The killing of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe has sparked much outrage from conservationist and many people in many different countries. Cecil was killed by an American dentist who paid roughly $50,000 to hunt and kill this lion. The dentist claims that he was not aware that his permit was fake or of the fame and love the people had for this lion. Cecil was famous particularly for his gentleness with being around humans. Cecil lived in Zimbabwe’s largest game reserve- Hwange National Park. Cecil was lured out by the dentist and the dentist's tour guides by attaching food to the back of a Jeep and luring him into unrestricted hunting zones. This is where they shot Cecil with an arrow and then begun to chase and hunt him until they shot and killed him 40 minutes later.
The killing of Cecil has sparked a great number of questions.
What is the difference between poaching and hunting?
In simple terms, poaching is hunting without legal permission from whoever owns that land. In Africa, they have particular regulations that you must follow in order to be given a permit to hunt. The government gives out permits that regulate the hunters to kill a certain animal and they cannot stray away from that certain animal. Big game hunting is big revenue for African governments and they allow hunting to happen but they are the ones who say where and what you hunt, and what kind of weapon and luring technique you use, these are all subject to regulations. The hunters must then be escorted at all times by a licensed professional hunter and tour operator. This American dentist, Walter Palmer, claims he thought that the whole trip was legal and followed the correct guidelines, which they never did.
Poaching has been a serious problem for years and the killing of Cecil has brought a new fire to the hearts of conservationist. Poaching is an issue because of the direct effect of the animals living in the wild. We are losing many species that once were very common to extinction because of the unauthorized killing. Many are attracted to the thrill of hunting big game and it lures a many prospect. Not many realize how big of an impact it’s having on the numbers of that species. There are an estimated 32,000 lions living in the wild, about 30%-50% of Africa’s lion population has been wiped out over the last two decades.
What can we do to help sustain a beautiful creature’s existence?
Many believing that making hunting big game should become highly illegal and no one should harm these animals. Many like the president of Safari Operators Association of Zimbabwe believe that hunting should be allowed but with tougher regulations. Big game hunting helps with tourist revenue that the country needs but at what price? Is it worth the extinction of a species for a couple million dollars a year? Many believe that enough is enough and big game hunting should be dealt with swiftly and put an end to in the belief that it will help sustain the life of the lions.