Friday, August 7, 2015

Related imageWe no longer live in the era of Teddy Roosevelt the proud big game hunting politician. Visit his home on Long Island and you will be shocked to see all the heads of any animal you can think of that he proudly shot and mounted on his walls. Back then it was a sport. Now people here in America as well as in Africa are horrified that a dentist killed a lion. We no longer have an abundance of animals to spare to jut kill for sport anymore but more than that, we live in the era where we have The Lion King story imbedded in our minds and we no longer want these majestic animals killed for no reason.
A Minnesota Dentist is being bombarded with threats and petitions and life being ruined because of his sport. He is being boycotted because he killed a famous lion in Africa. He claims his trophy of sport was legal but it is igniting protests over big game hunters in general. In Zimbabwe, Cecil the Lion was as famous as Simba. He was the star attraction of a national park. Doctor Walter Palmer paid $55,000 dollars for a license to hunt in Zimbabwe hiring local guides to help him. Authorities say Palmer and his guides illegally lured Cecil out of Hwange National Park where the lion was protected by tying a dead animal to the bumper of their car. Once outside, Palmer shot Cecil with a bow and arrow and injuring him. Then they stalked him for a day and finally beheaded him and skinned him.

Related imageNow the hunter is being hunted himself. The dentist is one of the most hated men on the Internet thanks to websites like Buzz Feed. Now his dental clinic is closed, his Facebook page suspended on Yelp there is nothing but hate for him. The doctor’s response is simply that he did not know he killed a famous lion.  Palmer has a conviction in the United States for poaching a black bear. According to Federal documents he was caught on two occasions of lying to Federal Game Wardens about where he killed it.  It is a crime that could have held a 5 year prison sentence.  Palmer plead guilty and got one-year probation.

The big game hunters of Roosevelt and Hemingway just do not translate well with most people these days. We are a generation brought up now to love Simba and Ashland from the Chronicles of Narnia.  Cecil was popular because of his unusual black mane.  He was a 13 year old male with cubs. He was popular because he was curious and interacted with the tourists. Johnny Rodrigues, the Chairman of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force noticed that he was a special lion from all the others. Eva Shockey a professional hunter in America gets threats for what she does all the time.
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Lion conservationists speak out daily about stopping the poaching of lions because of the dwindling population. Dereck Joubert a Lion Conservationist says that killing the last 20,000 lions on the planet is dramatic. Not only did the dentist kill a famous and loved lion he essentially killed all his cubs too. Any new male taking over the area will likely kill all his cubs to make way for his own cubs. It is sad. If idiot human must shoot at things at least only offer tranquilizing bullets so live can go on.

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