Numbers have gone from 75,000 in 1980 to less than 32,000 in 2013.
When news of Cecil the Lion’s death circulated the net, enraged citizens around the globe demanded that Walter Palmer, the dentist responsible for the African lion’s death, be punished for cruelly – and illegally – killing him.
But as AllGov, shares, there’s more to this story and the ‘sport’ of trophy hunting that deserves to be discussed.
According to data collected by the United Nations, Americans are responsible for the vast majority of lions killed for sport.
The data shares that Americans were responsible for 613, or 77%, of the 794 recorded African lions killed for sport in 2013. Spaniards came in second, with 39, or 5%, of trophy kills.
For some reason, Americans’ desire to kill for the sport has increased in recent years.
In 1990, 77 trophy lion kills were shipped to the United States. But in 2013, 50% of the lions killed by US residents were wild, while the remaining ones were bred in captivity and murdered in “canned hunts.”
This is bad news, for the African lion population is quickly on its way to being labeled as an endangered species. Officials with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have proposed listing the species as threatened and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature calls the African lion vulnerable.
In 1980, there were about 75,000 wild African lions. Today, there are estimated to be between 20,000 and 32,000.
Calling out one man for his unjust actions is one way to bring awareness to the dwindling population, but it’s the entire sport that needs to be re-evaluated – by Americans, especially.
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