For almost 60 years, Friends of Animals has been fighting to ensure that wild animals can live freely—and that means protecting them and the environment in which they live.

Our goal is to end the importation into the U.S. of trophy hunted animals in Africa by 2020, and we believe we can do so with your help.

We are moving forward with getting Cecil’s Law across the finish line on the east and west coasts of the United States. The legislation we drafted, named after the lion Cecil who was illegally shot in Zimbabwe by an American dentist in July of 2015, would ban the importation, possession, sale or transportation of the African Big 5 species or their body parts. And later this month we are bolstering our efforts with a new anti-trophy hunting awareness campaign that will include national print ads and a video. Stay tuned! 

Well-heeled people from many countries travel to Africa to legally trophy hunt endangered and threatened lions, elephants, leopards and black and white rhinos, unfazed by the $11,000 to $150,000 price tags determined by the animal, length of hunt and accommodations. But Americans should be the most ashamed, since they make up the greatest number—particularly in countries where hunting safaris are most expensive.

During the month of July of 2015, when Cecil was killed, U.S. hunters legally killed 69 other lions in Africa for fun who they could mount as trophies back home. In 2015 alone, 405 lion trophies, 67 elephant trophies, and 217 leopard trophies were in imported into the U.S. from Africa.

When asked what he’d say to the American trophy hunter who killed Cecil, conservationist Brent Stapelkamp, who studied Cecil’s pride and was the last person to see him alive, said: “I’d ask him if he truly believes that he had the right to deny the world such an animal? Because he has the money, he thinks the world is there for the taking, illegally or legally.” (maybe this can be used as a pull quote

We can’t ever give up. We can, and will, make a difference together: With legal intervention from Friends of Animals, on Sept. 30, 2016, a D.C. federal judge upheld the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s 2014 decision to ban imports of sport-hunted African elephant trophies from Zimbabwe, striking down a challenge brought by the Safari Club and the National Rifle Association. FoA was one of the first international advocacy organizations to challenge the long-held belief that regulated hunting can be a valuable conservation tool for threatened and endangered animals. The truth is, there is no evidence to show legalized trophy hunting enhances the survival of the species, but there is evidence it fuels illegal poaching.

Start where you are: Educate and be a voice for animals. The truth is, there are more Americans who care about the environment and wildlife than those who don’t, but the ones who support trophy hunting have bigger mouths. Those who silently oppose hunting are creating an environment where trophy hunting can progress unopposed. Write letters and op-eds to newspapers and online publications about why trophy hunting should be extinct, not the African Big 5 species.

Use what you have: Do you have a few hundred friends on Facebook? Share our video with them (follow us on Facebook for updates on the release date) so they too are encouraged to support our anti-trophy hunting efforts and become members of Friends of Animals.

Do what you can: You can make a difference by making a donation to Friends of Animals. It will help fund our anti-trophy hunting campaign so it reaches the broadest audience, and will help us obtain lobbyists who can increase the chances of getting Cecil’s Law passed in the states where it is introduced.