Beth’s Story

IAPWA > Beth’s Story

My story began with my passion for big cats which led me to book what I believed would be the trip of a lifetime – two weeks volunteering with lion cubs in South Africa. Unaware of the atrocities within this industry, I arrived at my destination where I was faced with the harsh reality regarding the barbaric treatment of lions throughout the country.

Through my experience I learnt that in South Africa, thousands of lion cubs are raised in captivity to die in captivity; either through canned hunting or for the lion bone trade. Returning to the UK I was committed to raising awareness through my experience, starting with my online blog, Claws Out where I aimed to educate potential volunteers about the ‘con’ within these conservation parks.

Through my blog I was invited to join Global Marches, speak in European Parliament alongside MEPs and the Blood Lions Team and feature in magazines and newspapers across the world. In 2018, I joined IAPWA as a Campaign Manager where I devote my time and passion to making a difference within lion welfare. Shortly after, IAPWA partnered with Born Free and Olsen Animal Trust to produce a short film based on my experience called Claws Out: The Truth About Cub Petting.

2020 will be a key year for the Claws Out Campaign with the start of our UK Roadshow and Ethical Tours and the promotion of the Claws Out pledge to both travel agencies and individuals.  I’m immensely proud of what has been achieved since my volunteering experience and am committed to working tirelessly through IAPWA and with the support of other organisations to create a better future for lions.

Thank you to everyone who supports this campaign. If you’d like to get involved with our Campaign, we’d love you to join us. Please contact me at



When I booked my trip I was assured that the cubs I raised were orphans and we were helping to prepare them for the wild. This is categorically untrue – no hand reared lions have ever been successfully released into the wild. You can now take our pledge and stand against these facilities.

The Film

The Film

In 2018 we formed a partnership with Born Free Foundation and Olsen Animal Trust to create Claws Out: The Truth About Cub Petting. We spent almost a year planning, producing and creating a short film based on my experience and we were lucky enough to have some amazing people involved.