Following the story of the famed Zimbabwean lion, Cecil, slaughtered earlier this month it is hard not to get sucked into the comments. There are liberals, conservatives, hunters, and even conservative hunters who are equally outraged by this tragedy. Of course, the comments on sites like FoxNews are for sheer entertainment while enlightening on why people in other countries believe Americans are dumb. Only about 3% of the comments had relevant material about the case, and the rest were just conservative loud mouths who obviously hadn’t even followed the story. All they had to offer was that “Everyone upset over this lion is just a liberal gruber.”
Those who quickly try to get off topic by diverting the importance over to Planned Parenthood are another category. They go on and on about liberals caring more for animal life than human life. They seem to have forgotten just which party it is that protests the wars. Animals are not fighting in our wars. Humans are.
To say Cecil was “just another lion” is idiotic as clearly if he were the outrage would not be what it is. Further, it is implied many conservatives that only liberals care this much for animals. This would infer that conservatives do not care for animals, yet how many of them have pets. If their pet was killed perhaps it would not make front page news, but would they feel their sorrow would be misplaced because their pet was “just another” animal.
The positive side to the outrage is that it shows that humans of any party are acknowledging this tragedy and are affected by it, thus showing empathy in a world where I could have sworn hope was lost.
Zimbabwe has requested Palmer is extradited. The U.S. should comply because the parties that almost never agree with each other believe he should be held accountable for his involvement. The professional hunter with Palmer states that the dentist took photos with Cecil. Palmer states himself that he didn’t know Cecil was a famed Lion until the end of the hunt. He does not say that he only heard the news when he arrived back to the U.S. If this is the case, he is complicit. When he discovered Cecil’s collar, the correct thing to do would be to report it to the authorities. Instead, he assisted in removing and destroying the collar and did nothing while Cecil was beheaded and skinned. Let’s pretend the guides duped him. He admits he knew Cecil was protected. At that point, he should have reported the guides to the authorities, but he did not.
One can be for or against hunting. This case is more than that. You can disregard Cecil’s fame and the facts remain. They perhaps didn’t know he was collared, but they did not report their mistake and further continued. These people have been hunting for years and this was not Palmer’s first big game hunt. The guides have years of experience in the territory. It is hard to believe any of them are innocent.