"Living with Lions"
NORTH WEST PROVINCE, SOUTH AFRICA, OCTOBER 2012: American bow hunter Steve Sibrel hunts a captive bred lioness while professional hunter guides stand ready to protect him on a game farm close to the South Africa/Botswana border, October 19, 2012. Two legal systems for the hunts exist in two different provinces of South Africa. One practice sees the lion released for a minimal 96 hours into a 3000-hectare area before the hunt can begin. The other practice sees the lion released for 3 months into a minimum 3000-hectare area before it can be hunted. The lioness in these images was released 96 hours ahead of the hunt into the area. Recent global research points to the fact that hunting and breeding programs are necessary components for the survival of lions into the future. These practices go some way towards lessening pressure on wild lion populations as well as preserving a strong lion DNA base and a future repository for lions for areas where they have been decimated. The hunting industry is also a strong employer in Africa, with over 1.4 million square kilometers given over to hunting concessions. This is a landmass more than 20% higher than that given over to Wildlife Conservation areas. More than 18000 hunters come to Africa every year and the money high-end dangerous game hunting brings to the continent goes some way to preserving the land mass set aside for hunting.