Well, well, well
Cecil has exploded like a smart bomb on the long assumed “safe house” of the trophy hunting industry. With all the protective walls blown off, we can now get sight of the sordid interior.
And what we see is all a nonsense based on corruption, profiteering, illegal conduct. What we also see is the nonsense unfortunately supported by very many prominent “conservation” organizations. I do not need to name them, you all know all those letters they use.
While it is clear that many pro-hunting organizations would like to see Cecil as an aberration – naughty people in Zimbabwe as bad apples in the barrel – I would pose that the hunt of Cecil is no more or less than a “status quo”. Cecil was not the first or even the one hundred and first lion to be illegally hunted. It happens all the time. Cecil was just too “famous” to be ignored – unlike all those other poor lions killed illegally for sport that people did not pay attention to.
But it is called sustainable utilization by hunting organizations , corrupt governments and even conservation organizations. They say that some animals must die to pay for the conservation of others. Their favourite slogan is – “if it pays it stays”. Really?
The Cecil smart bomb blew that argument apart. Why would trophy hunters resort to an illegal activity (poaching a lion out of a nationally protected area) if trophy hunting in their convoluted arguments actually contributed to conservation? If trophy hunting contributes to conservation, the hunting concessions should be stuffed with lions. Overflowing with lions. Why then bait Cecil out of a supposedly safe area to satisfy the strange desires of a dentist with a fat wallet?
The concept of sustainable trophy hunting has now been exposed. It is hollow and empty. Cecil’s smart bomb blew off the walls off that convenient hideaway for the trophy hunters and their supporting conservation organizations.
While Cecil might now have exposed the sordid practice of trophy hunting in Africa, it will take a long time to correct. Too much money is being made and distributed to those who would support the killing of more and more Cecils. Already those with deep pockets are fighting back with at least purchased articles in the news media. Millionaires and billionaires will not easily abandon their entertainment of sport hunting – conservation is not important to them – they just want to have the right to a lifestyle nobody else can buy?
Picture credit: Brent Stapelkamp