The highly acclaimed feature documentary, Blood Lions, will be screened at Vancouver’s Rio Theatre on October 30, 2016. Sponsored by SEEtheWILD and Intrepid Travel, the documentary follows acclaimed environmental journalist and safari operator Ian Michler along with Rick Swazey, an American hunter, on their journey to uncover the realities about the multi-million dollar predator breeding and canned lion hunting industries in South Africa.
The story refutes claims made by operators attempting to justify what they do. Last year alone, over 800 captive lions were shot in South Africa, mostly by wealthy international hunters. Michler, who has been following this story since 1999, visits breeding farms to witness the impacts that decades of intensive breeding is having on the captive lions and other predators. Aggressive farmers and the professional hunting community resent his questioning. The highly profitable commercialization of lions is obvious – cub petting, volunteer recruitment, lion walking, canned hunting, trading and the new lion bone trade are on the increase. All are being justified under the guise of conservation, research and education.
In parallel, the Blood Lions follows Swazey, who purchases a lion online from his home in Hawaii. He then travels to South Africa to follow the path canned hunters do. The producers of Blood Lions speak to trophy hunters, operators and breeders as well as recognized lion ecologists, conservationists and animal welfare experts. The film shows in intimate detail how lucrative it is to breed lions and how the authorities and most professional hunting and tourism bodies have become complicit in allowing the industries to flourish.
Director Bruce Young will be in attendance and participate in a panel discussion following the screening. Part of the proceeds from the event will be donated to Youth for Lions, an organization that works to educate young people about the damaging consequences of predator breeding, canned hunting and the lion bone trade industry.
Date: Sunday, October 30
Time: Doors open at 12:00 pm. Movie at 12:30 pm
Tickets: $14 in advance or $18 at the door
For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.seethewild.org/bloodlions