Cecil the Lion Slaughtered…
I will always remember the occasion when I was taken as a boy of about ten to the den of a wealthy neighbor who was a “big game” hunter. I was supposed to admire the heads of lions, antelope, and other exotic wild animals that stared at me from the walls, but instead I was filled with a sense of horror and revulsion; this was to me a charnel house, a mortuary. This “mighty hunter” had not done in my sight anything commendable to be worthy of praise or emulation.
The actions of my former neighbor, while I found them personally deplorable, were at least legal. Not so was the hunt of American dentist Walter Palmer of Eden Prairie, Minnesota, who paid at least fifty thousand to track and kill Cecil, a beloved and protected lion at the Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe who was readily identifiable, the object of research, and wore a collar. Cecil was lured off the National Park and then shot with bow and arrow. Wounded and suffering, Cecil lived and was tracked for forty hours before being cornered and fatally shot by the “mighty hunter.” Cecil’s ultimate fate was then to be skinned and beheaded, and his cubs will likely be killed by the next lion in the hierarchy to spread their bloodline.
Since this despicable and stomach-churning act, the dentist will at least be charged with poaching and has begun to receive some well-deserved drilling himself. The Yelp page for Palmer’ s dental facility has been overrun with negative comments. “Wouldn’t it be clever to see how you would face Cecil without your tricks and tools?,” ran one comment. That’s a fantasy I could well entertain. Rest in peace, Cecil…you deserved so much better than you received.