Thursday, July 30, 2015

Random thoughts on the death of Cecil the lion

So much has been written about the slaughter of Cecil, Zimbabwe’s most famous lion, that I am hesitant to add to the mixture of fact and fiction. But the incident troubles me so much I rehashed it too many times in one of those three-o’clock and I can’t sleep times last night.

The dentist’s apology and protests of innocence ring hollow. He has already been penalized for poaching a bear and, today, revelations hint he may also be a sexual predator (you never know about what you read on Facebook). But this I do know: a man who hunts for sport and trophy heads and his own pleasure, has no soul. I shudder to think of his house, every wall sporting a mounted trophy head. Hunting for food is one thing; hunting for sport totally another.

Please tell me it’s not true (but I suspect it is) that Cecil was lured out of the wildlife refuge by an animal carcass strapped to a vehicle.

Hunting for sport with bow and arrow is beyond cruel. This was not a clean kill, and the wounded lion lived forty hours after first being shot. The hunters had to search for him and finish him off with a rifle.

Selfishly, I hope to see no more pictures of Cecil on the net. He was a magnificent animal, and my heart breaks every time I see him.

It’s time to move beyond outrage to concrete action to stop poaching and curb legal hunting worldwide. I’m glad to see that steps are being taken in that direction. Want to help? Here’s an address: It’s for the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit. There’s also a petition going around to put lions on the endangered species list (they may already be—not sure about that). We can do something concrete to help the world by speaking out. My mom used to say that some good comes of everything—making a difference for wildlife may be the good that comes out of this tragedy.

Karma is effective: I suspect the dentist’s life will never again be filled with hunts and trophies and, as one writer said, searches for his manhood. His practice is effectively ruined—who would take their teeth to him? I wouldn’t be surprised if his wife left him, if he has a wife. And he’s cowering in a corner somewhere. Not sure about this, but I read that if the use of a lure to get Cecil on public property is proven, the dentist can be extradited and prosecuted. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is investigating the case, and the White House has accepted a petition to look into it. One of the hunters who was with him has been charged in Zimbabwe with failure to prevent an unlawful kill.


Anonymous said...

In one article it was mentioned that Cecil, leader of his pride, had 9 cubs in the pride. They will all now be killed as a new male takes over the pride. If this be true, the man is responsible for the death of not just one lion but of nine.


Judy Alter said...

Sally, I heard that too only the number of cubs IO heard was 24. A blow to species either on or about to be on the endangered species list. One prediction is that the African lion will be extinct by 2050.