Argument Against Trophy Hunting

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There is nothing wrong with hunting for survival. Mankind has hunted animals large and small for hundreds of centuries. Hunting for sport should also be acceptable, with the appropriate rules, guidelines, and limitations. This past year the killing of a Cecil, a lion living in a protected reservation in Africa sparked a great deal of debate in regards to trophy hunting. The issue of the debate was whether it is morally justifiable to kill animals for sport. Proponents of trophy hunting claim that killing for sport generates revenue for impoverished countries and supports conservation. Opponents of trophy hunting argued that trophy hunting has further decreased the already dwindling amount of endangered and nearly endangered species, as it…show more content…
Trophy hunting has potential to have significant negative impacts on those animals that have drastically dwindling populations. According to the International Fund for Animal Welfare, “the latest surveys estimate that there are fewer than 40,000 wild lions in Africa today, a century ago there were 200,000 lions” (International Fund for Animal Welfare). The Smithsonian also weights in on the issue and reports, “loss of habitat and decline of prey species are huge factors which, in turn, mean increased lion conflicts with livestock herders—and, often, dead lions; and as numbers drop, the gene pool is dwindling, causing inbreeding and weakened immune systems” (Bland). What may or may not come as the biggest surprise is that wealthy American citizens have contributed significantly to such declines. The International Fund also claims at “least 5,663 lions were traded internationally for trophy hunting purposes. More than half of these lions were imported to the United States” (International Fund for Animal Welfare). Several studies have demonstrated that excessive trophy harvests have driven population declines. Jeff Flocken of the National Geographic Magazine states that “600 lions are killed every year on trophy hunts. These hunts are unsustainable and put more pressure on the species” (Flocken). The elimination of the male lion, the most sought after trophy by these trophy hunters also has a number of implications after the lion is killed. Flocken notes, “when an adult male lion is killed, the destabilization of that lion's pride can lead to more lion deaths as outside males compete to take over the pride…these males will often kill the cubs sired by the pride's previous leader, resulting in the loss of an entire lion generation within the pride”
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