Cecil the Lion

30 07 2015

 By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

In an article entitled, “Killer of Cecil the Lion Finds Out That He Is a Target Now, of Internet Vigilantism,” the New York Times has reported about the killing of “Cecil,” a 13-year-old lion that was lured out of his sanctuary in Zimbabwe and killed this month by a Bloomington, Minnesota dentist.

The lion was lured out by pieces of meat that had been left just outside the boundary of his territory, where no hunting is allowed and anti-poaching patrols operate.  It has created an international outcry and furor.[2]  As the Times has reported:

In the hours since Dr. Walter J. Palmer apologized for killing the lion, he has gone from a dentist and longtime hunting enthusiast to a villain at the center of a firestorm over the ethics of big-game trophy hunting.

. . .

[He has] joined an ever-expanding group of people who have become targets of Internet vigilantism, facing a seemingly endless shaming. . . .

. . .

[A]ctivists used search engines to find his contact information and social media to share information about his business and his family, stirring a fever pitch of anger strong enough to effectively dismantle his digital life.

. . .

Cecil had been closely studied by researchers at the University of Oxford since 2008 as part of efforts to study a decline in Africa’s lion population and to better understand the threats the animals face. The university’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit said in a statement that Cecil’s adult “brothers” and cubs would probably be killed by other male lions seeking dominance in the community.

. . .

According to the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, the lion was shot with a crossbow after he was lured out of the sanctuary, following the scent of food. Cecil, well known to those who visited Hwange National Park in western Zimbabwe for his jet black mane, was only injured by the arrow. The hunters tracked him for about two days before he was killed with a gun, conservation officials said. He was beheaded and skinned, his corpse left to rot.[3]

Palmer has been called a “Murderer!” and a “Terrorist!”  Indeed, the UK’s Daily Mail has reported: “Horrifically maimed by an arrow, Cecil managed to stay alive for 40 hours.”  Also, he was an alpha male lion and leader of his pride of two lionesses and six cubs; and he was “known for his imperious attitude towards tourists on game drives.”

The Daily Mail added:

He was named Cecil after Cecil Rhodes, the British mining magnate, having first been spotted in 2008 at a place called White Man’s Watering Hole inside Zimbabwe’s famous Hwange National Park, and subsequently given a collar to track his movements for an Oxford University project.[4]

According to the Times, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed last October to list the African lion as threatened under the Endangered Species Act, “a move that would also establish guidelines for permitting the importing of lion trophies.” The proposal is still under review and has not been adopted yet.[5]

How tragic and utterly senseless.  Sir Roger Moore of James Bond fame has written in the UK’s Telegraph:

[H]unting is a coward’s pastime, and no one has demonstrated that more clearly than [Palmer], who apparently paid over £30,000 to gun down a lion to add his head to a trophy wall.  . . .  [I]t’s detestable that anyone would choose to get thrills from killing others who ask for nothing from life but the chance to remain alive.  The animals whose lives he has so cold-heartedly snuffed out have precisely the same capacity to feel pain and suffer as we do. All leave family members or mates behind when they’re killed, and none is exempt from grief.[6]

© 2015, Timothy D. Naegele

EMXP61 Image shot 2014. Exact date unknown.

Cecil the Lion (New York Times‘ Video)

[1] Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass).  He and his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates, specialize in Banking and Financial Institutions Law, Internet Law, Litigation and other matters (see www.naegele.com and http://www.naegele.com/naegele_resume.html).  He has an undergraduate degree in economics from UCLA, as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University.  He is a member of the District of Columbia and California bars.  He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal.  Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years (see, e.g.,www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles), and can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com; see also Google search:Timothy D. Naegele

[2] See http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/30/us/cecil-the-lion-walter-palmer.html; see also http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3179280/Agonising-hours-lion-king-Cecil-one-man-s-deadly-vanity.html (“Agonising last hours of an exhausted and horrifically maimed lion king and one man’s deadly vanity that led to its trophy killing”)

[3] See id.

[4] See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3179280/Agonising-hours-lion-king-Cecil-one-man-s-deadly-vanity.html

[5] See http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/30/us/cecil-the-lion-walter-palmer.html

[6] See http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/zimbabwe/11771713/Cecil-the-lion-Sir-Roger-Moore-says-hunting-is-a-cowards-pastime.html (“Sir Roger Moore on Cecil the lion: ‘Hunting is a coward’s pastime’”)

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