While the threatened and endangered lion populations in Africa continue to dwindle, the Trump Administration has quietly issued more than three-dozen permits to U.S. hunters to bring back body parts – known as trophies—of the threatened species under loosened restrictions, a Friends of Animals investigation has found. Your donation is urgently needed to continue our efforts to stop trophy hunting and save these animals, as well as elephants, leopards and black and white rhinos from extinction. 

Many of the hunters who received the permits are major GOP donors, our work revealed. One hunter, Steven Chancellor, who raised more than $1 million for Republicans at a fundraiser headlined by Trump, was even appointed to the administration’s International Wildlife Conservation Council whose stated goal is to remove barriers to the importation of trophy-hunted animals.

Trophy hunters like Chancellor would like the public to believe that without sport hunting, African governments would not have money for conservation. The gold standard of conservation is reintroduction of orphaned animals, anti-poaching efforts and preventing human/wildlife conflict. While we are hard pressed to find evidence to support that trophy hunting is contributing to any of these things, plenty of data is piling up to show the contrary is true:

A study, “The $200 Million Question: How much does trophy hunting really contribute to African communities?” reveals that a measly 3 percent of expenditures actually goes back to the local communities for conservation or development, yet trophy hunting takes up vast areas of lands.

There are just about 20,000 lions left in the wild and they are facing the biggest challenge yet – an administration that is racing to fling open the gates to hunters to slaughter the world’s most beloved animals so they can mount them on their walls. Donate now to help Friends of Animal’s efforts to protect these threatened and endangered lions as well as all of Africa’s majestic Big 5 species. A donation will not only help support our continuing work to shed light on administrative policies that reward a dwindling number of hunters at the expense of Africa’s Big 5, but our legislation in New York — the biggest port of entry for trophies in the U.S. – that would ban their import. The donation will also enable our Wildlife Law Program to continue its legal efforts to curtail efforts to weaken protections of these species.

Read our story here and check out the links below for coverage of our piece.