6 min read

The Staggering Amounts Americans Pay To Kill Exotic Animals

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The killing of Cecil in early July has ignited a global conversation about trophy hunting, American trophy hunters and the fragility of wildlife. We at The Dodo decided to spend some time gathering data not just on Africa's lions, but on the number of wolves killed in Wisconsin, the number of hippopotamus trophies imported into the U.S., the amount of money a trophy hunter will pay for a mountain lion hunt in Wyoming ... and more. Read on for alarming numbers about the world of trophy hunting.

Number of African lion trophies imported into the U.S. in 2013 and 2014 combined, according to United States Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS): 1,374 Number of African elephant trophies imported into the U.S. in 2013 and 2014, according to USFWS: 634 Number of hippopotamus trophies imported into the U.S. in 2012 and 2013: 442 Number of leopards imported as trophies into the U.S. in 2012 and 2013: 758 Number of Cape baboons imported as trophies into the U.S. in 2012 and 2013: 1073 Approximate total number of lions in South Africa: 9,100 Percentage of lions living in captivity in South Africa: 68 percent

Number of captive lions killed each day in canned hunts in South Africa: 2-3

Percentage of those lions shot by American hunters: 50 percent

Cost to shoot a wild male lion in South Africa: $75,000

Cost to shoot a captive male lionin South Africa: $20,000


The most popular trophy animal, according to one study of U.S. hunters: Buffalo

Number of American hunters who kill big game: Nearly 11.6 million

Percentage of American hunters who are female: 11 percent Cost of a 6-day mountain lion hunt in Wyoming: $4,650 Cost of a wolf hunt in Alaska (snowmobiling included): $6,500

Number of wolves hunted in Montana in 2013: 230

Approximate number of wolves in Montana in 2013: 625

Number of wolves killed by trophy hunters in Wisconsin according to data compiled by the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) 2013-2014: 257 Number of those wolves killed by traps according to HSUS: 180 Total number of wolves in Wisconsin before the 2013-2014 hunting season according to HSUS: 779 Population decline in that one season, according to HSUS: 19 percent


Cost of an elephant trophy in Zimbabwe: $19,500 Giraffe: $1,000 Wildebeest: $700 Crocodile: $4,000 Hippo: $4,000 Sable: $5,000 Estimated number of white rhinos left on the planet: 20,405 Number of southern white rhino trophies imported into the US between in 2012-2013: 37 Number of northern white rhinos currently alive in the world: 4

Number of western black rhinos alive in the world: 0

U.S. congressman who is publicly advertised as big game hunting in Africa: Rep. Don Young (AK)

Estimated cost of a replacement trophy from Safari Club International for a life-sized, North American polar bear rug (what insurance will pay): $25,000 Cost of a replacement trophy (insurance) for a life-sized African elephant: $113,100 How much Walter Palmer reportedly paid to kill Cecil: $55,000

Number of reviews on Walter Palmer's Yelp page before the majority of reviews were deleted: 246 Number of those reviews that give him a 1-star (lowest) rating before the majority of reviews were deleted: 223 To see photos of some of the last lions like Cecil in Africa and contribute to an organization that protects wildlife, go here.