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Animal Rights Activists Outraged as Game Hunters Gather in Vegas to Auction ‘Prize’ to Hunt, Kill African Lions, Elephants


Big game hunters who want to kill animals like lions, leopards and elephants are expected in their thousands in Las Vegas this week.

Safari Club International, whose members include the notorious killer of Cecil the lion, are holding four days of “pay to slay” auctions.

Trophy hunters can bid to kill around 600 animals in 32 countries around the world.

Animal rights activists have expressed their outrage.

Items at the auction range from hunting equipment to a trip to New Zealand to kill red stag, starting at $92,000 and a big game safari in Tanzania to kill animals including lions and leopards starting at $85,000.

One description of a leopard hunting trip reads: “Sitting in a blind, your eyes set on the bait, trying to be as quiet as possible and all of a sudden there is movement in the tree at the bait. The sudden arrival of the tom cat is guaranteed to cause hyperventilation and an outbreak of sweat! Method of take is rifle.”

The event is already getting lots of criticism — especially the raffle, where the prize was a bit more than than a bottle of wine. It offered hunters an 18-day safari, including a full lion trophy hunt, or a photography safari.

But after criticism from politicians and wildlife groups around the world, the raffle was called off.

The Safari Club’s website says the organization wants to show “the constructive role that hunting and hunters play in the conservation of biodiversity worldwide.”

It also says the organization’s charitable foundation invests millions of dollars into wildlife conservation and education every year.

But many animal rights organizations don’t believe the club’s ethos.

Speaking to Newsbeat, Eduardo Gonçalves from the League Against Cruel Sports said: “These hunters will tell you it’s to help conservation. Don’t listen to them  — it’s just a cruel and bloodthirsty pastime more suited to the Middle Ages than the 21st century. It is sickening that some people enjoy slaughtering animals just to show off the dead body on their wall at home.”


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