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December 18, 2015

Trophy Hunting: Animals Under Fire

Humane Society International

  • The few who remain should not become trophies. Bob Koons

Some of the animals that trophy hunters covet and what HSI is doing to stop trophy hunting:


African elephants are experiencing an unprecedented poaching crisis and their numbers are dwindling. American trophy hunters imported the parts of an estimated 5,774 elephants over the past 10 years, thus contributing to the decimation of the species. HSI has promoted greater protection for African elephants from American trophy hunters through a petition to list the species as Endangered under the Endangered Species Act, and by advocating tighter regulations governing elephant trophy imports.

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The African lion population has declined by 60 percent since 1993 and there are fewer than 30,000 lions left today. Most of the hunters that kill African lions are American and in the past 10 years, parts of approximately 5,647 lions were imported to the U.S. as trophies. This is why we petitioned the U.S. government to list the African lion under the Endangered Species Act to significantly restrict the import of lion trophies to the United States. Read HSUS and HSI comments on proposed African lion threatened listing.


There are only an estimated 20,170 white rhinos and only approximately 4,880 black rhinos left in the wild. Both species are hunted and imported as trophies into the U.S. The black rhino is one of two of the only species listed as endangered under U.S. law for which trophy imports have been allowed (the other is Bontebok). HSI fights to keep these imports out by appealing to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) to not issue import permits.  Read HSUS and HSI comments on the Black Rhinoceros Trophy Import Permit Applications.


The bontebok is an antelope species listed as endangered under the Endangered Species Act and the population is estimated around 3,500. Bonteboks, like many lions, are hunted in canned hunting facilities. The bontebok, like black rhino, is one of only two endangered species for which trophy imports have been allowed. We have consistently appealed to FWS to not issue import permits.

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