Hunting is a popular activity internationally, yet trophy hunting for exotic and endangered species is harmful and should not be practiced. In light of the recent discussion on a federal level about trophy hunting, people should stay updated and aware to fight against such a harmful practice. In Athens, there have been events which raise awareness, which can be shared and spread throughout this state and others.
On Nov. 27, Ciné and EcoReach screened the film “Trophy” for one night to bring awareness to trophy hunting and the controversies surrounding the practice. This screening highlights the relevance of the issue in today’s world even though many efforts have been taken toward conservation.
Trophy hunting affects many wild animals ranging from bobcats to bears. These animals are hunted for various reasons such as specific physical features, like the tusks of elephants, or for their rarity.
On Nov. 16, the New York Times reported that the federal government voted to lift a ban on trophy hunting elephants in Zimbabwe. The proposed reason for lifting the ban supposedly had good intentions of increasing elephant populations, as the Endangered Species Act protect elephants but does allow the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to authorize trophy hunting if the hunts in which the animals were killed helps the survival of the species.
Hunting does benefit wildlife in some ways by managing the populations of species and using parts of the animals for food, clothing and other resources. This hunting can also benefit environments by funneling the money paid to hunt the animals back into conservation efforts.
Like most things, trophy hunting is something that must be done in moderation and should be very well monitored. Although there are some positive aspects to it, trophy hunting purely for the aesthetic appeal of displaying an animal in one’s home is not justifiable. Removing sick animals from the population makes sense, but killing one with no knowledge of its health or impact on its ecosystem is harmful.
Hunting animals solely for their beauty or prestige is irresponsible, and admiring them from afar is a safer, cheaper way to appreciate their beauty. Hunters and non-hunters need to meet in the middle by rewriting old laws regarding trophy hunting to prevent it from getting out of control.