12/15/2015 05:29 EST | Updated 12/15/2015 05:59 EST

Trophy Hunting Trade Show Cancelled In Saskatoon, Still On For Calgary

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Our last day in the park and our guide, Peter, asked us if there was anything that we'd like to see again... Addendum: This is, of course, "Cecil". The lion famously shot and wounded by crossbow fired by American dentist Walter Palmer in July 2015 and then shot, killed, skinned and beheaded for trophies two days later. Living in a nature reserve, Cecil was completely inured to people in vehicles that didn't interfere with him or his prey. So approaching him closely was never difficult, a daily occurrence for him and something he paid no attention to.

SASKATOON — A trade show that was to showcase companies that offer trophy hunts in Africa is no longer going to be held at a Saskatoon hotel.

The expo by African Events Canada and African Hunting Gazette was to be held next month at the Saskatoon Inn and Conference Centre.

The hotel has confirmed the event has been cancelled, but has not said why.

Lana Stark, who started an online petition against the event, says it is unethical for hunters to target animals such as rhinos, lions, elephants, giraffes and hippos.

A Holiday Inn in Toronto last week cancelled its participation in a similar event after an animal justice lawyer organized an online petition.

The killing of Cecil the lion by a U.S. big-game hunter in Zimbabwe last summer drew international condemnation and sparked outrage among animal conservationists and politicians.

"Trophy hunters say they are conservationists helping local communities. I don't think you are if you pay money to shoot an animal, and there must be less destructive ways to save a species,'' Stark said Tuesday.

"If you're putting a price tag on their heads, make it about eco-tourism. Have safaris, tours and photography. People want to see these majestic animals.''

Event organizers said they targeted Saskatoon because Saskatchewan is full of hunters who live and work in a thriving economy with disposable income.

"Where better than to showcase hunting in Africa?'' asks the African Hunting Events website.

African Events Canada also has a hunting expo scheduled for Calgary in January.

(CKOM, The Canadian Press)

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