Photos by: Katie Cleary
Tragically, despite the pandemic, Dallas Safari Club’s annual trophy hunting convention is taking place again this year February 10-14, but this time virtually. The notorious trophy hunting organization is once again auctioning off hunts of some of the most beautiful, rare, and endangered species on the planet, all to raise an estimated 3.5 million dollars for their organization. The Safari Club promotes the ruthless killing of defenseless animals, with guns, as well as bows and arrows, for so-called ‘sport,’ putting the future of our wildlife in jeopardy.
In 2017, WAN went undercover at the Safari Club Convention in Las Vegas and saw shocking displays of endangered dead animals, deplorably deemed ‘trophies’ by some; a wide array of easily accessible guns and ammunition; fur coats with the faces and feet of animals still attached; and wildlife outfitters that target hunters wanting ‘opportunities’ to kill wildlife for obscene amounts of money. Making matters worse, the promotion of the senseless violence associated with trophy hunting, took place amidst a flurry of men, women, and horrifically, some children.
“While walking into the Safari Club International Convention in Las Vegas, the feeling of horror and anxiety was overwhelming,” said Katie Cleary, President and Founder of Peace 4 Animals and WAN. “The glorification of killing some of the world’s most endangered and threatened species on the planet was on display in such a shocking and heartless manner, it is a wonder how any human being can participate in such a cruel and selfish industry. We must do something to end the travesty of trophy hunting once and for all.
“As we looked around at the massive crowd of 20,000 plus attendees, we couldn’t help but wonder what the method to the madness was. There seemed to be a common thread throughout the convention with many trophy hunters justifying their actions based on what they claim to be ‘conservation,’ saying that if there wasn’t a value or price put on these animals, then there would be no incentive to protect them in the wild. The incentive to protect these animals lies in eco-tourism and photo safaris which brings in more money per year than trophy hunting ever will.
“Many of the species that were on display at the convention are listed on Appendix I of CITES, including: Snow Leopards, Elephants, Rhinos, and others like African Leopards, Polar Bears, Wolves, and African Lions. Many other imperiled species were stuffed and put on display, others were said to be realistic replicas,” said Cleary.
As noted by Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and Humane Society International (HSI) in a new shocking analysis of the 2021 Dallas Safari Club annual convention, beginning tomorrow, trophy hunters, hunting outfitters, and other businesses from around the world will gather online to buy, sell, and auction the opportunity to kill iconic animals, including canned hunts in the U.S., South Africa, and Argentina. Canned hunts involve the victimization of captive animals who live inside a fenced-in area and have no way to escape the hunter. They are also referred to as captive hunts, estate hunts or high fence hunts.
849 exhibitors from 32 countries will participate in the convention virtually.
351 of those exhibitors will offer hunting trips to kill 319 species, including critically endangered black rhinos, cheetahs, brown bears, and kangaroos, in 70 countries.
183 hunts in 24 countries were donated for auction to kill over 200 animals from leopards to bears.