Cecil the lion murdered: End trophy hunting now!

Hunters kill lions for “sport”, keeping their heads and skins as macabre trophies. (© flickr / merajchhaya (CC BY 2.0))
110,562 supporters

End of campaign: Oct 15, 2015

Hunters are responsible for the barbaric killing of thousands of animals in Africa. Yet the United States and the EU still permit the import of animal parts as trophies. Please call on them to protect animals by banning trophy imports. It’s time to put an end to this perverse “sport”!

Call to action

To: US President Barack Obama and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker

Hunting tourists are responsible for the pointless killings of thousands of endangered animals in Africa. This barbaric “sport” has got to stop.

Read letter

In July, a US hunter killed Cecil, Zimbabwe’s iconic black-maned lion. Two helpers used bait to lure him out of the safety of Hwange National Park. The hunter initially shot Cecil with a bow and arrow. The lion then suffered for over 40 hours before the hunter succeeded in killing him. The carcass was found skinned and headless, and the hunters had unsuccessfully tried to destroy Cecil’s GPS collar. Experts fear that Cecil’s death will trigger a further bloodbath as the new alpha male kills Cecil’s cubs to ensure the success of his own line.

The hunter, who paid $55,000 to shoot the lion, says that the kill was legal and that his local helpers had obtained all the necessary permits. The helpers, however, have since been arrested. The hunter himself will not have to answer for his deed in Zimbabwe or the United States.

The African lion is classed as vulnerable, and its population has plummeted to a mere 32,000 – a drop of 42 percent over the past 21 years. In West Africa, lions are critically endangered. Lions suffer from dwindling habitat, a lack of prey and indiscriminate killing by ranchers seeking to protect livestock. “Canned hunting”, in which lions are bred for the sole purpose of being killed by rich tourists, is a particularly ugly phenomenon.

The US and EU indirectly aid trophy hunting by allowing the import of animal parts from many vulnerable and endangered species. Every year, hunters import around 200 lion trophies to Europe, while around 300 are imported to the United States.

Please call on US President Barack Obama and European Commission President Juncker to prohibit the import of trophies of all vulnerable and endangered species without exception.

Trophy hunting has got to stop – there is no excuse for such barbarism in the 21st century.

Letter

To: US President Barack Obama and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker

Dear Mr. President,

Dear Mr. Commission President,

Every year, thousands of vulnerable and endangered animals are killed for “sport” in Africa by tourists from the United States and Europe. Many return home with the heads, skins and teeth of animals as trophies.

The recent killing of Zimbabwe’s iconic lion Cecil by a US trophy hunter shocked and saddened people the world over. Local helpers had used bait to lure the lion out of the safety of Hwange National Park and into the hunter’s sights.

While his helpers have been arrested, the US hunter cannot be held accountable because the import of lion trophies is legal. The EU does not have a complete ban in place.

The IUCN classifies the African lion as vulnerable, and its population has plummeted to a mere 32,000 – a drop of 42 percent in only 21 years. In West Africa, lions are considered critically endangered.

The killing of lions and other animals for trophies is morally unacceptable. Please help combat this barbaric activity by completely banning the import of hunting trophies from vulnerable and endangered species.

Kind regards,