The hunting of wild animals in a confined area, from which they cannot escape, is widely known as canned hunting. It is common in South Africa and North America and has become a massively lucrative industry.
Hunters are prepared to pay exorbitant fees to shoot an animal, often at close-range, for a guaranteed trophy. The victims may be hand-reared and semi-tame. There are estimated to be more than 1,000 canned hunting operations in the USA alone¹, while according to a recent report² nearly 54,000 animals were killed in 2004 in South African canned hunts. Hunters from Britain, the United States, Germany, Spain and France will pay many thousands of pounds to shoot a lion, leopard or other animal.
Canned hunting operations refer to the hunting of captive animals that are trapped within enclosures and have little chance of escape. Some canned hunt operations have recently begun to allow their clients to hunt these trapped animals remotely via the internet.
The animals involved are often habituated to human contact, having been hand-raised and bottle fed, so are no longer naturally fearful of people. Such animals will approach people expecting to get fed-but instead receive a bullet. This makes it easier for clients to be guaranteed a trophy and thus the industry is lucrative and has expanded over time. The industry thrives in both North America and South Africa, although South Africa holds the unfortunate title of providing the most lion trophies from canned hunts.