New Delhi: The dismal condition of wildlife in the world gets more pitiful as more reports of animal poaching and hunting pour in.
The latest to do the rounds are some statistical figures that show the amount of animals that are killed and exported across borders as trophies.
According to the report, the last decade has witnessed approximately 1.7 million animal “trophies” being exported across borders by hunters, with at least 200,000 of them being endangered species.
The report also declares the United States of America as harbouring the largest population of trophy hunters, who are also responsible for killing half of all the 11,000 lions that were shot in the last decade.
The issue of 'trophied' animals and trophy hunting grabbed headlines after a US dentist paid over $50,000 to kill a lion called Cecil, who was being tracked by conservation scientists.
In its report, courtesy the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), it was found that the number of lions killed for trophies climbed up to over 1,500 per year, while the number of elephants rose up to more than 1,600 in the last decade itself.
Philip Mansbridge, director of IFAW, UK, told The Guardian that, “The trophy-hunting industry is driven by demand and, sadly, demand for animal trophies is prevalent worldwide. Even in the face of extinction, imperilled species are still being hunted every day in order to serve as the centre piece of someone’s decor. It is unconscionable in this modern day where species are under so many threats to survive.”
Elephants, lions and leopards are included in the list of top six targets for trophy hunters, with the most popular target being the American Black Bear, 93,000 of which were hunted in the last decade, while the Hartmann’s mountain zebra came a close second, amounting to 13,000.
Baboons and hippopotamuses were also hunted by trophy hunters.
As per the IFAW, the biggest sources of trophy animals were Canada (35%), due to the many black bears killed, followed by South Africa (23%) and Namibia (11%).
The Guardian further reported that, after the US, hunters from Germany and Spain take the most animal trophies home, with about 10,000 entering each country over the last decade. The UK imported less than 500 over the same period, but Mansbridge is still calling on its government to follow France and other countries and ban the practice.