U.S. authorities have stated their intention to lift restrictions on imports of elephant and lion trophies
from Zimbabwe and Zambia, leading to public uproar. A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service spokesman attempted to justify the plan by saying that both African countries would be able to use the much-needed revenue from U.S. hunters for conservation purposes. The president changed his mind on the issue at the weekend, indicating that he is skeptical trophy hunting can help the conservation of elephants or any other animal.
A report from the Humane Society of the United States found that while Africa is a hugely popular destination for American trophy hunters
, Canada is actually the number one country for imports. Between 2005 and 2014, over half a million dead animals were imported to the U.S. from Canada, 43 percent of all trophy imports. Canada is attractive because of its proximity to the U.S. and it also has a wide range of wildlife with grizzly bears, moose and mountain lions.
South Africa is well known for its extensive hunting industry and it comes second for U.S. trophy hunting imports. During the same timeframe, 383,982 animals were imported, 32 percent of the total amount. Other countries on the import list include Namibia (six percent) and Mexico, Zimbabwe and New Zealand (four percent each).