In March of 2015, Australia become the first nation ever to ban the practice of importing lion trophies that were killed and stuffed by foreign hunters.
“These new rules mean that if you go overseas and engage in the appalling act of canned hunting, you can forget about bringing your lion trophies back to Australia,” said Australia’s Environment Minister Greg Hunt.
“You don’t deserve the right to celebrate the slaughter of these amazing creatures.”
In the last couple hundred years, the populations of lions and other large carnivores have been severely decimated due to prey decline, habitat loss and conflicts between humans and lions. Lion populations have also been badly damaged from poisoning, poaching, and legal hunting. A century ago, more than 100,000 lions roamed the African continent. Today, that number is as low as 20,000. Conservationists fear that the remaining lions will have to be protected by fences eventually. The West African lion specifically is down to just 250 individuals. Hopefully Australia will only be the first of many many nations to ban lion trophies. It may be their only hope. Lions are classified as vulnerable by the IUCN Red List of endangered species.