The Daily Mail reports that Walter Palmer, the Minnesota millionaire dentist, is thriving and Cecil the Lion….is still dead. But the first anniversary year of the killing has revived the protest by those who are still outraged at the staged killing of the park animal.
Dr. Walter Palmer, one year ago, had his trophy kill gutted and readied to be shipped to his home in the U.S. when the story broke and brought a firestorm of outrage on the bewildered dentist. The millionaire dentist who was forced into hiding for a brief time has avoided prosecution both in Zimbabwe and the United States. Zimbabwe abandoned its attempts to extradite Dr. Palmer and announced that no laws had been broken. I personally am starting a fundraising project to raise money for Dr. Palmer to have an all expense paid trip to China where he can have a free ride in an open door-less car to visit Badaling Safari World in Bejing, China.
Unfortunately for Walter Palmer, the international outrage over the killing of Cecil the Lion is not going away. The wild lion population is estimated at 20,000 cats. One hundred years ago, the estimated lion population was 200,000. Over the year since Cecil the Lion was killed, Australia banned the import of lions taken as trophy kills. France also banned the import of lions taken as trophy kills. This Fall there will be a vote by the countries in the 182 member Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species to limit or ban the taking of lions as trophy kills. In Africa, Kenya placed a ban on the taking of lions as trophy kills. Botswana joined the ban, as did Zambia.
In a coincident of good timing the documentary movie “BLOOD LIONS” was released within a few weeks of the killing of Cecil the Lion. The movie exposed the trophy killing business where animals are bred for killing. The population of “ranch lions” was reported at seven thousand lions, all raised for a $50,000.00 fee for trophy-killing.
One aspect of the taking of Cecil’s life, which is heart wrenching, is the manner of death imposed by Dr. Palmer. At first Dr. Palmer wounded Cecil with a misplaced bow and arrow shot. The wounded lion, which was in reality a refuge-protected park animal from the adjacent park, survived the arrow and escaped the kill zone created by Dr. Palmer’s hired hunters. It took them almost two days (40 hours) to follow the blood trail from the arrow injury. After 40 hours of tracking Dr. Palmer and his hired hunters found Cecil and Dr. Palmer was permitted the “honor” of killing Cecil with a high powered rifle. Cecil the lion was reported to have been illegally lured to come from the safety of the park by the hunter and re-located onto privately owned land of an adjacent farm. Once Cecil was brought out of the game park the determination was made that a kill would be approved. Cecil was butchered, skinned and his skin was removed as a trophy for Dr. Palmer. One year has passed and little has changed and the trophy killing by recreational hunters continues all around the world.