Trophy hunting is killing an animal for the sole purpose of entertainment. Many people who hunt wild animals for trophies do so to hang the animals’ bodies on their wall and to pose in photos. Trophy hunting should never be considered a sport, but it’s labeled as one since there is no other benefit to killing the animals.
More than 125,000 animals are killed each year for trophies.
Shocking, right? Reports found that between 2005 and 2014, more than 1.26 million wildlife trophies were imported to the U.S. alone. That averages to approximately 126,000 animals killed and imported into our country each year. Between 2008 and 2017, nearly 40,000 animal trophies from African elephants, just over 8,000 from leopards, and 14,000 from African lions were exported worldwide.
The most coveted animals to kill are the Big Five.
The Big Five is made up of endangered animals like lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants and Cape buffalos. The “Big Five” was coined by trophy hunters as some of the largest and most dangerous animals to hunt. Today, the name represents the most iconic animals in Africa.
Most trophy hunters are American.
You may recall that the person who killed the infamous Cecil the Lion was an American trophy hunter. Unfortunately, wealthy Americans are fueling the trophy hunting industry. Canada, however, provides the most amount of wild trophy hunting experiences, with most US-imported animal trophies coming from the country to our north. In 2015, more than 50 percent of all canned-hunted lions in South Africa were done so at the hands of US trophy hunters.
Canned hunting is trophy hunting.
Canned hunting is when animals such as lions are already accustomed to humans and are bred specifically to be shot and stuffed. These animals are locked in enclosed spaces with the hunter, and are often shot while eating food provided to them. Canned hunts do not allow for the animal to escape and is a guaranteed kill.
While South Africa is the only African country to have canned hunts, the United States also has these facilities. Texas, for instance, has numerous venues with exotic animals that offer canned hunting packages.