This pointless killing even brought Jimmy Kimmel
to a halt, choking up when discussing Cecil's death.
The Los Angeles Times article, reprinted in July 30th's
Redeye, described the twisted tale: Cecil, a collared
male lion, part of a pride, was shot on July 1st by an
American hunter in a Zimbabwean conservation
park area. The hunter, Walter James Palmer, paid
~$55,000 to participate in this trophy safari. He
claimed everything about this trip was legal, properly
handled and conducted, via a written statement.
Zimbabwe officials think otherwise. They have
already detained and arrested the local "professionals"
who guided this pathetic and illegal private safari. None
of these three men had permission to kill any lions.
All three, the two locals and Palmer, a dentist from
Bloomington, Minnesota are being charged with
poaching, a serious infraction in parts of Africa,
including Zimbabwe. Officials there want Palmer
extradited back to Zimbabwe.
The essential point is that much of the world's
wildlife is disappearing, mostly due to human
activity, ever-increasing overpopulation and
destruction of habitat. The relatively few rich
and entitled Americans who take trophies
from endangered species like big cats and
elephants really contribute heavily in an inverse
ratio to the depopulation of these magnificent
animals...but hey, a dentist's life is a boring if
unpleasantly smelly one, so--on to an adventure,
Certain apologists across the web have decried
the vilification of hunter Palmer, in view of far
worse inhumane activities perpetrated daily.
I understand their emphasis, that human murders
outrank outrage concerning this sorry saga. Yet
it is ALL WRONG, always, killing anything/
anyone for no defensible reason--and pleasure
AIN'T no good reason. (-!)
Burdick and Lederer are probably "tsking" and
tut-tutting in their graves right about now. Their
masterwork, The Ugly American, published in
1958, characterizes the many ignorant, arrogant
Americans millions around the world
(--and here at home) have come to know
but not to love.