Former English cricketer Kevin Pietersen, also a passionate advocate of welfare and conservation of animals, was furious after a massive seizure of lion bones was reported on World Animal Day. Pietersen quoted an agency report in which South African officials are said to have seized 342 kilograms of lion bones at Johannesburg airport. “So, poachers are poaching animals now & poisoning them so that the lions that come and feed on the carcass get poisoned and die,” Pietersen tweeted. "An easier way to kill them for their bones. WHAT THE HELL!!!!!!" he added.
Officials, in a statement, revealed that the crates were destined for Malaysia and the contents were wrongly declared. "When the shipment was inspected, 12 boxes of lion bones wrapped in aluminium foil and weighing 342 kg were discovered," it read. Albi Modise, the spokesperson of the Department of Environmental Affairs, said that the export of lion bones bred in captivity was legal but a special permit was required for it. Three people have been arrested in the case including two Zimbabweans.
The lion bones are prized in Asia for medicinal purpose and jewellery but the inhuman method for smuggling caused angry reactions on Pietersen’s tweet. “KP that's sickening to read, what monsters are they ?!! Good on you for what you're doing for conservation. More power to you!” wrote a user. “How can they be so cruel?? disgusting and even very hard to imagine.. don't understand where we are going as humans,” wrote another user.
Kevin Pietersen has established SORAI (save our Rhino in Africa India) with a mission to save the rhino from extinction. The initiative includes preservation and protection of Rhino in Africa and India by educating, creating awareness on this issue globally. Pietersen is known for voicing his concern for not only rhino but other endangered species as well from different platforms. He also started a luxury resort Umganu Lodge near the Kruger National Park and use it as a means to foster greater awareness of endangered species in South Africa.