A poem with a varying rhyme pattern that addresses lion farming.
|The state of wild lions in Africa
has grown dire, with only some
20,000 lions today roaming free.
Lions in 26 countries have become
extinct, and, while we still do see
lions in 27 countries within Africa,
only seven of these have more than
1,000 lions wandering their land.
This “vulnerable” state has given rise
to over 160 lion farms containing
6,000 to 8,000 lions that are confined
within fenced compounds devised
with the goal of rapid breeding reigning.
These farms’ practices are most unkind.
Here lion cubs are taken from the mother
at a few days of age to be hand-raised,
bottle fed by humans, some of whom
pay for the opportunity to smother
the cubs with affection and praise.
Removing her cubs prepares the womb
of the lioness for re-breeding all too soon.
Older lions are housed behind fences,
their needs cared for by human hands
until they have no fear of men nearby.
Thus these lions never develop defenses
learned by wild lions living on open lands.
These lions are too trusting, none can deny.
Once a selected lion reaches about four years
of age, it is moved to a fenced compound
where it suddenly is alone for the first time.
It finds a dead buffalo and eats with no fears
as a small group of men slowly come around.
He’s a prize black-maned male lion in his prime.
Suddenly a shot rings out! The lion roars in pain
and tries to run, but the bullet destroyed the bones
in his shoulder. He can only flop about as again
a bullet strikes his body. The wounded lion groans
his last lament and slowly closes his eyes in death.
The men are joyous as the lion takes his last breath.
Another “canned” hunt has ended successfully.
The wealthy hunter paid $50,000 for his prize.
He gets the hide and head to mount on his wall;
he will brag of his hunting prowess excessively.
Lion farm owners profit from their lions’ demise.
The poor lion never lived a lion’s intended life at all.
Even the bones of the murdered lions get sold
as “tiger bone cake” to both China and Vietnam.
These magnificent animals, the king of beasts,
are bred simply to be slaughtered as I’ve told,
while the world watches in apathy, remains calm.
With this poem I hope to publicize this issue at least.
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