Each year, hundreds of thousands of wild animals around the world are killed in trophy hunts, where the primary motivation is to obtain animal parts (that is, their heads, hides or claws and even the whole stuffed animal) for display and for bragging rights, but not for subsistence. Cruel and unsportsmanlike practices like baiting, hounding and trapping—also captive hunts, in which hunters pursue animals who can’t escape—ensure that animals don’t stand a chance and hunters bag an easy prize.
Cecil, a famed black-maned lion in Zimbabwe, was lured with bait, shot with an arrow and suffered for more than ten hours before his hunters tracked and finished killing him. Cecil's death in 2015 sparked international outrage. 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. Wolves, bears, mountain lions, bobcats and other domestic wildlife also fall victim to trophy hunting, damaging natural ecosystems.
In March of 2019, the Humane Society of the United States produced three ground-breaking reports that transform how we should think about living with native carnivores like wolves, grizzly bears and cougars. In the United States, data shows that native carnivores and domestic dogs kill few 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, efficacious and cost-effective non-lethal methods—yet only a fraction of cattle and sheep growers in the U.S. use them to protect their herds.
Were imported to the U.S. between 2005 and 2014.
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.
Stand with us in condemning the killing of wildlife for trophies, both in the United States and around the world. Pledge to do what you can to end this cruel and unsportsmanlike pastime.