I just came back from a lovely vacation to this deeply unsettling news of an american dentist killing a treasured and celebrated lion named Cecil that belongs to a nationally protected wild life park (Hwange) in Zimbabwe.
Even more unsettling to me were the "other" facts that prevailed in this really weird case of animal cruelty for the fulfillment of weird egocentric pleasures that some humans are born with or feel privileged to indulge themselves in !
I was not sure whether to cry or laugh when I was going through the arguments that were being put forward in support of the conservation of lions, in effect the conservation of animals at large!
Think about this argument: that hunting should be allowed so the money generated from this activity could be used to conserve and breed more animals.
Here's an article by CNN that looks at the depths of this baloony claim: http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/30/opinions/flocken-cecil-lion-
That is precisely what it is.. "a twisted logic that justifies these hunts as "conservation" efforts" quoting the above report!
In the incident in question, the american dentist had paid the money to the so called "professional guides" to "aid" him in hunting "a" lion (or should I say "the" lion) .
If the money received by the professional guides would have been used for the preservation of lions, why would they be interested in helping this man at all? They very well know the rules of hunting as laid down by the government of Zimbabwe.
This is yet another topic for discussion, whether hunting should be allowed at all in any civilized country for human pleasure.
In my laywoman mind, there is no doubt that the dentist is currently rejoicing in some safe place, well protected and surrounded by many animal heads/trophies. He definitely planned this out meticulously after consultation with excellent lawyers that his money could afford.
If he was going to pay money to the extend of 35,000/- to 50,000/- dollars for this activity, he damn well envisioned and took care of what was to follow after this passionate activity of his!
Please note that he has apologized to his patients who are most probably the main source of his wealth, and it makes sense. Where is the money from the next hunting trip going to come from?
His own words quoted "“I deeply regret that my pursuit of an activity I love and practice responsibly and legally resulted in the taking of this lion,” he said in the statement."
See, this is an activity that he loves, but be careful. He follows/(ed) the rules of hunting!
Think about this. You cannot bring in a half eaten banana into United States when you are arriving from a different country as per the US customs and Border protection laws.
Read more on that and I am quoting some in italics from their web site:
"It is illegal in the United States to import, export, distribute, transport, manufacture or sell products containing dog or cat fur in the United States."
But a Lion's head that contains fur is okay to be shipped in! Please enlighten me if you know of a reason why a lion's fur that is attached
to a sad dismembered head is okay to be shipped in but not a dog or cat's fur.
And found more laws that I am quoting below in italics from here:
Stricter U.S. Wildlife Laws
• You should be aware that there are several U.S. wildlife laws that may restrict the import of your trophy. If the animal is protected by the Endangered Species Act (for example, leopard, brown hyena or bontebok), you will need to obtain an endangered species import permit before importing your trophy.
You can find the list of endangered species at:
Some bird trophies (for example, hoopoe) may need permits under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. You can find the list of migratory birds at:
As per the above laws, it does mean that it is okay to import a trophy (read dismembered sad head of an animal) that belongs to an endangered species, provided there are some rules that are met/satisfied. I think it's all a joke. The countries that create wild life
protection laws allow hunting the very same wild life that are some times listed as "vulnerable" (as in the case of lions in africa)!
I really don't think that Zimbabwe has a chance in getting the US government to extradite this dentist for trial in Zimbabwe (latest news on this is that Zimbabwe has asked the US government to extradite the dentist to them).
After all, hunting lions is allowed as per US federal laws and as per the laws of the government of Zimbabwe. It's just a matter of fine lines that may or may not have gotten crossed that an expert lawyer should be able to prove and swing it to this side or that side!
Consider this fact that I am quoting: "So far, $470,000 has been raised, enough to fund research into lion conservation in Hwange National Park for two years, WildCRU said."
What do you think? Couldn't more money be raised killing more lions that could "effectively" be used for conservation of lions? Just that the timing should be perfect. Let the uproar and sensitivity over this latest incident die out, wait a few more months until the wild life conservation lovers and activists forget this pain and be receptive to more fresh pain, bingo.. kill a few more and generate more money.
May be the very same dentist could cross off the next animal from his list, since this is not the first time he has done this specific activity and found himself in the middle of controversy.