Thanda Tau: a response to our open letter

Thanda Tau’s Official Response to our Open Letter


We at Thanda Tau are extremely saddened by the recent comments and posts on our feeds about our Lion Cubs and alarming questions about what we do with our Cubs once they are too big for their enclosures, in which guests are invited to interact with them while learning about the importance of preserving this majestic species in South Africa.

We want to strongly encourage all of the people who have questioned us, to get their facts in order before proceeding to accuse Thanda Tau of malpractice.

Once our Cubs are too big for their enclosures they are taken to much larger enclosures which are all in accordance with nature conservation laws.

We are STRONGLY AGAINST any canned Hunting whatsoever, Thanda Tau means Love the Lion, we are extremely passionate about our lions and would never put them in harm’s way.

Conservation of our lions is extremely important to us and we can assure anyone who visits Thanda Tau, that our majestic Lions receive only the best care.

Where are Thanda Tau 4 tawny lion cubs seen in petting enclosure in Jan 2017

Four tawny lion cubs seen in Thanda Tau’s petting enclosure in January 2017. Where have they gone since?

Many questions remain unanswered by Thanda Tau

I thank Thanda Tau for the above response. I would like to stress that on several occasions, we asked these same questions by email, but sadly never received a response. Hence, the need for a more public approach.

In the open letter to Thanda Tau, I have not made any accusations of malpractice, but was merely trying to get my facts in order by asking the right questions. Questions that seem to be too tricky for Thanda Tau to even start formulating answers for.

For example:

  • Why do you allow your captive lions to breed and not have them on contraceptives?
  • How will you cope with the exponentially growing number of lions, considering there were already eight lion cubs in your petting enclosure in as many months?
  • To what parks have you returned some of your lions, as you mentioned you did in a Facebook post in October 2016?
  • Where are the four tawny lions that were in your petting enclosure earlier this year, as we only saw adult lions on your property outside of the petting enclosure?

Thanda Tau lion cub Facebook statement Oct 2016 Twitter

Thanda Tau decides to avoid answering these questions and instead reiterates their love for their lions. Let me give them the benefit of the doubt, as I would certainly hope people who keep lions, also have a love for them.

However, how can Thanda Tau talk about the love for their lions, while at the same time they:

  • Allow captive breeding?
  • Take cubs away from their mother days after they are born?
  • Subject cubs in the first 6 months of their life to human interaction – up to 10 hours per day, 7 days per week? Especially considering the global campaign against this kind of hands-on wildlife tourist activity.
  • Sentence these cubs to life in prison, in enclosures without any enrichment?
  • Teach guests about the “importance of preserving this majestic species” by having your brewer as the guide in the cub petting enclosure (as was the case when we visited the facility)?

Most importantly, Thanda Tau will not answer the ultimate and most vital question: Where do your lion cubs end up once they have outgrown the petting enclosure?

Do we need to draw our own conclusion here Thanda Tau….?

Update 24th August 2017 – Thanda Tau made the following statement on our Facebook page:

Thanda Tau response 24 Aug 2017

I have therefore asked them the same questions again through Messenger on Facebook. I will keep you all posted.

Update 1st September 2017The silence is deafening:

Despite sending many reminders to Thanda Tau and being promised answers to our questions through Facebook Messenger (see below), Thanda Tau have yet again failed to be more transparent. A comment on Facebook by Paul Giess sums up our feelings pretty well:

Thanda Tau do not have an obligation to share the whereabouts of the lions after they are petted. But it would be the easiest thing in the world and a great PR exercise to show the lions being released as they claim. If this does indeed happen. The fact that they are so secretive just builds suspicion. They choose to work in a controversial industry that has demonstrable links to canned hunting and the lion bone trade and then rebuke anyone who questions their operation. They encourage the concerned public to ask questions by direct messages, but then do not reply. It is only natural that the public will form their own impression and posts like this will spread widely.”

TT response


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