Trophy hunting itself, if well-managed and regulated, can be a positive and beneficial tool for conservation as it generates economic incentives that help conserve wildlife, preserve land, and benefit the local people. However, there is always corruption involved - if not well regulated and operated illegally and unethically, hunting for trophy can do a lot of damage.
According to CBS News and The Telegraph, Cecil was lured with fresh bait out of one of Zimbabwe’s protected national parks, into a hunting concession area. It is believed by local authorities, officials and the people that Cecil was shot illegally. Palmer claims to have had no knowledge of the fact that this lion was famous, collared and was part of a research study conducted by the Wildlife Unit of Oxford University in the U.K. However, according to the same Telegraph article, upon being shot with a rifle (the final shot after being found wounded from the bow the next day), the hunters had removed the collar from Cecil, seems kind of sketchy? Palmer, also claims to have paid approx. $55,000 to shoot the animal. However, it’s alleged that the landowner neighboring the national park had no possession of a permit or quota that could justify the off take of Cecil. Professional hunter and hunting guide, Theo Bronkhorst, and the landowner have been charged for poaching and the case is currently under investigation. Zimbabwe’s Professional Hunting Association claims that since it was a private safari, the hunt was not conducted illegally, however, the Zimbabwean government disagrees. Both charged persons are to appear in court.
What also strikes me as odd is the fact that the local hunting guide, Bronkhorst, and the landowner claimed to have had no knowledge that the lion, Cecil, was collared and famous. To have a famed lion such as Cecil and claim to have not known it was him? Hmm, okay, kind of weird. If you’re a local, its quite odd to not have been familiar with him. Especially since collared animals provide valuable information, yet I’m not sure if its actually illegal to shoot collared animals? Edit, lemme add this just to be clear: The hunting guide, the landowner, and Palmer, knew very well how close their kill was to a protected area, they knew very well that they lured out a (collared) lion from the protected area. And yet they claim to not have known it was Cecil? that it was collared? Seems like bullshit to me. Most aspects of Palmer’s, the hunting guide’s and the landowner’s arguments seem superficial and incomplete. Its very likely that the way in which this hunt was conducted that this was an act of poaching. As far as where I stand on this, I am against Palmer’s actions, as well as those affiliated with him during the hunt. Although I may (for the most part) support well-regulated trophy hunting (though, not for lions at the time being with there being less than 20,000 or so left in the wild and the fact that trophy hunting hasn’t really benefitted them from what I understand). I also don’t believe it is ethical to shoot a famous and collared animal, such as Cecil, as he not only provided valuable information for the research study, but was also greatly loved by wildlife enthusiasts and conservationists.
Cecil the lion, a famous black-maned resident of Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park, died at the hands of an American dentist, conservationists claim.
They say Walter Palmer paid $50,000 to hunt and kill Cecil with a bow and arrow. The incident occurred around July 6, with a professional hunting outfit reportedly luring Cecil outside the boundaries of the protected reserve using a dead animal as bait.
“Mr. Palmer shot Cecil with a bow and arrow but this shot didn’t kill him,” Johnny Rodrigues, chairman of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, said in a statement. “They tracked him down and found him 40 hours later when they shot him with a gun. Cecil, who was known all over the world would have earned millions of dollars just from sightseeing. Walter Palmer apparently paid $50,000 for the kill.“
It wasn’t the first kill for Palmer, who has multiple photos posted on the website Trophy Hunt America showing the Minnesota resident posing with dead lions, rhinos, water buffalo, warthogs, and other animals.
The Telegraph is reporting from two independent sources that Palmer was indeed the hunter listed on the permit documents, and a spokesperson for Palmer told the news outlet that Palmer believes he is the one responsible for the lion’s death.
“As far as I understand, Walter believes that he might have shot that lion that has been referred to as Cecil,” the spokesperson said. “What he’ll tell you is that he had the proper legal permits and he had hired several professional guides, so he’s not denying that he may be the person who shot this lion. He is a big game hunter; he hunts the world over.”
In a statement sent to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Walter said he didn’t know the lion he killed was a local favorite or that it was radio-collared for study by Oxford University professors.
“I relied on the expertise of my local professional guides to ensure a legal hunt,” the statement said. “Again, I deeply regret that my pursuit of an activity I love and practice responsibly and legally resulted in the taking of this lion.”
Theo Bronkhorst—the professional hunter who led Palmer to Cecil—and another hunter associated with the baiting have reportedly been arrested by Zimbabwe police. The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority said it is trying to reach Palmer regarding the illegal hunt, and he could face poaching charges.
“ZPHGA reiterates it will not tolerate any illegal hunting or any unethical practices by any of its members and their staff,” the organization said in a statement. “We will await the completion of the current investigation by Zimbabwe Parks Wildlife Management Authority before commenting any further.”
Park rangers and regular visitors knew the 13-year-old lion as a tourist attraction, easily approached by safari guide jeeps for photo opportunities. Cecil had a propensity for lounging in the middle of roads, said Bryan Orford, a former park guide and a longtime visitor to Hwange. Hunting such an easy target only made the killing of Cecil more wrong, he said.
“I used to drive down the railway line road following Cecil and had to wait for him to get off the road,” Orford told TakePart last week. “This walking in front of the vehicle would go on for ages. Other times he would lie in the road, and you had to drive off the road to go around him.”
The death of Cecil not only means one less endangered African lion in the world but also could mean the demise of a whole line of cubs sired by the leader of the Hwange pride.
“The saddest part of all is that now that Cecil is dead, the next lion in the hierarchy Jericho will most likely kill all Cecil’s cubs so that he can insert his own bloodline into the females,” Rodrigues said. “This is standard procedure for lions.”
Conservationists and animal activists are flocking to a petition asking Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe to stop issuing hunting permits that allow for the killing of endangered animals. The petition was started July 22 and has picked up steam with the revealing of the hunter’s name. More than 90,000 had signed the Care2 petition as of Tuesday afternoon.
Another amazing horse to miss out on. GLOCK’S Undercover won’t be apart of the WEG this year. He has an injury, it’s something with his spine but he’ll heal! They decided that their horses health is more important then success , which is completely understandable. So Edward will be competing with GLOCK’S Voice! Get well soon Fritsie !
Barcelona, Spain - 28/9/13Prince Faisal Al Shalan and Talan soar over the Sagrada Familia fence on the way to team third for the Kingdom of Saudia Arabia in the Consolation Class at the Furusiyya FEI Nations Cup™ Jumping Final in Barcelona.
Mandatory Credit: FEI / Arnd Bronkhorst / Pool Pic