It’s hard to believe anyone would take pleasure in killing a majestic animal like a lion, but trophy hunting big cats is still a common practice.
But the idea of trophy hunting—people paying to get to kill animals like lions and rhinos for nothing but the bragging rights and a photo op—disgusts many people, and some prominent voices are calling for an end to a sport they see as barbaric and inhumane.
That includes one man, who has never had a problem speaking his mind: comedian Ricky Gervais, who has become a prominent supporter of the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting.
Gervais, the British stand-up comic known for his infamous Golden Globes hosting gigs and for creating shows like The Office and Extras, has been passionately calling for an end to lion hunting.
“Why are we even having to make the case for banning trophy hunting in the year 2020?” he told The Sun.
“It’s hard to think of anything more sickening or senseless than killing an animal for entertainment, then hacking it up so you can display its body parts and brag about it.”
Five years after the death of Cecil the Lion prompted worldwide outrage, little has been done to curb trophy hunting, and Gervais says the time is now.
“Trophy hunting is humanity at its very worst. We’ve had five years to do something since the killing of Cecil made everyone aware of what is going on.”
According to the Campaign to End Trophy Hunting, lions are a particularly popular target for trophy hunters, even though they are an at-risk species: 10,000 lions have been killed as “trophies” in the last decade, and now there’s only 20,000 left in the wild.
Experts now believe lions could be extinct outside captivity if nothing is done to protect them.
But there is some hope things will change in the UK: Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pledged to impose new laws to curb trophy hunting. It remains to be seen what acts will pass or make a difference in reducing the numbers.
Meanwhile, other celebrities like Dame Judi Dench have also joined the cause:
We’re with Ricky, it’s time to end the practice of trophy hunting once and for all. Share this story if you agree!