A poll commissioned by the International Fund for Animal Welfare revealed that only 6.6% of Americans would open up their wallets to pay for a trip to hunt lions while 70.4% would be interested in dropping some cash to go on a safari to take pictures of the big cats.
“Americans would much prefer to point and shoot a camera at a lion rather than a gun,” said Jeff Flocken, DC Office Director for IFAW. “More than 95 percent of Americans are opposed to hunting any species in danger of extinction—a problem the African lion is currently facing.”
The results are really not that surprising but unfortunately it only takes a small number of individuals to make a big impact. According to IFAW, lion populations have decreased by nearly 50% over the past 20 years due to retaliatory killings, trophy hunting and commercial trade.
Considering the precipitous drop in the population of the big cats it would make sense to protect the majestic animals and the vast majority of Americans agree.
The same poll revealed “89.8 percent of Americans support the U.S. government in taking actions to prevent trophy hunting of African lions endangered with extinction and 83.4 percent believe that the U.S. government should support international efforts to end the commercial trade of lion products.”
“Despite such strong support in the U.S. for conserving lions, over half of all hunted African lion trophies come to the U.S., and over half of all commercial trade in lion parts occurs here,” said Flocken. “The African lion is quickly being wiped off our planet, yet some Americans still hunt this beautiful animal for fun. These poll results offer reassurance that the overwhelming majority of American people believe the species needs to be protected and that the senseless killing must end.”
Photo Credit: cc: flickr.com/photos/e_phots