Lions in South Africa are falling victim to our interpretation of what they actually are - and paying a heavy price. People and organisations dealing with them are talking past each other and becoming exasperated at the failure of the other side to understand their reasoning. They simply aren't speaking the same language.
After years of heated discussion on captive-bred lion farming, culminating in two days of intense parliamentary interrogation - during which the chair of the Environmental Portfolio Committee, Philemon Mapulane, expressed his disgust at the practice - the issue has been kicked forward yet again.
The Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) simply ignored the parliamentary resolution, stating that it should "as a matter of urgency initiate a policy and legislative review of CLB (captive lion breeding) for hunting and lion bone trade with a view of putting an end to this practice". It re-issued permits for 88 lion breeding facilities.
Captive lion breeding will now be pondered by a yet-to-be-appointed Panel of Experts formed to "review the existing policies, legislation and practices related to the management, breeding, hunting, trade and handling of elephant, lion, leopard and rhinoceros". Nominations to the panel are restricted to "persons ... committed to...