February 19, 2018

The Advocate's Toolbox

Blood Lions: Bred for the Bullet | SLJ DVD Reviews

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redstarBlood Lions: Bred for the Bullet. 85 min. Dist. by PBS. 2015. $24.99. ISBN 9781627895415.

Gr 9 Up –This is an outstandingly well-produced documentary that is almost certain to cause Blood Lions Bred for the Bulletoutrage in viewers. In South Africa, where it is legal to breed and hunt wild animals, sanctuaries are fronts for the purpose of lions being hunted at close range. This clandestine “canned hunting” industry is exceedingly profitable, since the owners of the captive lions spend as little money as possible for their care, raising the animals in terrible conditions. Hunters from all over the world pay very high prices to come to the countryside, where a kill is guaranteed. Even the lions that do not look majestic are still money makers for the breeders as they are killed and their bones are bought by the Chinese market for use in traditional medicine. The filmmakers interview government ministers, animal rights activists, hunters, and conservationists. The use of hidden cameras capture scenes at canned hunting facilities, since the owners rarely want to speak on camera. The film is beautifully shot, and South Africa is a country with gorgeous landscapes, but the filmmakers never shy away from showing a hunt or the poor conditions the animals are kept in, making this, at times, hard to watch. VERDICT The journalism is excellent, unbiased, and comprehensive, and the subject matter moving. High schoolers who watch this may well be compelled to activism.–Geri Diorio, Ridgefield Library, CT

This review was published in the School Library Journal March 2016 issue.



  1. I loved this book.