Lion cub photo-shoot draws charity's fire

Veteran broadcaster Sir David Attenborough has been criticised by conservationists over a photo-shoot in which he held and fed a lion cub.

He was pictured holding the animal on the cover of the Radio Times ahead of his 90th birthday today.

But the photos of him feeding two lions taken to his home in west London have angered a wildlife charity - which claims they promote the use of animals as "props".

The photo session was to echo a 1956 cover of the magazine, where Sir David was shown bottle-feeding a bear cub found abandoned in an Indonesian forest.

Sir David was interviewed by the magazine and spoke of his continued love of nature and the difficulties of getting old.

But the photos angered The Born Free Foundation, a British charity that rescues animals around the world. It is concerned the pictures will encourage people to visit farms in Africa that raise animals so they can be included in tourist photos.

The cub was supplied by Amazing Animals, a company that has also been criticised after lions, a leopard and a polar bear were filmed performing tricks at the firm's Oxfordshire base.

Amazing Animals insisted its work with animals is always done in an "ethical and humane way".

The Radio Times said the lion was looked after by trained professionals during the shoot.

- Daily Mail

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