Trophy hunters have killed approximately 29,000 lions in the U.S. in the last decade, according to a report, Cecil 2: Trophy Hunting America’s Lion (PDF), released today by The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International. The report reveals the five states with the highest numbers of mountain lions killed by trophy hunters are, in ranking order: Idaho, Montana, Colorado, Utah and Arizona.
Original data collected by the HSUS and HSI also reveals that in the past decade, trophy hunters killed approximately 29,000 mountain lions in the U.S., while an estimated 2,700 more were killed and traded internationally. Most mountain lions are killed using hounding, where hunters and guides use packs of radio-collared dogs to pursue mountain lions until they climb a tree and can be easily shot. Some states such as Nevada, New Mexico and Texas also permit trapping of mountain lions, resulting in even more being maimed or killed.
Last year’s killing of Cecil, the African lion who was lured out of a national park in Zimbabwe and shot with an arrow by a Minnesota dentist, Walter Palmer, started an international firestorm about the ethics of trophy hunting internationally and in the United States.
Nicole Paquette, vice president of wildlife protection for the HSUS, said: “Cecil deserved better, and so do America’s lions and thousands of other native carnivores killed every year for no other reason but to be stuffed and displayed on a wall or collect dust on a shelf. Trophy hunting is unethical, unsporting, the opposite of conservation, and must end.”
The HSUS, Humane Society International and independent experts specializing in conservation of large carnivores are hosting a press event today in Las Vegas, offering an alternate voice to one of the world’s largest trophy hunting conventions—Safari Club International’s Ultimate Hunters' Market®—also held in Las Vegas this week.
“Wild animals are being driven to extinction by American trophy hunters’ bloodlust,” said Teresa M. Telecky, Ph.D., director of the wildlife department of HSI. “They imported trophies of more than 1.2 million mammals over the past 10 years including threatened, endangered and even critically endangered species.”
The SCI Convention is a wildlife kill-fest where hunters and hunting guides meet up to set their sights on animals to be killed this year. In addition, over 300 mammal hunts for over 600 animals will be auctioned off, with the proceeds often being used by SCI to fight wildlife protection measures. The HSUS and HSI urge an end to trophy hunting of U.S. carnivores and imperiled species worldwide.
The survey (PDF) of 1,095 adults was conducted Oct. 1–Oct. 9, 2015 by The Marist Poll sponsored in partnership with HBO Real Sports and The Marist College Center for Sports Communication. The margin of error is plus or minus 3 percent.
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- Media Relations