It’s Beyond a Gun-Swap—PETA’s New Program Seeks Severed Lion Heads

Group Offers Handcrafted Artwork to Help Trophy Hunters Hang Up Their Rifles, Will Use Gory 'Trophy' Heads for Educational Exhibits

For Immediate Release:
August 11, 2015

David Perle 202-483-7382

Norfolk, Va. – As Cecil the lion’s death has sparked a worldwide outcry against the shooting, skinning, and beheading of animals for use as gruesome trophies, PETA is launching a unique twist on a gun-swap program for anyone who is having a change of heart about killing animals and mounting their heads on walls: Those who pledge to stop hunting and send their lion head trophies to PETA will receive a unique, handcrafted, decorative glass-bead animal head from Lebonay—a South African company that supports local villages by employing street artists, ensuring that the purchase of each piece of art helps feed a family. PETA, in turn, will use the animals’ heads in educational anti-hunting exhibits.

“By swapping their grisly hunting trophies for a beautiful beaded decoration, former trophy hunters can help us send a message that handcrafted artwork is the only kind of lion head that should be mounted on a wall,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA’s educational displays will go even further to encourage the next generation never to pick up a gun and slay another individual, whether the victim is a fellow human or a noble lion.”

Lion populations are rapidly declining in Africa. PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to abuse in any way”—has called on U.S. authorities to end cruel trophy hunting by putting lions on the endangered species list and by banning the importation of their heads, tails, and skins into the U.S.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind