The reason of course is the difficulty that tourist facilities run into for when the cubs grow older, there is no market for them other than the canned hunting industry.
This ethical position has been taken before so this is not unprecedented. Some years ago, the Lion and Safari Park tried to abandon cub petting only to find that they lost so much tourist traffic that they were obliged to reinstate cub petting.
So the public should not underestimate the cost of making such a morally courageous decision. The rhino and lion reserve will lose some tourist traffic as a result of taking this principled stand and we can only hope that they do not lose so much that they are obliged to reverse it.
The new manager at Rhino and Lion Park is Mike Fynn, who is no doubt primarily responsible for this courageous decision.
Especially since he was the manager at Lion and Safari Park and very much responsible for that facility attempting to take the same principled stand.
For good measure, Mike was an active member of the captive carnivore working group, a broad cross-section of all sectors interested in lion conservation, which was seeking to fill the gap in government regulation by drafting suitable regulations which government could adopt and enforce in order to improve the conditions of lions at lion farms in South Africa.
An unsung hero indeed, quietly working away to improve the lives of lions.