Imagine the stress on the cub, being pawed by tourists all day. Volunteers have described to us how stressed cubs become, lose their fur, vomit and get diarrhea. People pass on diseases to the cubs which also impact their health. And that cub will almost certainly end up in a canned hunt after suffering a miserable captive life.
One needs to know what really happens so that a tourist can pet a cub.
After the lioness has given birth
she is driven out so that the cubs can be removed to be hand reared. The plaintive cries from the lioness can be heard for days as she calls for her missing cubs. All her instincts call out to her to protect her lost cubs.
She will come into oestrus again quickly now. This proud lioness is now a production line and will produce more cubs like a battery hen drops eggs. This is unnatural, for in the wild she would only give birth once every two to three years - not three times a year as she does in a captive breeding farm.
The cubs are (ab)used as human playthings by day, relentlessly pawed by tourists who are deceitfully assured that they will be set free. The cubs are beaten for biting and scratching; natural play for a cub, but not good for tourism.
The end for these animals is barbaric. Often drugged, they will be moved to an enclosure where a piece of meat is left out to bait them. Often while they are feeding, a hunter shoots arrows or bullets into its body.
We owe these exquisite animals more than this.
The only way we will stop this evil is if we spread the word about what happens to these animals and tell everyone - DO NOT GO CUB PETTING.
Next month, in Part Two, we'll follow the money from cub-petting.