Cecil the lion (seen above), who was 13, was one of Zimbabwe’s most famous and prized lions and a star attraction at Hwange National Park. A video of the animal, regal, indifferent and looking sleepy, has been widely disseminated.
The head of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force (ZCTF) told the BBC that Cecil “never bothered anybody” and was “one of the most beautiful animals to look at”.
The iconic animal had a GPS collar fitted several years ago for a research and project by Oxford University that allowed authorities to track its movements, but Walter Palmer, a dentist from a small town near Minnesota, didn’t seem to care. He had paid $55,000 for the chance to kill a lion, and he wanted his money’s worth.
How Cecil Died
According to Johnny Rodrigues, head of the ZCTF, on July 6, professional hunter Theo Bronchorst took Palmer to Hwange National Park.
“They went hunting at night with a spotlight, and they spotted Cecil,” Rodrigues said. “They tied a dead animal to their vehicle to lure Cecil out of the park, and they scented an area about half a kilometer from the park.”
Cecil took the bait and came closer, at which point Palmer fired his bow-and-arrow, managing to shoot the lion.
But Cecil didn’t die; instead he stumbled around, wounded, for 40 hours, before the two men found him and shot him with a gun.
The Zimbabwe Professional Hunters and Guides Association confirmed Cecil was killed on private land outside the park, and an investigation is ongoing into the legality of the hunt.
Over 226,000 People Demand Justice For Cecil
Responding to this horrific and brutal murder, Care2 member Ruth McD created a petition demanding justice for Cecil the lion, and her petition has already garnered over 226,000 signatures — for now, that is. The number of petitions signers is going up so fast, we can’t keep up!
How on earth can any human being be proud of such cowardly and inhumane behavior? How can Dr. Palmer dare to hold his head up after murdering a wounded animal that couldn’t run away?
Even worse, according to Rodrigues, when the two men saw the GPS collar on the lion’s neck, they tried to destroy it.
They then beheaded and skinned Cecil, and left his rotting carcass lying outside the park.
Are such people seeking to prove their superior nature by their ability to murder innocent animals? How can they take joy in such acts?
According to the BBC, Mr. Palmer defended his actions and insisting that his guides had secured “all proper permits” for the hunt.
“I relied on the expertise of my local professional guides to ensure a legal hunt,” he said in a statement on July 28.
He said he had not been contacted by authorities in Zimbabwe or the U.S. but said he “will assist them in any inquiries they may have.”
“I had no idea that the lion I took was a known, local favorite, was collared and part of a study until the end of the hunt. I relied on the expertise of my local professional guides to ensure a legal hunt,” Palmer’s statement read. “I deeply regret that my pursuit of an activity I love and practice responsibly and legally resulted in the taking of this lion.”
I don’t hear any sign of sadness or recognition of what a horrible action he committed, nor what havoc he has wrought.
Cecil’s Murderer Never Had a Hunting Permit
In fact, the situation is even worse. Rodrigues told NPR, “We got the information that … there was no quota, no license or permit for that area and that the people that actually lured the animal didn’t have a permit. There was no allocation for these animals in that area and that’s how it was found out.”
As a result, two Zimbabwean men – a professional hunter and a farm owner – have been charged with poaching offences because the group did not have a hunting permit.
They could face up to 15 years in prison in Zimbabwe if they are found guilty. They are due to appear in court on July 29.
And what about Palmer? Will he be brought to justice?
Making matters worse is the fact that with Cecil dead, Jericho, who is the next lion in the hierarchy, will almost certainly kill all Cecil’s six recently born cubs, so that he can take over and insert his own bloodline into the female lions.
Palmer is a big game hunter, who hunts the world over, so Cecil was just another target for the dentist to check off.
Palmer’s love of hunting is no secret. In 2009, he was interviewed by the New York Times about his paying $45,000 at auction to take part in the slaying of a prize elk; the article also noted that the dentist had learned to shoot at age five and was “capable of skewering a playing card from 100 yards with his compound bow,” As the hunting season began, Palmer was on probation for lying to authorities over the exact location where he had killed a black bear in northern Wisconsin in 2006.
People on social media are not impressed. Not only have over 226,000 people signed Care2’s petition, but angry commenters have inundated the Yelp and Google Review pages for Palmer’s dental practice, and he has been vilified worldwide, as #CecilTheLion quickly became a top worldwide trending topic on Twitter.
So cheers to the thousands who’ve posted negative “reviews” of the dentist on Yelp, maybe the fastest-growing Yelp campaign ever. Let’s keep spreading the word–people should know their dental-care dollars finance this horrific person’s killing magnificent beasts for sport.
Perhaps it’s not so surprising that this is happening in Zimbabwe. Remember how the president of Zimbabwe celebrated his 91st birthday? His guests were fed a young elephant, and in addition two buffaloes, two sables and five impalas were donated to the president by a local landowner. He also threw in a lion and a crocodile to be stuffed as an extra gift for Mugabe.
Take Action Now
Zimbabwe, like many African countries, is battling to curb illegal hunting and poaching which threatens to make some of its wildlife extinct. About a century ago there were around 200,000 lions roaming across Africa but that figure has dropped to less than 30,000 in recent years.
