860 animal lives on offer at trophy hunters’ Reno convention; elephants, wolves, leopards and black bears in peril

By on January 31, 2020 with 83 Comments

Next Wednesday, trophy hunters with a yen for slaying some of the world’s most endangered and threatened animals will gather in Reno, Nevada, for the annual Safari Club International convention.

This is perhaps one of the world’s largest such gatherings, and it’s a grim affair. On offer will be more than 300 trophy hunts here in the United States and abroad, with starting bids ranging from $1,650 to $100,000 each. By the time the convention wraps up on Feb. 8, at least 860 animals, including black bears, wolves, leopards and elephants, will be condemned to die.

Peddling off one of those animal lives will be Donald Trump, Jr., a trophy hunter himself who was recently in the news for killing an argali sheep, an animal protected under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, during a trip to Mongolia. Trump Jr. will auction off a black-tailed deer hunt in Alaska for a starting bid of $17,000.

The convention is expected to rake in $5 million for the SCI. Meanwhile, the methods of killing trophy hunters employ are becoming more gruesome every year. Among the vendors at the convention this year is HHK Safaris, which describes itself as “Africa’s largest safari operator.” This outfitter has been the subject of recent media coverage for shooting leopards in the legs ahead of time so trophy hunters can go in and make a certain kill: a practice known as “kneecapping”.

At last year’s convention, vendors offering captive-bred lion hunts hawked the majestic animals as if they were pieces of furniture. The price of a lion hunt was largely determined by the size of the animal and his mane, ranging from “budget” to “deluxe.” One attendee bragged that he and his children participated in a canned hunt, killing a lion within 90 minutes. A hunt operator attempting to make a sale offered to bait lions with meat ahead of the trophy hunter’s arrival, to save time.

Trophy hunters often hold out the false claim that their work helps wildlife conservation and local people. Nothing could be further from the truth. Studies show that hardly any of the money from trophy hunting actually trickles down to local people in the range nations. And the rarer the animal, the more trophy hunters prize it, which means they often end up decimating populations of animals that are already struggling to survive. Our analysis of SCI’s “Record Book” for 2015 showed SCI members have killed mindboggling numbers of endangered and at-risk animals, including at least 2,007 African lions, 1,888 African leopards, 791 African elephants and 572 critically endangered black rhinos, among other animals.

People around the globe are increasingly becoming aware of this needless killing of the world’s precious wildlife and are voicing their objection. Recently we reported how an SCI chapter in Calgary, Canada, was forced to call off its planned auction of the first elephant trophy hunt in Botswana in seven years following local protests. Trump Jr.’s trophy hunt of the argali sheep was met with shock by large numbers of Americans and HSUS and HSI have urged the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to not allow the import of that trophy. Last week, music group REO Speedwagon pulled out of their scheduled performance at the SCI convention (the Beach Boys and Charlie Daniels are still scheduled to perform).

These are promising signs for our cause, and it is also encouraging that attendance at the convention has been dwindling year after year. In a world in which a million species are fast disappearing because of direct exploitation, climate change, habitat loss and poaching, no one has the patience anymore to indulge trophy hunters and their killing of wildlife for fun.

[Register now for our Taking Action for Animals Conference at our advance registration rate! Use code BLOG10 for an additional $10 discount.]

Humane Society International, Wildlife/Marine Mammals

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  1. Andrea Leone says:

    This is disgusting. The men and women who trophy hunt are low lifes. Killing for kicks should be punishable by law.

  2. David Bernazani says:

    To all “trophy” “hunters”:
    I use quotation marks because you are not hunters and the animals you kill are not trophies. A trophy is something you win by being good at something; you are good at nothing but wasting money in the most astonishingly stupid and useless way possible. And you are not hunters; you are chauffeured in Range Rovers from your hotel out to the animals where you get out and stand next to them, usually while they’re peacefully eating the vegetation or waking up from a nap. And you shoot them. How brave of you. How heroic. You must be so proud.
    You are not a hunter and never will be. I’m talking to you, Donald Trump Junior. And you, Ted Nugent. And Jimmy John, and Walter Palmer, and all the rest of you morons who seem to think you’re in the 19th century and that it’s still okay to mindlessly just kill whatever you want, no matter how endangered the species is.
    All animals ask is that we leave them alone. And you can’t even do that. You spend a hundred grand to fly all the way to Africa or Asia or wherever, bringing your stupidly expensive rifle and think that you’re Teddy Roosevelt or Ernest Hemingway.
    I have news: you’re not. You’re just a rich, self-absorbed scumbag who’s too stupid to think of a way to spend your money that would actually help the world. Or at the very least, shoot photos, not guns that take away a precious life that the rest of us value as they are, not for their skin or other body parts.
    I have one bit of advice: make your next trip to Oz, to see the Wizard, because you lack a heart, a brain, and courage. Travel or stay home, but leave the animals alone.

