20 years ago I wouldn’t have imagined that the African Lion would be on the verge of extinction or that people the world over would gather to bring awareness to the practice of Canned Lion Hunting in South Africa – an industry that is directly linked to Trophy Hunting.
The US imports 55% of African Lion Trophies making it the biggest player on the field and the pro-hunting lobby believe that the African Lion does not require protection nor is it endangered. They want the right to hunt and kill them no matter what the facts are, never mind morals or ethics.
“Over the past 50 years Africa’s lion populations have plummeted from over 200,000 individuals back in the 1960’s to fewer than 25,000 today… by far the greatest number of remaining lion populations are small, scattered, and highly vulnerable… In fact the rate of decline in lion numbers is accelerating.” source LionAid
While there are many factors contributing to the decline of Lions, removing trophy hunting from the equation means one less pressure the already dwindling lion populations will have to deal with. The decision on whether or not the African Lion will be listed as Endangered is still pending but if it happens it would make it illegal for hunters to import Lion Trophies into the US (it would be less appealing to hunt an animal that you can’t bring home).
I feel it’s important to be aware of what goes on in your own backyard and while the number of African Lion Trophies coming in to Canada is small, any impact on this species is clearly detrimental. Here are the stats as provided by The Canadian Wildlife Services Branch via Environment Canada:
- Since 2007, there have been 29 captive bred sourced African Lion trophies brought into Canada, 27 of which were from South Africa
- Since 2007, there have been 5 wild sourced African Lion trophies brought into Canada, 4 of which were from South Africa
Hunters no matter what country they are from, are not part of the solution for wildlife conservation so please continue to be a voice for Lions by contacting the US Congress, the US Fish and Wildlife Service via email, phone or Twitter and by joining the Global March For Lions group on Facebook.