For African governments where trophy hunting is legal, including Zimbabwe, South Africa, Namibia, Tanzania, Botswana and Zambia, the practice can bring desperately needed money into their economies.
According to a study by the African Wildlife Conservation Fund in 2006, South Africa generated around $100 million a year from trophy hunting. More recent statistics put that figure at nearer $200 million a year.
Just a quick search of the internet shows the amounts charged for trophy hunt packages. On one site a "South African Lion hunt package" cost up to $35,000, depending on what kind of lion the hunter wanted to kill. A zebra trophy fee was far less at $1,250.
Another site was charging $24,000 in 2015 for a Lion trophy package, $42,000 for an elephant, $15,000 for a leopard and $7,450 for a crocodile.
In Zambia, for example, a ban on big cat hunting was lifted just this March and lion hunting is to be lifted next year, despite the fact that the country banned the practice in 2013 when big cat numbers were deemed too low to have a sustainable hunting industry.
When lifting the ban on leopard hunting in March, Zambia's Tourism Minister Jean Kapata struck a different tone, saying the country had in excess of 8,000 leopards, according to an aerial survey.
"We have lifted the hunting ban for leopards starting this 2015/2016 season, which begins in July and we are going to allow lion hunting starting next year," Kapata told Reuters.
Alluding to the dilemmas governments face over whether they can attract more money from hunting licenses from would-be hunters, or from safari tourists just wanting to observe them, Kapata said that Zambia's trophy hunting would not be done indiscriminately as the government was mindful of the fact that many tourists visited Zambia to see the big cats.