  3. Alan Alejandro Maldonado Ortiz says:

    No es posible que esto siga pasando que muchos animales mueren sólo por diversión y todavía los ocupen como trofeo

  4. Sally Moore says:

    Any person That kills an animal as a trophy is cruel and evil. This should never be allowed. I can’t believe this is legal. I believe in karma and one day these people will suffer. All animals are God’s creatures. God will see they suffer.

  5. Sonia Rego says:

    How about changing it from a trophy hunting club to the best wildlife photo club? Animals look so much better alive and doing what comes naturally to them rather than dead and lying in a pool of blood for some persons misguided ego.

  6. Sara Tucker says:

    End trophy hunting!!!

  7. Darlene Sattler says:

    My heart and soul is in this fight to stop these men from mass slaughters.
    These beautiful animals that just want to continue living their lives with their mates and cubs. I want to fight the big fight to stop this mass slaughter if it means going through the government or whatever needs to be done just to stop this as soon as possible. All these animals are at risk of extinction. Something needs to be done quickly. This goes farther than just organized groups winning trophies for these killings. These animals are being killed from people that live within Africa.
    IT NEEDS TO STOP!!! It’s so sad to think of these beautiful animals living with targets on their backs. We need to be the voice for these animals.

  8. Susan Cotsworth says:

    I just can’t find the right words for such horrific acts. Breaks my heart. There is something very wrong with people who consider killing defenseless animals a sport. And it is even more wrong that it is allowed.

  9. Lynda Lee says:

    This is NOW getting out of hand. Beautiful animals are being slaughtered for some1s SICK pleasure. Wish some1 powerful would step in and step up to Stop this NOW

  10. ANita Scanlon says:

    Please, stop this atrocity!

    • Donna says:

      Yes… we need to put an end to these atrocities…killing these beautiful animals for “ sport”…so very SAD that these so called” hunters”…get pleasure out of this inhumane action… shameful…they should be punished 🤬🤬

  11. Ifat peled says:

    We should deal with our death instinct through awareness and not by killing other animals!!!

  12. Paul says:

    I`m going to Tweet DT Jr. and see if he will change his mind..

  13. Zana Staniskovska says:

    This is cruel, barbaric behaviour and it needs to stop! Specially in this century. We must fight these trophy hunters! Urge them to stop the barbaric practice. If we aloud them to continue, many animal species will be extinct. People who are against this kind of cruelty must be present during the hunters brutal activities, to prevent them from killing more animals.

  14. Mike pentland says:

    Stupid horrible cowards

  15. Leslie Williams says:

    Vile, Evil Sadism against innocent animals! PLEASE END THIS IMMEDIATELY!!

  16. Luis pessoa says:

    Stop this…

  17. Edon Copparini says:

    Please stop the trophy hunting! There is no place for that barbaric “sport” to continue.

  18. Didi Magnin says:

    I find these subhumans revolting !

  19. sandi boyce says:

    what is wrong with this pic everything im very sad right mnow please please help these poor babys

  20. Donna Hawkins says:

    This wanton sale of bloodshed reminds me of Ancient Greece or Rome! Absolutely barbaric! I cannot believe this is legal in our country! Trump running it !, that I believe ! This needs to stop now!

  21. Elizabeth Greenwood says:

    Truly horrible to kill these beautiful animals.

  22. Lesley Tonna says:

    Trophy hunting is incredibly inhumane and horrific. It is not for survival/to put food on the table. It’s rather for the elite wealthy who have nothing better to do and don’t even realize the consequences of taking a precious life such as the lives of these amazing species. The lack of compassion for other species, flora and fauna alike, is killing our planet as a whole. What these people don’t understand is that we are interdependent; we need these species to survive. We are just a small part of the web of life, yet we are continually destroying it.
    Please stop, trophy hunters, it is not you who should decide an animal’s fate; wake up and open your hearts with compassion and empathy. Live gently on this earth, be respectful to our fellow inhabitants and care about one another…

  23. Catherine says:

    Man is the only one to whom the torture and death of his fellow-creatures is amusing in itself.
    ~ James Anthony Froude ~
    Shame on them.

  24. Lili Castillo says:

    Absurd. Unacceptable. It’s a massacre. It’s abominable.

  25. Suzy says:

    This is one the most Disgusting inhuman horrible deplorable a human could do to an animal. I hope they all rot in hell.

