In regards to the cubs question, I think again it comes down to the situation in which the cubs were born. Are they born within a "small" enclosure where the mother is fed and thereby the cubs too? Or were the cubs born in either a "large" enclosure where the mother is not fed and relies on her own hunting to feed herself and thereby the cubs too or in a completely fence free wild area?Thanks Phil. To this point- how do we know if the lion is born in the wild? Serapa is a great example- they have lions roaming their large property. If one of those lionesses has a litter of cubs, are those cubs considered wild born? I'm wondering what makes a property wild.
Can future generations of a captive bred lion ever be considered wild born? ie. Two captive bred lions released into a national park. They have cubs. Are those cubs wild? Is the national park what makes them wild? The size of the park?
Of note, I remember reading on AH somewhere that some captive bred lions had been exported to other african countries trying to revive their wild populations, introduce some genetic diversity, etc. Even though they're living in the wild as wild lions, do they still count as not wild?
If it's the former, they were obviously born in captivity and at least partially raised this way. That cub will forever more be deemed as a captive bred lion, no matter if it is ever released into a more wild system.
My understanding, and possible misunderstanding is that even if either of the parents were captive bred, if it's the latter, the cub will be forever more considered wild.
My impression is the size of the park really doesn't come into play. And I'm not sure who "they" are that are making this delineation between wild and captive bred. I don't think they want to get into the size of the park or property. If you think about it, where would you draw that line? I believe the intent is to look at the ecosystem the lion is living in and determine if the lion can make it's own living by hunting it's own food? Or would it require being fed?
If I'm correct and that's a big IF, it sort of makes sense to me and sort of doesn't. From the outsiders point of view, it makes sense. Is the lion taking care of itself or not? If so, it is wild. If not, then it isn't. Where it doesn't make sense to me is that the lion if born in captivity will never learn to fend for itself if released into an area where it would be capable of doing so. It's as if this adult lion which has been fed and cared for by humans, if released and no longer taken care of will just lay down and die waiting for a truck to come by with some meat. I know without question that captive bred lions won't do this, they will in fact begin to and be successful hunting for themselves.
But in the end a line has to be drawn somewhere and I'm sure there will always be legitimate questions regarding that line placement.