Shikar, or big game hunting, was an immensely popular pastime for the ruling class in India prior to British rule. When the British came into power, elaborate hunting ceremonies were used by Indians and British alike to display their prowess and status to each other. The British influence also brought improvements in hunting technology, which spurred an increase in the capture of game. Dozens of animals were killed in a single day's hunt and the trophies decorated the halls of the princes' extravagant hunting lodges. By the late 1870s, the population of many of these rare species had been severely depleted and a government-implemented system for conservation had begun to take hold.