There is no doubt that the revealing and graphic nature of the film will affect animal lovers and wildlife campaigners alike, potentially motivating them to action. But one of the key questions is if it will motivate trophy hunters and hunting organizations. Tourists pay to pet lion cubs that are being bred for the bullet. Throw in all the other commercial activities such as cub-petting, trading and the volunteer tourist scam, and you have an industry that provides significant profit opportunities to their membership.
So the lucrative financial spinoffs has trumped everything else. The breeding and hunting industries try to justify their activities on the grounds that they are making significant contributions to conservation, either financially or by protecting the species.
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But Michler says they can make no such claims and that it is detrimental to conservation. Global human population explosion is obviously having a major impact on wildlife, as is the commoditisation of nature, and people are catching on to this. Thanks to this awareness there has been positive progress in the campaign to eradicate exploitation of wildlife.
Recently a number of international airlines banned the transport of animal parts , including hunting trophies, on their flights, and Australia has banned the import of hunting trophies.
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There is also progress in hunting circles. Blood Lions has already been accepted in a number of international film festivals and will be screened in parliaments around the globe, universities and schools, as well as to select audiences of decision-makers. Michler says he sees the film as a significant step up in what for him has been over 15 years of efforts.
Over the course of the Blood Lions film and the campaign, I have noticed two things, he says. Two: for the vested interests, especially those that do the killing or make the money, the justifications have run out.
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