Cecil the lion.

Is Cecils killing simply about a one lion who fell to yet another American hunter, or is it something more?

You have probably seen in the news lately about the illegal hunting and killing of an African Lion named Cecil. 

If not this lion was baited by a professional hunter out of a national park in Zimbabwe where he lived and was shot with a bow by an American dentist named Walter Palmer, however the lion did not die. It survived in agony for 40 hours before the dentist and the professional hunter tracked him down and shot it with a rifle.

Many people from all countries within the world have become increasingly upset about the killing and this has sparked a number of protests.

But why has this one hunting incident cause such an outcry? 

Within South Africa alone, three lions are shot and killed daily in the canned hunting trade. So why has this one lion opened so many eyes? 

Personally I believe this is due to a few factors. 

Firstly Cecil was not only under careful study by Oxford university, he was also one of Zimbabwe's flagship aminals. He was an impressive 13 year old black maned male, used in many photos and advertisements around the globe. I understand that many people have gone to Zimbabwe on safari in the hope of seeing this lion. Therefore due to this hunting incident it may negatively affect the tourism to the national park as well as to the struggling country.

Secondly the nature of the hunt itself raised a few eyebrows. Not only was it an illegal hunt, but I personally find it disgusting how someone would trick a lion out of a national park to simply shoot it. Yet again the greed of some people suprises me.

The fact that Cecil was a lion also helped to fuel the masses. Lions are Africa's flagship species and are by far the most popular of animals in Africa. I believe if this happened to any other species we would not have even heard about the slaughter.

Another reason is because media as well as conservation groups have taken the opportunity to fuel this as much as possible, and the masses have responded. Many people do not realise the fact that lion numbers have dropped significantly over the last 50 years, the species as a whole is facing extinction.

There is a silver lining!

Through every situation there is always positivity. The silver lining in this instance comes in the form of the voice which the mass community are shouting with.

Due to the widespread reaction to Cecils death, it has given a much needed voice to lion conservation and conservation as a whole. Currently in the wild, lion numbers are lower than that of the rhino, but this is not often advertised. 

My hope is that Cecils death is not in vain and the masses will get behind conservation and start a movement to preserve our natural capital well into the future., not just in Africa but all around the world.


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