60 Minutes connects lion petting zoo to canned hunts
On Sunday, November 30, 60 Minutes included a segment on Kevin Richardson, who has a sanctuary in South Africa for lions who were used as cubs in the petting industry, who would have ended up in canned hunts if he had not rescued them. While the segment is mostly a joy to watch, as Richardson rough houses with his lion family, there are a few sad seconds, and we hear this message from activist Chris Mercer:
“Whenever you pet a lion cub, you are directly enriching the canned lion hunting industry. And I hope that anybody watching this program takes this to heart.”
Check out the wonderful segment at
And please be sure to add a comment to the discussion underneath. It is so important for producers to know that these animal segments appeal to their viewers. And it’s great that they also see that the segments have a life of their own on the web, where more and more people, especially younger people, are doing their viewing these days.
Public comments have the added benefit of influencing other viewers, but if you prefer not to comment in public please just send a quick thank you straight to CBS at this link, choosing “60 Minutes” from the pull-down menu.
I commented and sent a note — each of which took a minute or two.
I wish the piece had done more to discourage idiots who see it from deciding they want a pet lion, but I think the segment made its primary point beautifully. Also, I hope that animal rights folks who wish to support big cat rescue work will think about all of the factory-farmed, herbivores who the big cats eat. The long-term answer is, without doubt, ending the use of wild animals for entertainment and thereby ending their breeding for that purpose. One of the most encouraging moments of this story showed the use of drones to bring the camera close to wild animals who are acting wild – that will be the wild animal entertainment of the future.