The Bitter Bond

The Bitter Bond, Born Free Foundation / Engine
Canned hunting is the hunting of captive-bred animals in a confined area from which they cannot escape.

More than 8,000 captive-bred lions are kept in more than 250 breeding facilities in South Africa. Paying volunteers help hand-rear captive-bred lion cubs under the false impression they will be released into the wild. Tourists pay to take selfies while petting cubs or walking with lions. Ultimately, many of the animals will be shot by paying hunters, and their bones and other body parts sold.

To raise awareness of this cruel industry and to urge the South Africa government to end it, Born Free approached Engine to create a campaign that would challenge the captive lion breeding industry, educate the public about the plight of lions in these facilities, and allow the public to take action.

The result was The Bitter Bond, a two-minute animated film created by Zombie Studio in collaboration with Blinkink and Engine. Set to the song Born Free by Matt Monro, the film tells the story of a lion keeper and her cub that ends in the ultimate betrayal.