Posted tagged ‘Cecil the lion’

Cecil’s Legacy…

August 1, 2015

 

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It’s heartening to realize that occasionally at least public outrage may be triggered by senseless acts of cruelty and violence against animals, and the illegal slaughter of well-known and beloved animal preserve lion Cecil by an American dentist in Africa has triggered spirited protests and heightened public awareness of both the problems of illegal poaching and the practice of trophy hunting.

The office of the Minnesota dentist involved has been the location of impromptu shrines, angry posters, and picketing, with Dr. Palmer himself in hiding, possibly to face extradition to Africa; over 100,000 signatures presently exist on an on-line petition urging such at this point.  Palmer’ s guides may face prison terms of up to ten years.   Trophy hunting is a nasty practice in which about 600 lions are killed annually, 2/3 of which make their way to America as an ornament for someone’s den or wall, a tribute to human arrogance, ego, and vanity. 

Many Americans simply don’t know that such things are going on, but due to the flap over Cecil’ s illegal hunting death even legal “big game” hunting businesses are starting to feel the pinch, some of which offer excursions to kill not only lions but also elephants and rhinos, for sufficient funds. Perhaps public shaming of participants in such ventures may make them less common…

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Cecil the Lion Slaughtered…

July 29, 2015

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I will always remember the occasion when I was taken as a boy of about ten to the den of a wealthy neighbor who was a “big game” hunter.  I was supposed to admire the heads of lions, antelope, and other exotic wild animals that stared at me from the walls, but instead I was filled with a sense of horror and revulsion; this was to me a charnel house, a mortuary. This “mighty hunter” had not done in my sight anything commendable to be worthy of praise or emulation.

The actions of my former neighbor, while I found them personally deplorable, were at least legal. Not so was the hunt of American dentist Walter Palmer of Eden Prairie, Minnesota, who paid at least fifty thousand to track and kill Cecil, a beloved and protected lion at the Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe who was readily identifiable, the object of research, and wore a collar.  Cecil was lured off the National Park and then shot with bow and arrow. Wounded and suffering, Cecil lived and was tracked for forty hours before being cornered and fatally shot by the “mighty hunter.” Cecil’s ultimate fate was then to be skinned and beheaded, and his cubs will likely be killed by the next lion in the hierarchy to spread their bloodline.  

Since this despicable and stomach-churning act, the dentist will at least be charged with poaching and has begun to receive some well-deserved drilling himself. The Yelp page for Palmer’ s dental facility has been overrun with negative comments. “Wouldn’t it be clever to see how you would face Cecil without your tricks and tools?,” ran one comment.  That’s a fantasy I could well entertain.  Rest in peace, Cecil…you deserved so much better than you received.