The world cried out in outrage upon hearing the news that Cecil, the lion, was killed. Cecil was one of the most loved animals at Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park and their main celebrity. For many years, Cecil had been studied by researchers from the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit at Oxford University. His movements had been tracked since 2008. However, on the 1st of July, Cecil was found shot. He had been skinned and beheaded, his carcass left behind.
Cecil’s movements had been tracked through a GPS collar for the past years. The killers, upon seeing the collar, had tried hiding it, but failed. It was later discovered that Cecil had been killed by Walter Palmer, a dentist from the U.S. Palmer had paid the sum of US$50,000 to a professional hunter in order to kill the lion. Apparently, Cecil was lured away from the protected area and wounded with an arrow. After stalking the lion for 40 hours, Palmer killed him.
The dentist was able to return to the U.S. before his guilt could be established. However, he did not escape from the wrath of social media. The internet backslash forced the dentist to close his dental office. The front door was turned into a shrine for Cecil by animal lovers living in the area. Moreover, reviewers made sure to be vicious on Yelp, bringing the dentist’s rating to 1.
The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force declared the hunt had been illegal. Two men from the local area were arrested and accused of assisting the American in the killing. “He never bothered anybody,” said Johnny Rodrigues, the head of Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force. “He was one of the most beautiful animals to look at.” Moreover, with Cecil dead, it is very likely that all his 24 cubs will be killed by rivals trying to gain alpha status.
Do you think Palmer will be prosecuted for killing Cecil?
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