Cecil, a beloved lion, known by all for his black mane was lured out of his protected habitat in a Zimbabwean national park by a Minnesota dentist, Walter Palmer, and his guides, and killed. Not just killed – but shot with a bow and arrow and left in pain for 40 hours until put out of his misery via gunshot.
The fact that Cecil was used to tourists and trusted them to some extent, relegates this heinous act to that akin to those characteristic of a canned hunt, which is not even considered a sport by other sport hunters, and an act of extreme cowardice and overcompensation. It is certainly not a fair fight.
What is really disturbing is his defense. In a statement to the media, Palmer claimed that he didn’t mean to kill Cecil specifically, and that, whoever he killed, he killed legally. As to the latter, not so fast- as his guides were arrested for poaching. As to the former – unbelievable!
How many prosecutors would release a murderer from culpability because he said “I intended to kill someone, just not the guy I killed”. The answer is the precise amount of tolerance and leniency the world should give for such behavior.