A Precious Lion
One fine day a big cat, the pride of the Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe “Cecil the Lion” was killed. Of all the people a dentist, who I believe wanted to sell the teeth? Really shocking to hear that a dentist has hunting ambitions and even that to come all the way to Africa and hunt wildlife, doesn’t he have enough of his own back home in the US?
The killing of Cecil poured a huge outcry and it wasn’t long before famous celebrities, conservationists and animal lovers spoke up against this heinous act. Even the 91-year-old President Robert Mugabe was angry and disgusted saying “these natural resources are yours and you failed to protect them”. He was speaking at the National Heroes Day address and it was directed to the “foreign vandals”. Hunting is legal in Zimbabwe and there are several tour operators who specialize in showing off the game killed.
Thus, begs the question, should hunting be legal? According to the World Elephant Day, which was celebrated on 12th August, 15 since the 1980s over 100,000 elephants were killed each year and these poor families continue to deplete. Nature has given us immense wealth, from rivers, plants, fruits, wildlife and even we come from Nature, so why is it that we are determined to destroy it. You can argue that Human Intelligence has been designed to do extraordinary things and because it is more superior, it is changing nature to follow its terms and conditions. I am one who wants progress and if we have to live in a spaceship then I may accept it. But not at the expense of killing another soul! As a vegetarian I still can’t understand how people are able to eat “meat”. Finally it is their choice and man has known to hunt and eat protein by killing an animal. But that was then, not now, when we know more and it is not a must to eat or get any type of nutrients from another animal. What if the animal could get some nutrient from us, then? Will they come kill us and rule the world?
Hunting for pride is even more despicable, the dentist in this case says he was misguided and didn’t know Cecil was the pride of the park and a symbol of the country. Really? I would say pick up a video game and kill all you like and whichever pride of the world and feel like a king then. You can’t come and claim large sums of money for your cartel of hunting, poaching and money-making. If the co-conspirator Theo Bronkhurst gets charged then he will be sent to prison for 15 years. Will sending one Theo to prison solve the problem? Thus, it comes to the Government to take drastic measures. Kenya’s wildlife is protected under the KWS (Kenya Wildlife Service) and penalties are tougher from life imprisonment to fines of over $200,000.
What would a country gain by saying no to hunting? It will have a larger wildlife population. This means more tourism, more foreign exchange, more jobs for the hospitality industry and generally increased GDP.
What would a country loose by saying no to hunting? No more ego trips for trophy hunters and greedy wildlife cartel.
Most of us are urban dwellers and with all this technology maybe one day we can create virtual national parks and wildlife. But ask yourself this, making a Jurassic Park doesn’t feel the same as being in one, seeing the miracle of nature. We are nature too and if we are protective of our existence, why are we not protective for our fellow mammals?