Can trophy hunting protect Asia’s wildlife?

by Naomi Clark-Shen

Trophy hunting is the recreational killing of animals for their ‘trophies’ such as horns, tusks, teeth, skulls or skins, for display. High-profile cases of trophy hunting are usually reported from Africa. But in 2019, the media reported on an American hunter who paid US$100,000 to shoot a rare wild goat—called a markhor—in Pakistan. How involved is Asia in trophy hunting? Can this ‘sport’ help to save wildlife, as is controversially claimed?

Many claim that the money generated through trophy hunting is vital to saving species. Others view it as unethical and a threat to wildlife.
The money that is needed for conservation is often not available—but trophy hunting has, in many cases, provided it.
Where do we go from here? The world is split.
A world where we do not need to ‘shoot to save’ wildlife would be ideal. But for now, in some places at least, it has proven to be a necessary, uncomfortable evil, that is likely here to stay.
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