Trophy hunters from Britain alone have killed over 100 lions in nine years | UK | News

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Trophy hunters from Britain alone have killed over 100 lions in nine years | UK | News

More than one hundred lions have been killed by British trophy hunters since 2015, figures released by the Government show.  

Between 2015, when the brutal death of Cecil the lion sparked nationwide outrage, and 2022, 118 lions have died at the hands of British hunters. 

Shockingly, the numbers reveal that 80 percent of those killed were bred explicitly for slaughter. Hunted down in enclosed spaces, the practice is known as “canned hunting”, whilst only 19 of the animal victims were shot in the wild. It’s thought that this number could be even higher, as figures for 2023 are yet to be released. 

This brutal practice takes place exclusively in South Africa, where over 300 breeding facilities keep thousands of lions under lock and key, before setting murderous trophy hunters loose on them. 

Figures show that the EU imports more lion trophies than any other region, prompting concern amongst animal experts. 

Since 2015, Britons have returned home with nine lion bodies, two heads, 29 skins, and 14 bones, alongside other grisly trophies. 

Essex-based Syed Rizwan was one such hunter, openly posing next to lion carcasses on social media whilst on an African hunting holiday. 

Top-dog amongst the heartless hunters, however, is the notorious Carl Knight. Not satisfied with simply killing lions in his own right, Knight now runs Take Aim Safaris in Botswana. Bloodthirsty tourists can book a hunt at Knight’s reserve, and have the chance to kill zebras, hyenas, and hippos. 

Knight firmly defends his position on game hunting. Speaking to the Mirror, he said: “Our hunts are legal and whether you like it or not is of no relevance to me.”


Experts have warned that the continued hunting of big game, such as lions, poses a risk to their fight against extinction. 

Lion numbers are dwindling at an ever-increasing rate. As many as 100,00 lions roamed free in the wild in the 1960s, but experts estimate this number is closer to 32,000 nowadays. 

The Government has taken steps towards an outright ban on the import of hunting trophies from endangered species, announcing plans to ban the practice in October 2019. 

However, it was blocked as it made its way through the House of Lords by an outspoken small group but it set to undergo its second reading this March. 

Similar bans are already in place across countries such as Australia and France, with other EU nations Finland and Belgium bringing forward proposals to do the same. 

The United States has also restricted some trophy imports, banning cheetah and polar bear remnants from crossing its borders. 


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