  26. Lili kasstle says:

    It’s absolutely pathetic s country like the US whose freedom for all is what it’s all about could still have citizens exploiting and destroying this land that took every single immigrant in who came in ship’s to find a home and to see this atrocity happening is entirely proposterous.

  27. Jennifer Bavarskas says:

    I hope you can fight the good fight Humane Society. These animals do not deserve this!

  28. Patricia Aldrich says:

    I can’t stand the slaughtering of these beautiful animals! I could never kill a beautiful lion like this. Those of us who agree need to do more to make this abomination illegal! Why is it taking so long? Do we have ANY politicians out there who would be willing to take on the challenge? Please step forward and keep these beautiful animals alive and well. I’ll vote for you and so will many others!

  29. C.T. says:

    I don’t understand why this has been going on for many years and more and more animals are being subjected to these stupid conservation theory’s. People must realize that MOST of these countries are 3rd world countries who really have NO concern for their WILDLIFE, and will allow any one who’s waving money around to come and kill whatever they want. Also all you have to do is compare have many SPECIES have come under endangered, threaten, or just extinct status from say 20 years ago, that it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that it is NONSENSE. You don’t save any SPECIES by selling, paying, or raffling the heads of ANIMALS TO SAVE THEM. People who hunt DO NOT CARE about WILDLIFE, they will tell you oh we SAVE WILDLIFE BECAUSE WE BUY A LICENSE, that goes to conservation, YEAH RIGHT they could care less, they are in DENIAL or just IDIOTS, they LOVE the KILL, the HIGH, ITS LIKE A DRUG. and all these agencies, clubs, and conservation people need to be STOPPED before there is NO WILDLIFE except the HUMAN SPECIES TO HUNT. I would LOVE to think that there might just be some WILDLIFE left for everyone who believes that WILDLIFE should be left just as it means WILD for all to ENJOY and SEE IN THE WILD.

  30. Alex Harrocks says:

    Have respect for other living beings, take time out to watch them and see they have fear pain and a right to be alive as much as you

  31. Annette wessberg says:

    Love animals
    Don’t kill them

  32. Debra Blasus says:

    I am still Appaled this is allowed after so much to stop this unnecessary death of animals that are already in danger. Shame..Shame..Just for a braging trophy..one day the animal get this hunters and serves them right.. Hunters Be The Hunted..

  33. Nick Spinelli says:

    An animal is not a trophy, it is a living creature put here on this earth by God above. We have no right to kill and animal for a hide, a head, a paw, a tusk or any other part of the animal to display or make useless medicines or potions from them. These are majestic creatures that without our help will have a very dark future. Simply put, man is a a destructive force and we need to stop and take a look around and see what our actions or lack there of are doing to this planet, which does not belong to us. Wake up world.

  34. Jan Graveson says:

    This is not acceptable.

    Not in this age and with the current circumstances … And not ever!!

  35. Dean Golberry says:

    This is rediculous and disgusting. Almost every one of those animals taste terrible, no matter how thier cooked.

  36. Francklin Engelbrecht says:

    What do they get out of it, killing animals, hunting is not a sport in sport both players must know that they are participating

  37. Ana Morris says:

    May those taking part suffer and die quickly before they can murder anymore of OUR wildlife. They must be recognized by society as sick perverts. If not we will all pay the price. We have to fight to prevent this.

  38. J Burnside says:

    I hunted when I was kid and even as a young adult- mostly waterfowl and pheasant.Never really had a taste for killing. Even though we would eat whatever we hunted.
    You gotta be mentally deranged to kill for sport and trophies. Sick,sick,sick

  39. Jack says:

    WOW!!! Must take a lot of courage for cowards like these to hunt down and kill a frightened, helpless animal. Just once I would love to see one of these chicken sh*ts be attacked and torn to shreds by their prey. KUDOS to you… losers!! ALL of you… your day is coming!!

  40. Winnie Soukup says:

    Stop killing our animals. We will be judged for the pain, torcher and loss of life of these beautiful animals.

  41. Jennifer Fife says:

    This is just sooo wrong!😭

  42. John says:

    The only thing factual in the above article is the Convention is being held in Reno.

  43. Bee openshaw says:

    If 5 people attend, it’s still happening, very regretfully. I am so happy RE0 cancelled their performance and Botswana, who has for years been steadfast in it’s anti trophy hunting stance, was cancelled. Now that silly little Trump Jnr needs to be straightened out, fiercely.

  44. Mona O’Brien says:

    Killing other living beings for fun is wrong. Please STOP this cruel meaningless hunting.

