Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Cecil the Lion: Can There be Justice?

Cecil. A name you probably haven't heard much of since...Cecil B. De Mille? Cecil Beaton?
Now, it will forever be associated with a lion. A beautiful, yes magnificent, creature that was recently killed for sport in Zimbabwe. Today it was learned that the hunter was one Walter Palmer, a dentist from Minnesota. Palmer apparently paid over $50,000 No wonder your fillings, or crowns, or dental implants cost so much! I've long believed that dentists charge what they do because they can get away with it. But back to poor Cecil. Personally I think big game hunting is a cruel and unnecessary "sport", good grief can you even call it a sport? According to the New York Times, Palmer and his party lured the beast out of its sanctuary by tying a dead animal to a car. "The first shot, which the authorities say came from Dr. Palmer’s crossbow, was not enough to kill the lion. Cecil was tracked for nearly two days before Dr. Palmer killed him with a gun." He is now being sought on poaching charges.
I'm not sure I can remember the internet being so up in arms about anything. On Twitter, #CeciltheLion has been trending all day. On Facebook, Yelp, and Google, animal lovers have expressed their opinions ranging from anger to downright ...well...illegal ideas. On The Petition Site, a petition demanding justice for Cecil has received over 127,000 signatures and counting. Celebrities from all over have weighed in, including Ricky Gervais and Olivia Wilde.
No matter what you think, lions are an endangered species and in my opinion, should not be hunted for sport. According to Scientific American, "The African lion (Panthera leo leo) faces the threat of extinction by the year 2050." If you too are outraged and sickened by this story, I hope you'll do something. Sign the petition, donate to PETA or Sea Shepherd or one of the hundreds of great, legitimate organizations that work tirelessly to help animals, or just spread the word.
One last thing you can do that will actually help: Text “LIONS” to 50555 to donate $10. Message and data rates apply. Terms and conditions: mgv.cc/t. By doing so, you'll be helping support the National Geographic Big Cats Initiative.