Observations of an ordinary man

bow and arrow

Responsible Hunting?

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Dr Walter Palmer, an American dentist, has killed a well known lion called Cecil in Zimbabwe.

From the story in Mashable:

Palmer lured the lion out of Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe on the night of July 1 before shooting him with a bow and arrow. The lion wasn’t killed. More than 40 hours later, a professional hunter found the suffering animal and finished him off with a rifle, before beheading and skinning its carcass for Palmer to bring home as a trophy.

From The Guardian:

The hunt took place around 6 July. “They went hunting at night with a spotlight and they spotted Cecil,” Rodrigues said. “They tied a dead animal to their vehicle to lure Cecil out of the park and they scented an area about half a kilometre from the park.”

When hearing that he has killed a well known and loved lion, he had this to say:

“I deeply regret that my pursuit of an activity I love and practice responsibly and legally resulted in the taking of this lion.”

Now let me get this straight. He lured the lion out of the National Park because it would have been illegal to shoot it there. He then shot it with bow and arrow and over 40 hours later the animal was found still alive and suffering.

Also from The Guardian:

The 13-year-old lion was wearing a GPS collar as part of an Oxford University research project that had been running since 1999, making it possible to trace his last movements. Rodrigues said the hunters tried to destroy the collar, but failed.

I’m curious as to his definition of responsible. Luring an animal out of a protected habitat so you can kill it. Whilst it may not be strictly illegal to do that, I find it very unethical. Shooting an animal for pleasure to begin with is utterly alien to me. I don’t understand how you derive pleasure from killing something that is no threat to you, but to not even give it a clean death is deplorable.

Across the world, zoos are conducting breeding programs to prevent the extinction of these animals, yet we still have legal hunting of them. I understand why it happens in a lot of cases; the money paid by these pathetic individuals hunters is used to pay for the conservation of the ones they didn’t shoot. How does it even make sense that to save a species we have to let people pay to kill them?

I know that there are innumerable worthy causes out there desperate for funding but surely there has to be a better way than destroying that which we are trying to save to raise money.

Until we find a better way, the Dr Palmers of the world will continue to seek glory in the death of innocent animals.

You can read the story on Mashable here.

You can read the story from the Guardian here.

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