"Living with Lions"
NORTH WEST PROVINCE, SOUTH AFRICA, OCTOBER 2012: Over 40 carcasses from lion hunts hang up to dry in a vehicle yard on a farm in the North West Province, South Africa, October 19, 2012. These bones come from lions killed in legal hunts. The dealer requires a local permit for Nature Conservation South Africa as well as a Cites export permit for this trade. There is a large Asian market for these bones, which are crushed and used in Asian medicines and also in Lion Wine. Lion bone has become more popular in Asian culture as a result of the increasing rarity of the Tiger. Tiger parts have long been a part of Asian traditional medicine, but with less than 3000 tigers left in the wild, lion bone is becoming increasingly popular. Conservationists argue that this increasing demand for lion bone will severely impact wild lion populations. Hunters and breeders argue that they can easily meet the demand and that a legal trade means wild lion populations as well as tiger populations will be saved as captive breeding and hunting of those lions can meet the demand. Prices for a lion skeleton vary, from $1200 to $10,000. South Africa is the lion hunting and breeding capital of the world, with an estimated 500 plus lions hunted every year and the largest breeding programs in the world.