WATCH: Wildlife volunteer returns to SA to save the cub she raised from canned hunting

Facebook/Alexandra Lamontagne
Facebook/Alexandra Lamontagne

Cape Town - Tourists from around the world pay top dollars to volunteer at wildlife sanctuaries to look after animals like lion cubs, but sometimes the animals they help raise are destined for canned hunting.

Alexandra Lamontagne from Canada, or Alexa, was one of those tourists who took part in a programme in South Africa in 2013 to help look after monkeys, but didn't know that the centre also had five lion cubs. She ended up taking care of them as well, and was told that they were headed to zoos.

SEE: #ShockWildlifeTruths: Close interaction with captive lions is not conservation

When she returned home, one of the workers messaged her to let her know that her favourite cub - Serabie - was going to be sold to a canned hunting farm instead of going to a zoo in Denmark.

Heartbroken, Alexa returned to South Africa to save Serabie, and managed to strike a deal with the place that was keeping her. The lion, now much bigger than when Alexa looked after her - was tranquilised and transported to the Emoya Big Cat Sanctuary, where she still lives. Alexa went to visit Serabie three years later, and well you can see the reunion in the video

SEE: WATCH: Shock reactions after two rescued lions poached at Emoya

Karen Trendler, a wildlife rehabilitation and crisis specialist, says in the video that farms that breed lions for the industry realised they could outsource the care of cubs to paying voluntourists who believe the animals are orphans that will go back to the wild.

ALSO SEE: Cash before Conservation? A damning report on the commoditisation of lions

"When you try to help animals and you find out after that what you have been doing is just helping the circle of a disgusting practice, you are saying to yourself that you need to do something," says Alexa.

Watch the touching story below:

SEE: Bizarre lion behaviour in hunting video red flags SA's captive-bred hunting industry


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