'Wild lions facing extinction'

Environmental activist have warned that the wild lion population is under threat.

A rescued lioness which found sanctuary at the Drakenstein Lion Park near Cape Town. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Activists on Tuesday said wild lion populations could be entirely wiped out if measures are not implemented to protect them.

They were speaking out against canned lion hunting after a YouTube video surfaced of a bow hunt of a lioness trapped in her enclosure in South Africa, where the practice is still legal.

Campaign Against Canned Hunting's Chris Mercer said there were no regulations governing the treatment of lions in Africa.

"Lions have been removed from the National Regulations aimed to protect threatened or protected species for five or six years and they haven't yet been put back on. Lions are completely helpless."

Eyewitness News is still awaiting reaction from the national Department of Environmental Affairs.