This week at Music City Center in Nashville, Tennessee, thousands of trophy hunters will be gathering at the Safari Club International (SCI) convention. The appalling event runs from February 22nd through February 25th and will feature over 850 exhibitors from more than 30 countries.
More than half of these exhibitors will be hunting guides and outfitters peddling sickening trophy hunts of the world’s most imperiled species like elephants and lions, whose populations are threatened with extinction.
Hunts for hundreds of additional foreign and domestic animals, including leopards, polar bears, rhinos, hippos, wolves, and grizzly bears, will also be sold and advertised during the event. Other vendors will be selling jewelry, trinkets, and decorations made from those and other iconic animals.
This year, the auctions are estimated to bring in almost $6,000,000 for SCI to fund their lobbying efforts that include reducing U.S. Endangered Species Act protections and promoting trophy hunting.
The Humane Society of the United States and Humane Society International analyzed all of the auction items at the upcoming 2023 convention, which included products for sale by exhibitors and sickening trophy hunting trips donated by outfitters from around the world. The analysis found that:
Approximately 350 trophy hunting trips are being auctioned off to kill as many as 870 mammals in the U.S. and abroad.
The threatened and endangered species being hunted are elephants, lions, rhinos, leopards, polar bears, hippos, wolves, grizzly bears, giraffes, and lynx.
Values for each hunting trip range from $2,500 for a California wild boar hunt to $143,000 for a 21-day lion, leopard, and plains game hunt in Zambia.
Other international hunts include a five-day New Zealand big game hunt valued at $120,000, a seven-day South Africa white rhino hunt valued at $100,000, and a 14-day Tanzania leopard, cape buffalo, and plains game hunt valued at $85,000.
There is also a 10-day Alaska Brown and Black Bear Hunt for one hunter with Alaska’s Governor Mike Dunleavy valued at $29,500.
Top destinations for the auctioned hunts include South Africa, Canada, Spain, Argentina, and New Zealand.