A club where Chinese millionaires travel abroad to hunt and kill endangered animals such as rhinos and polar bears has sparked outrage among poverty groups.

The I Love Hunting Club, set up by American-born W Scott Lupien, advertises lavish and expensive hunting holidays for some of China's wealthiest people to travel to Africa or North America to kill black bears and lions, according to a report in Guangzhou Daily.

At least 100 Chinese tycoons have taken part in the holidays since Lupien organised the first trip, to South Africa, in in 2009. The most expensive excursion, a 14-day trip to Canada to hunt polar bears, will set them back 500,000 yuan (£50,000).

The Guangzhou Daily reported that some of the people who has hunted on the trips were Chinese government officials.

The 52safari website shows members posing with their slaughtered trophies and videos of them shooting and occasionally eating the animals.

Popular Chinese news website 163.com attracted a discussion thread of 37,000 people, many of them against the hunt packages.

"With 500,000 yuan in hand, they may save many scattered and poor Chinese families, but they chose to shoot down a polar bear. How ridiculous!" one commenter wrote, reported in the English People Daily.

An official for the I Love Hunting Club defended the actions of the hunters and the club it is both beneficial to the environment.

"In some European countries, hunting wild animals is considered to be an elite sport," Huang said.

"When the number of certain animals increases to high levels, the food chain may be affected and the ecological environment may be damaged. Hunting them down scientifically may help protect the environment."

Members can pay up to £50,000 for a hunting holiday (52safari.com)
Members can pay up to £50,000 for a hunting holiday (52safari.com)