The laws of the jungle

LAZY CATS: You’re more likely to be hurt by a frustrated lion in a zoo, than be in any danger in the wild.

CECIL, an icon of the Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe was lured to his death and then decapitated and skinned by Walter Palmer, an American hunter. When I first read this story this week it made me feel disgusted, and I know I’m not alone.
But, here’s the thing, it doesn’t really matter if Cecil was a well known lion or not, that part is irrelevant. What is relevant is the ignorance, arrogance and brutality that these acts display. Hunting lions is legal in several countries in southern Africa, but groups must obtain a valid permit from authorities.
The money raised from selling permits helps the conservation efforts of the species. About a century ago there were 200,000 lions but that figure has dropped to less than 30,000. The reality is that shooting lions is like shooting fish in a barrel.
Lions are big lazy cats, and are not the man-eaters that the movies portray them as. You’re more likely to be hurt by a frustrated lion in a zoo than be in any danger in the wild. The plain fact is that even I, if I wanted to, could take a gun and kill a lion, it doesn’t take any skill or bravery.
What does take effort, and intelligence is the development of a resistant conservation programme for lions and the other wild and endangered species across the world to be enabled to breed and live in their own natural environments without humans wanting to kill them for entertainment.
Walter is not the first person to be ousted for slaughtering an endangered animal, I can think of a few Spanish people who have been in the news, the previous King Juan Carlos for example. And consider this: is there any real difference between killing a lion and a cow? Perhaps we should remember to be as outraged at the factory farming industry as we are at the death of Cecil.
It is possible that Walter Palmer will be extradited to face charges of bribery, (not for killing an endangered animal) and two other people involved in the hunt have already been arrested and face lengthy jail sentences. What did this man think he was going to get out of his hunt?
I haven’t read anywhere about Walter enjoying a bowl of lion soup. No, he’s got his trophy skin, and a lot more than he bargained for as well. But that my friend is the law of the jungle, and perhaps this is the turning of that particular tide.

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