South Africa ‘most popular destination’ to shoot and kill animals

A tiger is exhibited at a hunting exhibition
Safari Club International's annual convention in Reno, Nevada, credit: The HSUS

South Africa offered the most hunts to kill African elephants, lions, leopards, rhinos and other animals at the Dallas Safari Club (DSC) annual hunting convention, which is being held online this year.

The four-day American convention started Thursday, and from the 306 exhibitors, 104 offer hunts in South Africa, according to animal welfare organization Humane Society International (HSI).

“South Africa is one of the world’s largest exporters of hunting trophies—hardly a record of which to be proud,” said Audrey Delsink, Africa wildlife director at HSI.

“For trophy hunters, it’s about the thrill of the kill, bragging rights, killing competitions and awards for the number and variety of species that they’ve killed,” Delsink said.

HSI said that among the approximately 303 types of animals offered to be killed, many species are captive-bred to supply the trophy hunting industry.

The most controversial and unethical among them all is the hunt of captive-bred lions. “At least 39 South African exhibitors are offering lion hunts in South Africa. Most are likely to be captive-bred lions,” said Delsink.

Captive-bred lions are commercially exploited their whole life. Female lions are forced into a never-ending cycle of breeding, and their cubs are used as photo props for paying tourists. 

As the cubs grow up, they are used for ‘walks with lions’ experiences, before being sold for canned hunts. Canned hunts are hunts where the animals are put in fenced areas, so it’s an easy kill for the hunter.

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