At Dallas Safari Club convention, rhinos, elephants and bears are among hundreds of wild animals on offer for a thrill kill

By Kitty Block and Sara Amundson

By on February 8, 2021 with 11 Comments

The annual Dallas Safari Club convention is a sickening display of the havoc American trophy hunters wreak year after year on the world’s wildlife, with their penchant for killing endangered and at-risk animals. The pandemic has forced the 2021 convention to move online this year, but that doesn’t mean it has become any less deadly.

At the convention, which begins Wednesday, the lives of hundreds of wild, rare and exotic animals will be on offer. Trophy hunters looking for a thrill kill and for heads and hides to decorate their living rooms can pay to mow down animals including elephants in Zimbabwe, brown bears and black bears in Alaska and leopards in Namibia.

Canned lion hunts, where the hunter kills an animal trapped in an enclosure, are also on offer, despite the DSC’s purported opposition to captive-bred lion hunts—opposition the group reiterated as recently as November 2020.

Our staff did a detailed and in-depth analysis of the auctions donated by outfitters and exhibitors at the convention this year. Following are some of their findings:

  • On offer are 183 hunting auctions donated by outfitters that will lead to the killing of at least 205 animals in 24 countries.
  • The most expensive international auction item is a $70,000, 10-day hunt of desert bighorn sheep in Mexico followed by a $50,150 leopard hunt in Namibia and a $42,500 ibex hunt in Spain.
  • The most expensive U.S. auction item is a 10-day hunt for a brown bear in Alaska valued at $52,850.
  • Trophy hunters can also bid on elephant hunts in Namibia, Zimbabwe and Zambia, a giraffe hunt in South Africa, brown bear and black bear hunts in Russia, and a wolf hunt in Canada.
  • Items like firearms, apparel made of beaver, mink and lynx fur, Swarovski Optik equipment such as a riflescope, and an $80,000 diamond necklace are up for auction as well.

Altogether, these items on auction are expected to generate $3.5 million in revenue for DSC.

Additionally, there will be 849 exhibitors at the convention, including 351 hunting outfitters who will together offer hunting packages to kill at least 319 species in 70 countries. These include:

  • Polar bears, cheetahs, wild sheep and monkeys.
  • Packages to kill the “African Big Five”—elephants, rhinos, lions, leopards and Cape buffalo—and the “Tiny Ten”—small African antelope species, some under eight pounds.
  • Canned lion hunts in South Africa, offered by 39 South African exhibitors. Most, if not all of those, are likely captive-bred lions.
  • Sixteen canned hunts of exotic and native species in the United States are also up for auction.
  • Canned puma hunts in Argentina, which have been extremely controversial locally. Advocates’ exposés show the pumas are kept in cages, drugged and transported to the hunting reserve before being released and killed by a trophy hunter.
  • Rhino trophy hunts in South Africa, including critically endangered black rhinos. This comes on the heels of a recent announcement by the South African government that its rhino population is being decimated, with the rhino population in Kruger National Park dropping by a mindboggling 70 percent over the last decade. South African National Parks, which overseas Kruger, auctions off black rhino trophy bulls to hunting concessions, including DSC exhibitors.

There is something terribly wrong with an organization whose members think it’s fun to kill rare and beautiful animals who are fast disappearing from earth. Unfortunately, trophy hunting is a multi-million-dollar commercial enterprise that continues to survive because it is the preserve of a handful of people with friends in high places. Most Americans do not support trophy hunting, however, and with your support we are working on so many fronts to stop it: through legislation, in the courts, and by raising awareness through investigations and analyses like this one. It is alarming that even a global pandemic has not succeeded in reducing the bloodthirst of these trophy hunters. But we continue to be vigilant and we will keep the spotlight firmly turned on these craven goings-on until they end for good.

Sara Amundson is president of the Humane Society Legislative Fund.

Humane Society International, Public Policy (Legal/Legislative), Wildlife/Marine Mammals

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  1. Alan Alejandro Maldonado Ortiz says:

    Esto tiene que acabar ya no más violencia sólo por diversión qué clase de civilización somos ya no más violencia

  2. Patty Fitzpatrick says:

    Somehow we need to stop these people. These people are cowards who don’t understand what true conservation is.

