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More than 6‚000 lion skeletons have been exported from SA to Southeast Asia in the last decade. The bones come mainly from lions killed in canned hunting — animals bred in captivity and shot by paying hunters — according to research led by a University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) academic. More than half the lion skeletons‚ skulls‚ claws and teeth exported by SA go to Laos‚ with the rest going to Vietnam and Thailand‚ says Vivienne Williams of Wits. The pace of exports accelerated ahead of a Convention in the Trade of Endangered Species (Cites) change that restricted trade to bones from captive animals, from this year. Writing in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS ONE‚ Williams — from the school of animal‚ plant and environmental sciences at Wits — warns that the new curb could fuel poaching. "Of particular concern are reports of Asian nationals enquiring about lion bones in Eastern and Southern Africa‚ and the evidence of at least one consignment exported from Uganda to Laos in 2016‚" ...

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