Issue 67 •
Ending Trophy Hunting
The brutal and illegal slaughter of Cecil, Hwange National Park’s most beloved lion, by Dr. Walter Palmer, a Minneapolis dentist, has fueled an international outcry against trophy hunting and, for the most part, all wildlife hunting.
Story by Claudia Bensimoun
In an era of wildlife extinction with large-scale rhino poaching and canned lion hunting, conservation should be a priority, and measures must be put in place to halt canned hunting and poaching internationally.
“Sadly, an estimated 756 African lions are killed by trophy hunters every year. So, while it is not unusual for lions to be killed by trophy hunters, Cecil’s story allowed us to bring this matter to the public’s attention. Cecil the lion is an animal who was well-known and loved. He was radio-collared and the subject of a study by Oxford University scientists. A lot was known about him: that he was one of two adult males in a lion pride, and that he has cubs who survived him. He was used to being around people. He was photographed and enjoyed by many. When he was killed, the researchers knew about it and the location of his remains. The ensuing investigation by the Government of Zimbabwe revealed illegalities in Cecil’s hunt and they have asked the US to extradite the hunter to face charges in Zimbabwe. Cecil’s story reveals a wealth of information about how the trophy hunting industry operates,” explains Teresa Telecky, Ph.D. Director, Wildlife Department, Humane Society International, Washington, DC.
According to Shelly Cox, African Bush Camps and Brent Staplekamp from the Lion Research Unit in Hwange, “Jericho was with Cecil’s pride (comprising of three female lionesses and seven cubs) after Cecil’s death. They all appear to be doing extremely well. Jericho is currently in another area not far from this pride and is mating with a female named “Cathy” from an alternative pride that both Cecil and Jericho looked after. Both prides appear to be doing well.”