So there it is, he got away with it. Protected by wealth, the right passport and a corrupt system, Walter Palmer will not be extradited to Zimbabwe. The charges have been dropped. Only a few short months ago, on July 31, Oppah Muchinguri, Zimbabwe’s minister of environment, water and climate said that Cecil the Lion’s Killer should be handed over for trial. Now they’ve swept it under the rug. Zimbabwe helps the killers kill. In fact it encourages them – for a price. And all under the watchful eye of murderer-tyrant-dictator Robert Mugabe.
If You Have No Name You Are Fair Game.
Walter Palmer has repeatedly declared he did nothing wrong. He keeps saying he didn’t know the lion had a name. According to Palmer’s logic, we have to name every elephant, lion, cheetah, giraffe, leopard, rhino, oryx or gazelle to keep them safe – anything without a name is fair game.
The same day Palmer murdered Cecil slowly for 40 hours, directly afterwards he asked his guide to find him an elephant to kill. Luckily the available elephants-with-no-name weren’t big enough for Palmer’s living room – or his ego. Or a dick enhancement.
Jimmy Kimmel put it in a nutshell last August.
Walter Palmer has become the face of every trophy hunter. And Cecil the flagship for every brutally murdered, nameless animal slaughtered in the name of sport. These animals are not killed as a source of food or survival. They are not killed because a village, tribe or life is threatened. They are killed for profit. They are killed for the rush of killing. They are killed by westerners, mostly Americans – serial killers who beat their chests in pride and decorate their walls with body parts.
Meanwhile there is some heart-warming news about Cecil’s family. The cubs are alive and well as is Cecil’s mate. Cecil’s pride was photographed on the 25th of September by Brent Stapelkamp, field researcher for the Hwange Lion Research Project.
[UPDATE – NEW SIGHTING OF CECIL’S PRIDE]
You can keep up with news of Cecil’s Pride here – wildcru.org, the Oxford University Wildlife Conservation Research Unit of which Cecil was part of a study. They put the tracking collar on Cecil, and they first discovered that he had been lured out of Hwange National Park and killed.
Better Late Than Never.
Cynics say that all this media hype about Cecil, described tastelessly by a particular individual as “one aged lion”, is down to western guilt. That it has nothing to do with Africa.
I say better late than never. If people need a name or a face to wake them up, so be it. With so many tragic events around the planet, it’s easy to get detached from the mass of information we are bombarded with on a daily basis.
Take Syria for instance. Thousands of men, women and children have been killed or displaced. But only when images of the lifeless body of little Aylan washed up on a beach in Turkey were plastered over every newspaper, website, social media and TV channel, did the world react. Maybe we all need some shock treatment to jolt us out of our privileged lives. Maybe Cecil’s story will propel us to greater awareness and greater action.
PETA is an American organisation and one of the most radical defenders of animal rights. Last July PETA President Ingrid Newkirk issued a statement:
“Hunting is a coward’s pastime. If, as has been reported, this dentist and his guides lured Cecil out of the park with food so as to shoot him on private property, because shooting him in the park would have been illegal, he needs to be extradited, charged, and, preferably, hanged. To get a thrill at the cost of a life, this man gunned down a beloved lion, Cecil with a high-powered weapon. All wild animals are beloved by their own mates and infants, but to hunters like this overblown, over-privileged little man, who lack empathy, understanding, and respect for living creatures, they are merely targets to kill, decapitate, and hang up on a wall as a trophy. The photograph of this dentist, smiling over the corpse of another animal, who, like Cecil, wanted only to be left in peace, will disgust every caring soul in the world.”
Hanging is a bit extreme, but if you visit PETA’s website you may change your mind. In comparison to ongoing worldwide animal atrocities, hanging barbarians seems merciful. Personally I would have been happy with Palmer serving a 10 year prison sentence, Zimbabwe’s actual penalty for “illegal” hunting (how I hate that term).
What You Can Do.
Jailing Walter Palmer would have set a precedent. A huge deterrent to trophy hunters and poachers. What has happened is a crying shame. Since the governments of Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Kenya, South Africa, India, China and the Far East don’t seem to cherish wildlife, or respect the Animal Kingdom in general, we must attack evil from our end. I call on US citizens, UK citizens, EU citizens & people around the world to act:
1. Sign every wildlife & animal cruelty petition you can get your hands on
2. If you have a few dollars or euro to spare, donate it to a reputable wildlife foundation
3. Pressure the US government to include the African lion in the Endangered Species Act
4. Demand that the importation – transportation of animal parts be made illegal (airlines, ships, courier services, Fedex etc.)
5. Demand that Canned Farms be made illegal – domestic and abroad
6. Politicians are terrified of Social Media – Tweet, blog, comment everywhere
Since these killers can’t be shamed into submission, we have to do it for them.
Foreign Endangered Species – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Domestic Endangered Species – U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Trophy hunting in Africa – You kill it, you carry it
Economic Argument For Killing Cecil The Lion Doesn’t Hold Up
How Lions Can Earn Money For Africa
Miss Cecil the lion? End trophy hunting
Why Cecil’s Death Means More Than Walter Palmer Could Have Imagined