Mufasa is a white lion. There are less than 300 of his kind left in the world, of which only 13 exist in the wild.
Mufasa was confiscated by law enforcement and handed to a wildlife rehabilitation center to be cared for. The rehab centre acquired a second cub Suraya, as a companion for Mufasa. Mufasa and Suraya are now three years old and are inseparable.
Nature conservation officials refused permission for Mufasa to be relocated to a sanctuary, who offered to care for both Mufasa and Suraya for their natural lives, free of charge. Instead, the rehab centre was told telephonically that Mufasa will be auctioned to raise funds for the department.
We ask you to sign our petition, asking for both Mufasa and Suraya to be donated to a sanctuary chosen by the people who took care of them for the past three years, to prevent them from being exploited.
The Honourable Member of the Executive Counsil, Department of Rural Environmental and Agricultural Development, North west South Africa.
RELOCATION OF CONFISCATED LION MALE- MUFASA AND FEMALE SURAYA
We hereby petition you to review the decision of the Northwest Department of Rural, Environment and Agricultural development (READ) to refuse a relocation permit for Mufasa and to grant a permit only for the lioness who has been Mufasa’s companion for almost three years.
In terms of an agreement with READ , the rehab centre who cared for the two lions, and carried the costs thereof up to date, has the right to propose a sanctuary, where the lions are to be cared for. Sanwild has agreed to take the lions and to care for them free of charge, and the rehab put in an official proposal for the two to be released in Sanwild. This proposal was refused
The reasons why we believe the existing decision should be overturned are as follows:
1) Mufasa has had a vasectomy and is no longer able to breed and is therefore of no interest to a breeder. The only commercial value he has, is to be hunted in a put and chase hunt, otherwise known as a canned hunt.
2) Mufasa and Suraya have formed an inseparable bond. If the two are separated, both will suffer trauma and stress.
3) You are no doubt aware of the decision reached at COP 17 of CITES in Johannesburg during 2016 and the amendment noted in Conf 17-8 concerning the Disposal of illegally traded and confiscated specimens of CITES-listed species. We specifically draw your attention to the decision tree analysis for captive options, formulated in Resolution Conf. 17.8 – 14. We will not dwell on the contents, but only wish to highlight the first two requirements
a. As a point of departure the confiscating authority should consider releasing the specimen in the wild.
b. If that is not feasible and there is space available in non-commercial captive facility (e.g. a lifetime-care facility) the confiscating authority should execute an agreement and transfer the animal.
4) Mufasa is a text book case of the above and we believe it will be a transgression of both the spirit and the fabric of CITES to treat him otherwise.
5) There are no other suitable sanctuaries in the North west province that are able to care for both lions and the best practical nvironmental option in the interest of the welfare of the two lions are to be released to Sanwild.
We therefor petition you to intervene and to authorise the relocation permit for both lions to Sanwild.
Friends of Mufasa