Men trophy hunt as a signal they can absorb the costs

Just days before the controversial trophy hunt of grizzly bears resumes in BC on April 01, science offers new insight into the human ‘super predator.’ It also offers a glimpse of potential change in the future.

Although Cecil the lion’s death sparked a fierce global debate about trophy hunting, until now no one has explained the behaviour that seemed so baffling to many. After all, no other predator on the planet trophy hunts, targeting large, dangerous and/or rare prey, and often not consuming their quarry.

It is not because trophy hunters are ‘sick’, ‘blood-thirsty’ or other labels of depravity hurled their way by those opposed. Rather, new research suggests that trophy hunting provides for hunters not merely a carcass but also – perhaps more importantly – a status-enhancing signal.

The surprising theory, supported by abundant evidence and careful inference, was published in a peer-reviewed Opinion piece this week in Biology Letters. Chris Darimont, a Conservation Scientist at the University of Victoria and the Raincoast Conservation Foundation, teamed up with Brian Codding and Kristen Hawkes, Evolutionary Anthropologists from the University of Utah.

This post taken from Raincoast Conservation Foundation
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