Do It for Cecil the Lion: Pressure Zimbabwe to End Trophy Hunting

Itís been nearly three years since a wealthy American dentist killed Cecil the Lion on a hunting expedition. Despite an international outcry to put a stop to trophy hunting in the wake of Cecilís death, this blood sport is still permitted in Zimbabwe, home of Hwange National Park where Cecil resided.

That doesnít mean we have to accept Zimbabweís inaction as the final decision, however. A popular Care2 petition is calling on the Zimbabwean government to ban trophy hunting altogether.

The fact is that Cecil is the celebrity Ė a senseless victim of big game hunting that people are aware of all around the world. While there are plenty of other animals who have died in similarly cruel manners that deserve to be grieved as well, Cecil has the fame and name recognition to pressure Zimbabwean leaders to make real change.

The timing is right for this kind of push, too. Weíre less than a month away from the release of Lion Hearted: The Life and Death of Cecil and the Future of Africaís Iconic Cats. Written by Andrew Loveridge, a man who had studied Cecil and fellow lions in Hwange for the better part of a decade, the book is likely to renew interest in this slain figure.

National Geographic is previewing an extended excerpt from the book, and it is both informative and heartbreaking. Through Loveridge, you get to know Cecilís life, not just his death. He was a trusting lion who didnít pay humans much mind, presumably a learned behavior from primarily residing in a protected area.

According to Loveridge, Cecilís death has been frequently misreported, and is possibly worse than youíve heard. The hunter shot Cecil with a bow and arrow, and though the wound was fatal, he slowly died for over ten hours. The team did not want to shoot him to put him out of his misery since then it wouldnít count as a bow and arrow kill for the record books.

Sadly, Cecil is hardly the only one to suffer in this way. Loveridge says in the past 20 or so years, trophy hunters have killed 42 lions being researched in his particular study.

Interestingly, Zimbabwe is one of the nations directly impacted by the recent repeal of an elephant trophy ban in the United States. During the Obama administrationís tenure, the staff decided that Zimbabwe had not sufficiently demonstrated that hunt money was actually being applied to conservation efforts.

The public jeered this decision and even Trump himself said he would make sure that the ban stayed in place. However, it seems like the Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has no interest in Trumpís opinion on this matter because last week the agency moved forward with rescinding the ban anyway.

Take Action

Still, we wouldnít have to worry about the decision on the White Houseís end if we successfully convince Zimbabwe to do the honorable thing and protect these beautiful, vulnerable animals. Cecilís death wonít be in vain if it can be leveraged for the greater good.

Help put international pressure on Zimbabwe by signing the Care2 petition.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

126 comments

Veronica D
Veronica Danieabout a month ago

Thank you so very much.

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Veronica D
Veronica Danieabout a month ago

Thank you so very much.

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Veronica D
Veronica Danieabout a month ago

Thank you so very much.

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Debra Tate
Debra Tateabout a month ago

TY

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Janis K
Janis Kabout a month ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Louise R
Louise Rabout a month ago

Signed. Thanks.

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Marty P
Marty Pabout a month ago

The Trump administration has launched a commission to promote big-game trophy hunting and the economic benefits. The council which will cost taxpayers $250,000 a year is responsible with making recommendations to Secretary Ryan Zinke about removing barriers to importing trophy hunting animals and relaxing legal restrictions on hunting and importing endangered species. Of the 16 council members 10 have an affiliation with Safari Club International the Same Club Walter Palmer Was A Member Of. So the membership seems heavily weighted towards people who think the best way to conserve wildlife is to kill it.

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Marty Price
Marty Pabout a month ago

Deborah Wanker....You have some nerve to pretend you care about Cecil or any other animal murdered by the very people you support and stick up for on a daily basis.

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Deborah W
Deborah Wabout a month ago

This death has been frequently misreported, much worse than presented. The hunter shot Cecil with a bow and arrow, and thought the wound was fatal. NOT TRUE ... he died slowly and painfully over a 10-hour period. And here's the worst part, the team did not want to shoot him to put him out of his misery since then it would not then have counted as a bow and arrow kill for the record books. FOR THE RECORD BOOKS, REALLY. May the lack of compassion be returned in a close personal way to each and everyone involved in this tragedy

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Susan H
Susan Habout a month ago

thanks, already signed

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