Fair Trade Tourism criteria, helping tourism businesses avoid the dark side of this practice, does not allow for any physical interaction by tourists or volunteers with a range of captive animals, including all large and medium sized carnivores, big cats, elephants, rhinos, large apes, hippos, ostrich, crocodiles and venomous snakes. They also do not allow for tourists or volunteers to interact with any child or vulnerable person unless this takes place under continuous, qualified adult supervision.

South Africa too has been making bold strides towards the issue of canned lion hunting, “with our department of environmental affairs set to host the CITES COP17 convention in Johannesburg – Most recently a review of SA’s responsible tourism best practice when it comes to voluntourism has been released”



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