We couldn’t think of a better way to mark Endangered Species Day than to share the news that the Big Five African Trophies Act, which Friends of Animals drafted, passed the Connecticut Senate 32-4. This brings the state one step closer to being the first in the nation to ban the importation, sale, possession and transportation of giraffes, lions leopards, elephants and rhinos and their body parts in Connecticut.

All of these species are vulnerable, threatened and endangered. The legislation, co-sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff and state Rep. Brenda Kupchick, now heads to the House.

It is also moving through the legislature in New York.

“Elephants, lions, leopards, rhinoceroses and giraffes are beautiful animals,” said Duff. “It is not sporting or acceptable in today’s society to ambush and murder these amazing creatures. African nations are working to protect these species from extinction and this bill is a small step we can take to help them. As long as people are willing to pay large sums of money for the experience of killing one of these beautiful creatures, there is little they can do to put a complete stop to it. With this bill we are trying to do our part to put any end to these activities.”

“Friends of Animals is grateful to the Connecticut Senate, led by Bob Duff, for voting to stop supporting the useless trophy hunting industry that is pushing giraffes, lions, leopards, elephants and rhinos to extinction,” said Priscilla Feral, President of Friends of Animals. “As soon as you put a price tag on these threatened, vulnerable and endangered animals, you send a mixed message about whether they need to be protected at all, and that’s detrimental to actual conservation. Shooting animals full of bullets does not increase their population or expand their habitat. Trophy hunters are just poachers with permits.”