By Duke Staff
Walter Palmer – the dentist who shot and killed one of Africa’s most beloved lions, Cecil – returned to his Bloomington, Minnesota dental practice on Wednesday. Palmer faced little punishment for his actions, which should rightfully spark outrage.
Cecil, a male Southwest African lion from Hwange National Park, was lured off the reserve and killed by Palmer in August while on a trophy hunt that was speculated to have cost $50,000, according to The Washington Post. The purpose of the trip was for Palmer to obtain a lion head to mount on his wall.
Cecil’s death should show the world just why trophy hunting and anything of the like no longer has a purpose. It is an antiquated pastime which has devastating consequences for nature.
This is especially the case now that many species are either close to or already considered endangered. As the site Earth’s Endangered Creatures explains, approximately 350 different mammals are considered endangered in Africa alone.
Zimbabwe’s savannahs are no longer overflowing with lions and elephants. They’re having a hard enough time carrying on as it is, and hunting them while their numbers are down only drives them further to extinction.
While that seems like common sense, people interested in exotic hunting seemingly don’t care.
What is it that makes a person spend thousands upon thousands of dollars to murder a revered animal in someone’s society when they could instead be using that same money to solve issues like world hunger?
This situation is almost as if a foreigner decapitated Punxsutawney Phil just so he could display the head on his mantle to gesture to it casually and say, “Oh yes, I did that.”
Government officials in Zimbabwe are calling for Palmer to be extradited despite the fact that he has yet to be charged with any crimes. People all around the globe were also in support of that measure within the first week or so after the killing occurred.
But then everyone suddenly stopped caring, and very little has been heard about Cecil and Palmer – as well as the general big-game industry – until now. That is perhaps the most tragic thing about this.
It is unacceptable that Palmer’s action went unpunished, and it’s even worse that the public is suddenly okay with it. Such an apathetic attitude is the reason why endangered species are in their current state, and not changing such thoughts is only making matters worse.
By not working any harder to stop the pointless murder that is trophy hunting, the human race has let Cecil – as well as all other at risk animals out there – down.