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In years past, hunting, like foraging and gathering, was imperative for the survival of humans. For most of us, that world no longer exists. Today the vast majority of those who hunt do so for sport or recreation. While a sport generally involves two or more consenting parties or groups, that’s far from reality during trophy hunts. For most hunts the prize is the head, skin, horns or tusks of the animal. For others, bragging rights are the goal.

While some who hunt may genuinely believe they’re benefiting the population as a whole and aiding in conservation efforts, that simply isn’t the truth. Many studies show that hunting, including trophy hunting, can at times lead to overpopulation and extremely unbalanced ecosystems. Not to mention human encroachment and hunting is one of the leading causes of extinction, specifically amongst large apex predators.

Many species have been lost due to our own personal agendas. Thankfully, we do have reason to hope for the future. New technology enables conservationists and biologists to survey populations and help aid in their recovery. Meanwhile, organizations on a ground level are busy raising awareness of the plight of these wild animals.

Here are some of the wild animals being hunted, the ridiculous reasons why, and why they need our help.

1. Hippopotamus

The hippopotamus, or river horse, has adapted to life in the rivers and lakes of Africa spending up to 16 hours a day submerged. The primary threat of the hippopotamus is unregulated hunting for their meat and ivory. Despite spending much of their time in the water with only the top of their head visible, the hippo is still a target for hunters shoe often pay tens of thousands of dollars to kill them.

5 Animals People Hunt and the Ridiculous Reasons Why

Bernard Gagnon/Wikimedia Commons

2. Great White Shark

The Great White is hunted, as many other species of sharks are, for their fins. One hundred million sharks are caught every year only to have their fins cut off. They are then abruptly thrown back into the water. Finning is done so shark fin soup, a delicacy thought to have healing qualities in certain countries, can be made. This inhumane practice is an almost certain death for the sharks as they often starve to death, are eaten by other marine animals or drown. The white shark is also hunted for sport and despite the hunting of these creatures being declared illegal in several countries the practice still remains.

5 Animals People Hunt and the Ridiculous Reasons Why

Shark Diver/Wikimedia Commons

3. African Lion

The African Lion is fast on its way to becoming an endangered species. Despite their populations being cut in half since the 1950s, it’s still legal to sport hunt them for trophy prizes. Aside from hunting wild lions, the process of canned hunting is also an extremely lucrative business in Africa. Some lions are purchased and brought to the game ranches. Others are cubs reared by humans only to be eventually released and hunted down in an enclosed area. Being trapped in a confined area, this type of hunting guarantees a kill for the paying customer.

5 Animals People Hunt and the Ridiculous Reasons Why

Ken Stansell/Wikimedia Commons

4. Asian and African Elephant

Both species of elephant have had their populations decimated by poachers and hunters in recent years. Aside from safari hunts, the black market trade of elephant tusks continues to grow as the demand for ivory increases despite having legislation in place since the 1990s. On safari, the hunters are often joined by professional trackers, once the animal is located it is killed at close range with a high caliber weapon.

5 Animals People Hunt and the Ridiculous Reasons Why

Gary Stolz/Wikimedia Commons

5. Black Rhino

The Black Rhino has made headlines this year after the Dallas Safari Club auctioned off a permit to kill one of the only estimated 5,000 left in the wild. Between 1970 and 1992, 96 percent of the black rhino population was killed for their horns, leaving them with a critically endangered status. While the rhino horn is a delicacy and a status symbol in Vietnam, the Chinese believe it can help with a multitude of health problems.  Like most animals hunted for a specific part of their body, if they don’t die immediately the rhino is often left to die after their horns are hacked or sawed off.

Hunting is NOT Conservation.

Although the means in which these animals are killed and why they’re killed varies, one constant remains: their lives end for personal enjoyment or profit. Sport hunting is, at best, a friendly name given to an inhumane act in an attempt to make it seem socially acceptable and fair.

What can YOU do? It is our job to be stewards for the future, continue to spread the word and keep advocating for those species in peril.

Lead image source: Wikimedia Commons

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21 comments on “5 Animals People Hunt and the Ridiculous Reasons Why”

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Jade
2 Months Ago

so unrealistic Mike and Brian are right


Reply
Adriana Arias O
2 Years Ago

:'(


Reply
Narmi Reynoso
2 Years Ago

:(


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Jon
2 Years Ago

Mike and Brian have it right. The rest of you, especially the authors of the article, are so pathetically out of touch, it boggles the mind.


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tj
2 Years Ago

Extremely naïve article with little understanding the eco system.


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Gertie
2 Years Ago

I\'m sorry, hunting is hunting. Let\'s not sugar coat it by saying , it\'s ok for scientist to hunt or ok for trophy hunters to hunt because the proceeds go to the conservation of an animal species. I\'d rather see a live rhino, even if he\'s not able to breed or whatever reason, than dead and defenitely one less rhino from the meager numbers they have right now. Let\'s not justify our actions but truly do something to save a lot of wild animals that are fast leaving us because of our senseless ways and greed. It\'s hippocratic for America to say they care for these animals when they\'re the once who approve these senseless killing and profit from it. It needs to stop right now.


Reply
Kirsten Lassen-Smith
2 Years Ago

With 52% wildlife gone extinct since 1970, why are we still allowing these bloody savages to destroy our fragile ecosystems and species biodiversity, crucial to the survival of Planet Ocean? Evolve human animals, we are simply running out of time! https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=-lP3eFK_ZBw


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E Mikan
12 Dec 2014

90 % of these so called ,hunters, are not real hunters.
They may know how to shot they do not hunt , theY slaughter these animals long distance!!!!
50% 0f the world\'s wildlife has gone extinct since 1950!!!!
U S ARMY VETERAN & FORMER EMPLOYEE , FIELD MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY - CHICAGO

Christopher Palos
06 Mar 2017

You have no proof of that statement! While a lot of wildlife had been lost over the years, that was not because of legitimate hunting. It happend because of loss of habitat and illigal and unsustainable hunting. Hunting has actually helped many species that were facing extinction...

Brian
2 Years Ago

This entire article is nothing but self-serving statements with no facts to back them up. If you want to seriously end senseless slaughter of animals, confront the Asian countries on their insatiable demand for ivory. And, for the record, the rhino tag that was auctioned off was only valid for one of a handful of male rhinos- not just any rhino that the hunter came across- that were no longer capable of breeding, and were actually preventing other rhinos from breeding and growing the population. Those rhinos were going to be killed by the scientists protecting the herd anyway, so instead of killing them for nothing, they auctioned the tag with the proceeds going to anti-poaching and wildlife conservation. It\'s fine to not like the idea of hunting, but if you\'re going to do so, please get your facts straight, or at least provide them in the first place.


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Kris Griffin
2 Years Ago

Complete and total JERKS!!!


Reply
jayde
22 Feb 2017

I AGREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

John Long
2 Years Ago

But how can I truly call myself a MAN until I kill peaceful animal from a hundred yards away with a high-powered rifle (or alternately, a lion that was raised from a cub in an African petting zoo, that I can walk right up to, without alarming before blowing it away).


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