Blogger's Note: I wrote this post for my blog at my workplace and my Editor said it was too controversial. It was not published.
Alas, Cecil the mighty Lion is no more. In case you haven’t been watching the news or avidly perusing FaceBook, Walter Palmer, a dentist from Minnesota, recently paid $55,000 to shoot a lion on an African Safari. Photos of his trophy went viral, the public went wild, and Palmer has been forced to shut down his dental practice and website, at least for the time being.
Palmer half-heartedly apologized for his actions saying that he is a life-long hunter and that he thought his “kill” was legal since he booked his trip through a local African safari tour. Perhaps killing Cecil the lion would have been justified had he had been terrorizing Palmer’s local city of Eden Prairie, MN. Call me naïve; I thought that killing big game for sport had gone out of fashion with the late President Teddy Roosevelt, over 100 years ago.
I find this story reprehensible on so many levels, especially as a life-long animal lover. I believe that people have the right to hunt as a sport, if they’re planning on eating what they kill. And if I had $55,000 to spend on a vacation, I can think of a lot better things to spend it on than killing a lion that was illegally lured with bait from his protected animal sanctuary. Ironically, a friend of mine and her family are in Africa right now, although they are only shooting animals with a camera on a photo safari. They’re out of reach via the Internet right now, but I would love to hear what they think about this case and what the people in Africa are feeling.
What are your feelings on this incident? Are you a hunter? Do you hunt for sport?