Over the last 50 years, lion numbers in Africa have decreased from more than 200,000 to less than 20,000. Despite this steep decline, trophy hunting persists. Only about 2,000 of the remaining lions are adult males. The primary target of hunters, an estimated 650 adult male lions are shot as trophies every year.
These numbers spell out a stark reality: Trophy hunting of lions needs to end, and it needs to end now.
Backers of trophy hunting claim that the “sport” offers economic benefits to local economies. However, as many trophy hunting operations are foreign-owned, little economic benefit is seen by the local populations. Responsible ecotourism is a more viable alternative, which offers long term economic benefits to local communities. Trophy hunting creates wealth for trophy hunting operations, not local citizens.
According to a new report that analyses literature on the economics of trophy hunting, countries and rural communities in…
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