Cecil the lion – my view

Since getting into hillwalking, I’ve become more interested in wildlife. So much so, when the Cecil the lion story came about, I was so angered and upset by the brutality of Cecil’s death, that I was compelled to write a short piece on it.

When Walter Palmer allegedly hunted, killed and proudly posed with a dead lion little did he know the international storm he would cause and quite rightly so.

Palmer reportedly paid $50,000 to enable him to shoot and kill a lion back in June 2015. During the hunt, Cecil the lion was allegedly lured out of his nature reserve, shot with a bow and arrow and then suffered for 40 hours before he was finally tracked down by Palmer and shot.

Walter Palmer’s identity as Cecil’s killer was leaked and went viral and created outrage across the world! What I don’t understand is why did it take until now for trophy hunting to be in the spotlight, when the internet is awash, full of pictures of mostly Americans, posing with dead exotic wild animals such as lions, rhinos, giraffes etc?

Trophy hunters are nothing but brutal cowardly morons in my opinion, killing these animals to tick them off a list and to brag to their pals back home and why would you want to pose with a dead creature that you just killed in cold blood? They’ll also take home heads, horns and tusks to mount on their wall, to show off their big kill.

I’d love to travel to Africa and go on safari to shoot these wild, exotic, endangered animals. But not with a rifle, I’d use a camera. So I can take home memories, share, print and frame my photos and the animals live to see another day.

These trophy hunters will have you believe that what they do helps conservation, because they pay top dollar to hunt these creatures, it in turns helps these animals to survive and not become endangered. I’ll be honest, I don’t know enough about conservation to say if this is true or not. But if it is true, then this proves that as always it boils down to money, you can’t just leave the wild animals be.

I appreciate that because of human interference some species’ populations need managed by culling for example deer in Scotland because they have no natural predators left. But I very much doubt lion or elephant numbers need managed by trophy hunters. It is a battle for survival as it is in the wild and that’s before you even bring the illegal poachers into the equation.

Trophy hunting is an elitist “sport” for the rich and privileged. They flash the cash to exploit poor governments to obtain a license to shoot endangered animals. Also lets not forget Palmer has more exotic kills than a lion to his name. He allegedly boasts other big game kills, such as leopards and rhinos.

Wild animals should only be shot for population control, survival or last resort life or death situations.

If Walter Palmer did shoot Cecil illegally, the US must extradite him to Zimbabwe to face magistrates over there.

As I type this, unconfirmed reports are coming through Cecil’s brother Jericho has now been shot.

Human beings, we are our own worst enemy and to any other species.

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