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Blood Lions

Blood Lions

Join us at the Rio Theatre for the Canadian Premiere of directors Bruce Young and Nick Chevallier‘s acclaimed feature documentary Blood Lions, which follows acclaimed environmental journalist and safari operator Ian Michler and Rick Swazey, an American hunter, on their journey to uncover the realities about the multi-million dollar predator breeding and canned lion hunting industries in South Africa.

Blood Lions effectively blows the lid off claims made by these operators who attempt to justify what they do. Last year alone, over 800 captive lions were shot in South Africa, mostly by wealthy international hunters under conditions that are anything but sporting. Ian has been following this story since 1999, and he goes onto the breeding farms to witness the impacts that decades of intensive breeding is having on the captive lions and other predators. Aggressive farmers and most within the professional hunting community resent his questioning, but the highly profitable commercialization of lions is plain to see – cub petting, volunteer recruitment, lion walking, canned hunting, trading and the new lion bone trade are on the increase. And all are being justified under the guise of conservation, research and education. In a parallel story, the film follows Rick, as he purchases a lion online from his home in Hawaii, before traveling to South Africa to trace the path that the canned hunters do. The film also features interviews with those involved in the various echelons within the industry, including trophy hunters, operators, and breeders as well as recognized lion ecologists, conservationists and animal welfare experts. Blood Lions shows in intimate detail how lucrative it is to breed lions, and how the authorities and most professional hunting and tourism bodies have become complicit in allowing the industries to flourish. Blood Lions is a compelling call to action and shows how you can get involved in a global campaign to stop lions being bred for the bullet. Learn more HERE.

Director Bruce Young will be joining us in person for the screening, and will participate in a Q&A and panel discussion to follow. Partial proceeds from this screening will be donated in kind to Youth for Lions. Special thanks to our sponsors SEEtheWILD and Intrepid Travel for their support of this screening.

Sunday, October 30
Doors 12:00 pm | Movie 12:30 pm
Tickets $14 advance HERE | $18 door
*Must be 19+ w/ID for entry.
**Sorry, no Groupons or passes accepted for this screening.


BLOOD LIONS (Bruce Young & Nick Chevallier, 2015 / 84 mins) Every single day in South Africa at least two to three captive bred or tame lions are being killed in canned hunts, and hundreds more are slaughtered annually for the lion bone trade. BLOOD LIONS is a feature length documentary that is a compelling call to action to have these practices stopped, by blowing the lid off claims made by the predator breeding and canned hunting industries.

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