Each year, hundreds of thousands of wild animals in the U.S. and around the world are killed by trophy hunters, the hunters’ primary motivation is not to get food, but simply to obtain animal parts (heads, hides or claws and even the whole animal) for display and for bragging rights.
Baiting and hounding techniques are used to target native carnivore species like mountain lions, bears and wolves, animals are shot in captive hunts (in which hunters pursue animals who can’t escape) and hunters participate in gruesome wildlife killing contests that target coyotes, foxes, bobcats, and other species.
Cecil, a famed black-maned lion in Zimbabwe, was lured with bait, shot with an arrow and suffered for more than 10 hours before his hunters tracked and finished killing him. Cecil's death sparked international outrage in 2015; his son, Xanda, met a similar fate two years later.
American trophy hunters pay big money to kill animals overseas and import over 126,000 wildlife trophies per year on average. They also do their sport-killing domestically: Wolves, bears, mountain lions, bobcats and other domestic wildlife also fall victim to trophy hunting, damaging natural ecosystems.
Recent data should transform how we think about living with native carnivores like wolves, grizzly bears and cougars. In the United States, data shows that native carnivores kill far fewer than one percent of cattle and sheep—despite the constant rhetoric from those in agribusiness, including the government itself. The most recent data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows that farmers and ranchers lose nine times more cattle and sheep to health, weather, birthing and theft problems than to all predators combined. Those few losses can be mitigated with humane, cost-effective and non-lethal methods that work—yet only a fraction of cattle and sheep growers in the U.S. use them to protect their herds.
Currently allow cruel and unsporting wildlife killing contests.
Are hunted and killed as trophies, including Africa's "big five" species: Buffalo, elephants, leopards, lions and rhinos.
Currently allow the trophy hunting of black bears in the U.S.
Protect imperiled animals and help ban trophy hunting by convincing the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service not to allow the import of heads, hides, claws or whole animal trophies.