  3. Sylvia Lewis says:

    Knowing these depraved practices still occur is tough to even acknowledge. Reading this account makes me sick to my stomach. How, in God’s name can this barbaric practice still be allowed in these United States? I still have the photo of the D. Trump sons proudly grinning and holding up the dead body of a magnificent leopard which they had just killed at one of the “Fun hunts” where they paid to get themselves a “trophy”. That is as vile an activity as I can imagine and anyone participating in such murderous “games” should be imprisoned for murder. So long as the society continues to allow persons to satisfy their blood lust….these horrific killings will go on. Civilized America? i think not.

    • June Hooper says:

      Totally agree with this person ,but how can we go about stopping this monsterous crime all over the world happening ever again

  4. Jeane Camargo da Silva says:

    Sinto-me enojada em saber que pessoas se divertem e outras enriquecem às custas do sofrimento e da vida de outros seres vivos. Que mérito há em caçar um animal inocente e que não tem como se defender? Para mim, não passam de covardes que precisam se autoafirmar às custas de um troféu.

  5. Jacqui collins says:

    Absolute disgrace, this is appalling why would anyone with an ounce of decency want to kill an innocent animal and put it on a wall or as a floor mat, l think this is disgusting and l hope Calma comes to bite.😤

  6. Michele says:

    This is sick…Barbaric and all should be removed and given proper buriel

  7. Jeffrey L Widell MD says:

    I recall being both sickened, heartbroken and angered as a young boy growing up in long Island when I first became aware of trophy hunting. I am now 63 years old and only more troubled by the circular corruption of it all. It will take a monumental grass roots effort to make this go away .
    Hard core economic sanctions and penalties at the international level
    Economic Boycotts at the corporate level
    raising awareness at every opportunity at the local level.
    we need to be creative but not offensive. In my opinion these narcissistic folks thrive on the direct criticism.we express against them.
    We need to move forward with ideas…
    Agreeing that this is terrible in not enough!
    Jeff W.

  8. Jane Marley says:

    Some people are so ego orientated and heartless. I wish them really bad luck in there lives. Time they woke up to how fragile our world and nature is. Its a rotten world for animals all they want is to be left alone and LIVE. Shame on all those rich people in America and the world who enjoy killing.


    How sad & it never stops. So many people void of caring for others & they suffer & suffer. How do humans live with themselves. Cross furs off your list. All these animals want their lives & should have them.

  10. Maggie says:

    It’s the most frustrating when they’re killing off so much endangered species. One stand had a full on black rhino on it. I can imagine they would say “We didn’t do anything illegal” or “It’s actually a white rhino”. You wanna know how it was a black rhino? Primarily from characteristics like pointy lips, and small, tuba shaped ears. Mind you, while their population is increasing, they are critically endangered. It just proves these horrid people don’t care at the slightest about conservation. They only want money and attention.

    It isn’t conservation anyway. Their very start to downfall, started with humans killing them. Killing them more won’t help anything. Apparently, they say if one rhino gets hunted, they themselves will make efforts to save another rhino. But I ask how that would work. If you kill one rhino, and leave another alone, you aren’t increasing the population. It’s just going to go full circle over and over, with no change to the already dying population.

    In fact, it would actually do the exact opposite they’re trying to do. Because more trophy hunters would get money for killing one rhino, so they can use that money to “save” another rhino, but the problem is, there would be more killing of rhinos that would be shot be even more trophy hunters than rhinos that would be saved. By the time they would try to protect more, vast areas would be gone. But they would also probably say, “but we’re decreasing the population sense carnivores aren’t there”. Oh wait, you guys killed all of the carnivores too. If you didn’t shoot down all of the carnivores, we wouldn’t be in this population mess. Now go find your brain. And I doubt that money is actually going into saving endangered animals anyway.

    There are a couple aspects of trophy hunting that can be good for populations of animals. Like normal hunting. But it’s being greatly misused far more than it’s being used responsibly. The mindset of trophy hunting is definitely the problem. People in this sport care much more about money, and putting a head on the wall. Not about the actual conservation, and responsibility of properly helping the population and certain species that are over-populated. Those people are trash, and need to go. And industries definitely need to work on giving actually responsible people lisences to hunt. Not ones with a horrible mindset that probably shouldn’t 10 feet within anything, But unfortunately they don’t seem to care about that. Which is of course just pathetic and sad.

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