Polar bear hunters pose with their kills to encourage more to take part

Polar bear hunters pose with their kills to encourage more to take part

There has been a rise in the number of polar bears being slain by trophy hunters, the Mirror reports.

The disturbing practice has seen these hunters pose with their kills in a series of gory and horrifying photos.

According to the Mirror, experts are saying the sport has been responsible for the deaths of more than 5,000 polar bears in ­Canada’s area of the Arctic Circle in recent years.

Since 1995, a haul of 17 polar bear trophies have been legally imported into the UK alone as specialist hunting firms target Brits, Americans and the Chinese.

For the staggering price of £36,000, the 12-day hunts camping in the harsh Arctic conditions offer the services of a taxidermist, who turns the creatures into rugs for the hunters’ living rooms.

The company's site boasts: "Hunting is carried out on the sea ice in prime areas. Services of an Inuit polar bear guide with a team is provided through the duration of the hunt. The hunt ends when a bear is harvested."

Eduardo Gonçalves, of the Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting, told the newspaper that is  well known that these majestic animals are vulnerable to extinction due to climate change.

He also explained that if we want ensure the species' survival, we need to refrain from killing them for sport, adding that the government banning imports of all hunting trophies would be the most beneficial course of action.