  45. Jane Silverman says:

    Please support ending this idiotic “trophy” killing! It serves only to salve the fragile egos of people like DJT jr. Save these magnificent animals!

  46. Janet Harmon says:

    Trophy hunting must be banned. Entitled white men are really criminals if they trophy hunt. Wildlife conservation means caring for animals and preserving habitat

    • Gary Reick says:

      I agree that the hunting should be stopped
      But who says it is only
      Euro-americans that are doing it

      All races and nationality have bad people that think they are more entitled than others,
      Who do you think are the guides??
      Please keep about stopping unessary killing of animals by all types of people

  47. Caroline Mary Beardsley says:

    Disgusting leave the precious animals alone.many species are now extinct! Save what we have!stop these murderous blood thirsty psychopaths forever!!!,🤮🤮🤮


    These facts are false and the point of view is skewed without research. Please read up ilon somewhere other than facebook before righting article about this topic.

  49. Joanne says:

    Stop this cruelty

  50. Shirley Blades says:

    Donald Trump Jr should be locked up for what he is doing! Anyone wanting to kill those animals are worse than any criminal in prison for life! There are to many people who want that thrill of taking a life of a prized animal who has a right to be here just as the person killing it.

  51. Shirley Blades says:

    Please help stop this cruelty and killing of animals wild and tame. They all deserve to live just as the people who are killing them. The wild horses are being taken across the border to Mexico and Canada for slaughter. These people who are doing this are no better than the prisoners that have killed humans. Why not shut the border to any truck hauling horses to slaughter? He….Trump….did for the people who was looking for a safe place from killers.

  52. Zelda van Loggerenberg says:

    Huge fines should be given out to perpetrators and trophy hunting should be banned all together, it is disgusting and inhumane, humans mess everything up

  53. etienne vregord says:

    The animals on earth are nearly extinct of in nature or rainforests that pyromans are to blame and, and Manysias are they cuting down the rainforests favor of the dangerous palm oil, the animals are almost gone there. The Trophy hunters must be stopped, the animal kingdom need to catch up before it’s to late.
    Presidents and ministers of the world who have not brain to understand which catastrophic situation it is on the earth, will annihilate us humans if this is not stopped immediately….Trophy Hunting must in heaven name be stopped…

  54. Susan Laatsch says:

    WHY do grown men (& some women) Have to KILL ANIMALS ??
    WHY ? Men who Do This are Cruel, Wicked, & just want people to think How great they are….
    when all they are is
    wonder How they treat their wives ?? !!
    Decent, Grown Mature men will show Kindness to animals.

  55. Leelen Myers says:

    Please stop the barbaric slaughter of innocent and endangered animals. It is a dispical and cruel hobby that has no place anywhere

  56. Julie OSteen says:

    I’ve had it with these losers just because they’re spoiled little Uber Rich boys does it mean that they should be allowed to go out and kill anything they want to. What’s next children? And I’m sure they’ve had discussions about killing children if they could. And stuffing them and putting them in their gold living room. These people don’t live normal lives like the rest of us in the world do. They’ve never experience what it’s like to work day today and work for a living. All they do is get to kill whatever they want and get whatever they want. The next thing you’ll hear about is that they want to go to the moon. And I’m sure they’ll make that happenLet these poor animals live their lives the way that they should be live free. Away from humans and their stupid cowardly guns. It’s so sick they are sick and I am sick of this I will be posting this on every bit of my social media that I have I have over 100,000 customers in my database I’ve been in business for 25 years and everyone will know about this

  57. Janet Roderick says:

    I am convinced that “trophy hunters” would be serial killers if they had the guts. Sad to think there are worse people than Ted Bundy living among us, proudly displaying their kills.

  58. vickisamos says:

    I agree. We shd only kill for food and that is humanely. Animals are the real humans. Humans are so greedy, callous and cold hearted. Animals are more advanced. How dare you torture any animals. They are more superior and classy than you. Humans are cruel. Tormenting sadists. Pull up. Where’s your relating and empathy. Stop these murderers

  59. Jag says:

    Is anyone going to Reno to protest against this convention?

  60. Richard Hudson says:

    I would really like to say, what I feel. But, I go a little insane when I comment on scrum bags. I’ve been a big animal lover all my life. I just wish we had strict laws to protect these magnificent animals. I know we probably do but, it’s not enough. One day we’ll look around and they’ll all be gone.

  61. Patty Swartz says:

    The message about you not “hunting” is correct. You are not eating these animals. You are killing flat out killing and try to justify it.
    Be aware wether you believe it or not “WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND, you are no exception to this rule of life.

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