Who’s Really Responsible for the Killing of Zimbabwe’s Lions and Other Wildlife?

In the wake of Cecil the Lion being poached in Zimbabwe, some are placing symbolism over substance. But that seems to be the preferred method of addressing wildlife issues when the underlying realities are unpleasant or complicated. ~ Andrew Wyatt

TIME

Earlier this month, a 55-year-old American dentist named Walter Palmer went on a safari holiday in western Zimbabwe, where, over a 40-hour period, he maimed, cautiously tracked, and finally killed a lion. Palmer, a veteran big-game hunter, insists that he had secured the necessary hunting permits, unaware at the time that his target was the most famous lion in Africa.

Hwange National Park is Zimbabwe’s oldest and largest wildlife reserve, and the lion Palmer killed was its star attraction. It even had a name: Cecil. For killing Cecil, Palmer has become a figure of global hate, and the lion depicted not so much as a bloodthirsty killer himself but a sort of cuddly mascot, who would affably tag alongside caravans of delighted tourists. #CecilTheLion was a top trending topic on Google and Twitter around the world throughout Tuesday — although nobody seemed to notice that he bore the same first…

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6 thoughts on “Who’s Really Responsible for the Killing of Zimbabwe’s Lions and Other Wildlife?

  1. Well thought out and written, Andy. I’m going to put a link to this on my FB page. There was quite a hoo-haw, as you can imagine. A friend in Cimarron, who has been hunting twice in Africa, got quite a few cheap shots slung at her. Keep up the good fight. Just talked to your Mom yesterday and am glad to hear your Dad is doing so well.

  2. I agree with the premise that the over-riding social environment of the land is indeed the impetus for the exploitation or waste or degradation of wildlife. However, there appears to be a willful ignorance on the part of this particular trophy hunter to not acknowledge the circumstances and tactics used to enable him to take this lion. The tenets of fair chase and challenging one’s self through hard work and effort in the act of hunting appear absent here. While I do not “trophy hunt” in the manner of pursuing an outstanding specimen of major game species, I accept that others choose to do so, and gain some measure of benefit from such pursuits. I understand the practice of paying a large sum for the opportunity to hunt for such an animal, but I do not understand how any self-respecting hunter who pays such large sums, would allow all the challenge and effort to be performed by others so that he/she can be presented with the final stage of the act of hunting in relative ease and personal comfort. It would seem this willful ignorance has become the hallmark of trophy hunters who can pay large sums and by virtue of the cost expect to be rewarded or guaranteed success with little personal investment in the act of hunting.

    • It’s a fair point Tom. My point is that passing instant judgement while fostering a sense of righteous indignation on social media only confirms the misunderstandings of the masses regarding the underlying issues. Most are content to pigeonhole and castigate, but are not willing to grasp the real problems. Soon the sensation of this story will blow over but the corruption and abject poverty inherent in the Mugabe regime will continue unimpeded. This poacher killing a famous lion is just a symptom of a dirty disgusting disease that most don’t have the stomach for…

  3. I enjoyed the article, mostly because it reminds me of tunnel vision Republicans. LOL They, like the left outrage over this lion, refuse to look at the bigger policy problems. Especially with job-related issues. LOL Funny, that politics thing. 🙂

    Hope all is well Scott

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  4. Agreed Andrew. Reading through the various forums and threads on LinedIn alone demonstrates the lack of objective truth-seeking within the anti-hunting ideology. All the more reason for all hunters to take all precautions to make certain their hunting activity and those of their colleagues (peer pressure) are ethical and legal and above reproach. This will not stop the anti-hunting sentiment and predilection toward righteous indignation and outrage, but why give them any basis for evidence to support their criticism.

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