Adam Conover, former host of College Humor’s “Adam Ruins Everything,” dedicated an episode of his show last year to outlining the benefits of trophy hunting in Africa.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) announced earlier in November it would lift an import ban on elephant and lion trophies from two countries in Africa, prompting debate on the benefits of hunting to support conservation.
Following widespread outcry from animal rights activists, public figures and politicians, President Donald Trump soon backed off the agency’s announcement. Trump tweeted Sunday the trophy hunting decision would be reviewed, and he signaled the “horror show” would not be supported by the U.S.
Conover’s episode on trophy hunting addresses the confusing nature of the practice.
“This argument is really counter-intuitive and, frankly, kind of difficult to accept,” Conover says in the opening. “But I ask that you keep an open mind and hear me out because the evidence suggests in specific situations, trophy hunting can really help endangered animals.”
Conover points out that animals like elephants and lions are not dying out because of “rich bro” trophy hunters. The primary threats to endangered species are loss of habitat and poaching.
Poor Africans have taken to farming in order to support themselves, necessarily plowing over land and locking away water sources African wildlife need to survive. Other Africans take to poaching elephants and rhinoceros for their ivory tusks and horns, which sell for around $28,000 a pound, according to the video.
Trophy hunting revenue, which ranges into hundreds of thousands of dollars per hunt, incentivizes African communities and governments to protect endangered animals. The wild animals, rather than being a nuisance or threat, are turned into massive money makers.
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