Rodrigues is deeply concerned about hunters like Palmer: “It’s very big. And the whole thing, this has been going on too long. We’ve already lost about 23 lions, collared lions, which are being studied and researched on. And this is where the problem comes in.”
He believes strongly that the government must bring in hunting bans on certain species of animals, like the lion, so that this never happens again. If you agree, please sign the petition to demand justice for Cecil! Tell Zimbabwe to stop issuing hunting permits to kill endangered animals.
Remember in grade school when the entire class would be held responsible for the sins of the few? Twitter, at least my timeline, is the exact opposite. In 2 years worth of interacting with the general public, I ran across only a handful of great people. I wont name them because I'm afraid I'd leave someone out. As an author, commentator and teacher I've dealth with all kinds of people. I've taught both inner-city thugs and federal judges. My students have been MDs, PhDs, JDs and MBAs. I've been rewarded with the joy that comes from interacting with bright people who want to learn. Then came Twitter. Twitter is a melange of mostly DUNNING KRUGER effect-plagued citizens whose mouths are so much bigger than their brains that even me, the eternal optimist, concluded that some, in fact, most people, are beyond any hope.
A couple of days ago I, like a lot of other empathic, compassionate and feeling people, became outraged at a loathesome Minnesotan Dentist by the name of Walter Palmer. See the story above. Walter is a prolific trophy hunter who takes pleasure from killing sentient beings for FUN. His latest victim was a beloved old male lion named Cecil. The bastard Palmer lured Cecil from the safety of his protected refuge then shot him with a bow and arrow. Cecil didn't die for 40 hours. Just think, IF you are a person who can still feel, you hate it when you accidentally step on your pet dog or cat's tail and they momentarily cry out in pain. But imagine shooting an arrow into an old lion for FUN as he screams in pain and stumbles trying to hold onto life because of what YOU did on purpose and for FUN? (To learn about people with a genetic defect in empathy and compassion for life please see our monograph here on THE CHARLESTON SHOOTING) When the bastard Palmer found Cecil who by now had cowled away to die in pain and anguish, as he lay there whimpering and breathing heavily, the bastard Palmer shot him. He then posed for a photo, so proud of himself that probalby pissed himself.
Now to the DUNNING KRUGERS on Twitter. 2D thinkers are like checkers players who live in a chess world, but their defenses don't allow them to know that fact. Their King is captured each and everytime they play the game (life) they think is checkers; yet, they simply won't change. When speaking to checker's players, you can never assert your thoughts on one issue without the DUNNING KRUGERS throwing up "but what about this or that issue?" For example, If I talk about the effect of the color red on human emotion you can bet your bottom dollar that some Twitter mouth will accuse me of ignoring the color blue, as if discussing red means (they are so dull they actually think it means this) that I either don't like the color blue or I am a "reddist." So it is with expressing a love for animals. DUNNING KRUGERS use what teeny tiny mental horsepower they have to accuse animal lovers of not caring about babies. Never mind that I was the only one to ever elucidate how it is that people who seemingly care more about animals as opposed to human life were brainwashed to hate themselves beginning in childhood, and that the way to rehabilitate them is to pair their love of animals with human life. What if I turned the tables on the checker's players: IF you ONLY care about the unborn but NOT about trophy hunters, then I accuse you of being against abortion because YOU are about exercising CONTROL over women and couldn't care less about baby humans. Of course, my accusation would be disturbingly correct. I would refer you to the hundreds of studies that prove, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that compassion for human life (not merely control over women) begins with a love for animals. Then again, DUNNING KRUGERS would have to learn to read.
I've given away, at my office's estimation, $300,000 dollars of FREE education to Twitter as a public service. You see, I was going to do that which my degreed colleagues said no one could ever do, educate the general public for FREE. I was told and, in fact, knew myself that the average person values nothing if they don't pay for it. To which I replied: Yes, but the average person can't afford my services so I'm going to reach out to help them. Boy, was I proven wrong. Again, except for a handful of smart AND good people, most of what I got for my efforts were snide, stupid, cruel, cowardly, ill-informed, dumbed-down and frankly stupid comments and comebacks, one retort after another. But the straw that broke this camel's back was when 99% of the followers of my FREE education TL refused to post the photo of the bastard dentist Palmer that began this monograph. No matter that in the world of chess (the real world) the way you protect the unborn HUMAN BABIES is to promote in children compassion for animals (You see Mr. and Miss DUNNING KRUGER, abortion is incomprehensible to children, but compassion to animals is NOT) In rehabilitating those people brainwashed to hate themselves, thus be pro abortion, I used their love of animals to link the two with a high degree of success. Without their love of animals, I could not have been successful. Some of the geniuses on Twitter told me that Palmer had done nothing wrong. Who said that? Several men who live in the country who frequently posed with their phallic compensatory weapons, e.g., an AR-15 while dressed in fatigues. These are the same men used by Marxists as poster boys to persuade the rest of the world that their guns need to be taken away. I suggest that the cowards who would NOT post Palmer's photo to reach out to Walter Palmer for a FREE education from him. He is successful, you know, Palmer made lots of money filling cavities and clearning teeth so he could pay $55,000 dollars to kill an old lion. Let Walter Palmer give you some FREE education. Go ahead, ask him to do that. Knock yourself out Mr. and Miss DUNNING KRUGERS.