On my last blog post, I examined why some hunt? Of course, I posed some of the excuses hunters put out there. I also examined how much I hate hunting. Hate is a strong word but the only fitting one to describe my feelings about such an ugly and totally unnecessary activity. This post is overdue, but still true.
Cecil at Hwange National Park in Matabeleland North, Zimbabwe .
Since my last post, Cecil, a rather famous and majestic lion, and king of his piece of jungle aged 13 that resided in Zimbabwe with his pride until one fateful night, an American dentist from Eden Prairie, Minnesota named Walter Palmer paid some local guides the outrageous sum of $55,000 to hunt a “trophy”. His hired guides used an animal carcass to lure Cecil out of a protected area of the Hwange National Park in Matabeleland North, Zimbabwe, Palmer shot him with an arrow from a crossbow, and injured and bleeding, Cecil wandered about for forty long tortuous hours until he was tracked and shot with a rifle, skinned and beheaded by Palmer and his “guides”. Palmer got his trophy. Cecil lost his life, not in a fair hunt, but in an illegal trapping scheme. Cecil was poached, murdered by a greedy, selfish, trophy seeking hunter and his hired cronies.
Palmer denies he did anything wrong. He denies he knew Cecil had a tracking collar, but if you ever saw an animal wearing one, it is not to be missed. Palmer violated hunting rules before and after killing Cecil, he planned on killing another “trophy.” Though, Palmer insists he didn’t know about Cecil’s fame and being protected, but when the big cat’s beheaded skeleton was found, the tracking collar was missing. In another report, the tracking collar was later found where apparently Palmer and cronies tried to bury it. However it really happened, Palmer was definitely a sissy. Though he hunted regularly continually seeking trophies, he never discussed his “hobby” with his patients. Obviously, he wasn’t very proud of his hobby. How could any person feel pride in killing and butchering an animal unfairly.
Cecil was poached, plain and simple by a hunter looking for a trophy. Nothing else. No other reason. Zimbabwe wants him extradited to face charges and he should be. America should not protect such a criminal. Not now. Not ever. What Palmer did was wrong and he knows it. Otherwise, why run back to America so quickly with his trophy of Cecil’s head in tow? And what of the facts?
According to news reports and Wikipedia, a criminal investigation was initiated on 7 July 2015 by law enforcement officers of the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority after they received information “that a lion had been illegally killed on a farm near Hwange National Park. The investigation discovered that a lion had been illegally killed on the farm on 1 July 2015.
On 29 July 2015 Theo Bronkhorst appeared in court at Victoria Falls and was charged with poaching offences for not having the required hunting permit. He was granted bail at US$1,000 and was ordered to appear back in court on 5 August. Bronkhorst stated: "Palmer is a totally innocent party to this whole thing, and he has conducted and bought a hunt from me that was legitimate." Separately, Ndlovu was charged with allowing an illegal hunt on his land. Zimbabwe National Parks spokespersons explained that lion hunting using firearms is legal, but it requires a permit and a quota which is assigned to a given area. However, this killing was illegal because it took place in an area that does not have a quota for lion kills. On 5 August 2015, Bronkhorst reappeared before magistrates charged with failing to prevent an illegal hunt. The case was adjourned until 28 September when Bronkhorst's barrister was next available.
Walter Palmer left Zimbabwe for the United States after the hunt. He expressed deep regret for the killing, maintaining that he had relied on the expertise of the local professional guides to ensure that the hunt was legal. He indicated that he would cooperate with authorities in the investigation. On 30 July 2015, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service was looking for Palmer as part of its investigation. He contacted them voluntarily through a representative on the same day. On 31 July 2015, Zimbabwe officials said they initiated legal proceedings to extradite Palmer from the United States to face a charge, claiming that Palmer "had a well-orchestrated agenda which would tarnish the image of Zimbabwe".”
Now we have to keep our fingers crossed and hope that Cecil’s cubs are safe. In the animal kingdom, when a male lion is killed, another one will move to take over and exert his dominance. As a result, he’ll kill the male cubs to take over. However, so far according to an interview with Johnny Rodrigues, head of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, Rodrigues said Cecil’s brother, “Jericho had taken over the pride but had not killed Cecil's cubs, and that he was also keeping the cubs safe from any rival males.” Let’s hope this is true. Cecil’s six cubs shouldn’t also fall because of one selfish, greedy hunter in search of a trophy.
For me, hunting is for sissies. No real man comfortable with himself would kill and/or torture an animal and call it sport. Killing an animal, any animal in such a way is cruel and inhumane. It is totally unnecessary. I guess this is how some men get aroused: They kill an innocent animal. Have total control of their fate. I say, go to the drugstore and buy one of the Viagra pills out there. Leave the animals alone. They’re not bothering anyone. As for you and your kind, the world would be better without you. Unfortunately, hunting isn't limited to men. Women do it, too. Why? Trying to act like a man? What other reason is there?
That is my take on hunting anyway and I’m proud to say so. I don’t hunt. I never will. I’d rather starve than kill and innocent harmless animal. Hopefully, something good will come out of this. Tourism in Zimbabwe has dwindled. Hopefully, it will continue to dwindle until they put an end to trophy hunting. Before too much time has passed, I want to express my loss over Cecil, over any animal hunted, abused, abandoned, mutilated or otherwise mistreated. I dedicate this post to Cecil and his pride and hope they live a long and safe life. Perhaps, I’m a bit biased since I love animals and big cats, especially lions and tigers are my favorites. For all those animals murdered, as a member of the human race, may I be allowed to say, I am so sorry.
I’d love to hear your take on hunting, trophies and the loss of Cecil.
SEE IT: Cecil the lion's cubs pictured in the wild as their slain father will receive his own statue in Zimbabwe national park:
The pride looks after Cecil the lion's cubs:
Check out The Lion King’s artist’s tribute to Cecil the lion:
Read a New Yorker article here about Cecil and the law of the animal kingdom and ours:
Cecil the lion’s cubs faring well, new footage shows:
Read more at http://www.grindtv.com/wildlife/cecil-the-lions-cubs-faring-well-new-footage-shows/#5hhDiDCt8v4JLAbH.99
Until next time….hug your animals. Tell them you love them. If you don’t have a pet, adopt one. Make adoption your first option when seeking a pet. Adopt. Don’t shop. Can’t adopt. Please consider fostering one. The animal will have the taste of home and the shelter will cover the expenses. Can’t foster? Make a donation or volunteer at your local shelter. Please, don’t hunt. Unless you’re starving down in a ditch somewhere, there is no logical reason to do so. Whatever you do, however you do it, please be a voice for the animals large and small. All it takes is one to make a difference, good or bad. I’m one for the animals. Are you? Thanks for visiting. Stay safe. Be strong. Be happy. Smile. Show compassion. Be nice to one another. Pass it onward.
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And now for some legal stuff: Copyright 2015 by S.J. Francis. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the author, S. J. Francis and are meant to entertain, inform and enlighten, and intend to offend no one.