From Cape Town to New York, wildlife activists around the world gathered in solidarity on Saturday, March 15, to call for an end to canned lion hunting. Captive lion breeding has been strongly criticised by experts who argue that the practice is of no benefit to the conservation of these big cats. Instead, it's believed to fuel a cruel industry in which lions are bred purely to be killed in a controlled environment.

Canned lion hunts are carried out in a confined area so that the animals cannot escape. Most lions hunted in this way have been specifically 'bred for the bullet' – they're hand-reared and therefore habituated to humans to make the hunter's work easier.

Whilst cuddling a lion cub is appealing for tourists looking for a close-up animal encounter, conservationists are adamant that this supposedly harmless practice should be struck off any eco-tourist’s bucket list. Having been habituated to humans, it is very unlikely that these lions will ever be reintroduced to the wild and far more likely that they will end up the target of a trophy hunt.

According to Chris Mercer, director of the Campaign against Canned Hunting (CACH), “Anyone who pets cubs should understand that they are enriching the canned lion industry.”

Thousands of protesters from 60 nations around the globe added their voices to the debate this weekend when they took to the streets to join in on the Global March for Lions. The international event aims to "have trophy and canned hunting banned, to get lions on the Endangered Species List where they belong, to stop the export of lion bones to China, [and] to stop the import of lion trophies into the USA and EU,” says Christine Jordaan who initiated the worldwide lion march.

Social media channels were buzzing with photos of colourfully clad activists wielding banners and placards. Here's a look at some of the protests from around the globe:

London,United Kingdom

Johannesburg, South Africa

Tel Aviv, Israel

Edinburgh, Scotland

Geroge, South Africa

Los Angeles, USA

Durban, South Africa

Las Vegas, USA

New York, USA

Melbourne, Australia

Paris, France

Hong Kong, China 

Did you attend a lion march in your city? Comment below or join us on Twitter and Facebook to share your photos and opinions.