We can all agree the death of any animal at the hands of hunters is unfortunate, but in the case of Cecil the Lion, we must also look at the facts. This lion was walking around a national park, which is just asking for trouble. Everyone knows hunters hang around in parks looking for animals. And I know what you’re going to say, he’s a lion, he had the right to be in that park. That’s all well and good, but if I didn’t want to get shot by a hunter, then I sure as hell would be less concerned about “what my rights are,” and more concerned about how I can reduce the chances of a hunter interacting with me in the first place.
It has to also be mentioned, and I think everyone knows this, lions, as a population, are very dangerous. Shooting a lion on the spot is a perfectly reasonable reaction, especially if a lion is showing any signs on being agitated. They are quick and powerful, and each year the lion population of Africa is responsible for dozens of human deaths across the continent. A hunter is just using common sense by viewing any action taken by a lion as being a threat to his safety. In that regard, killing this lion wasn’t even about hunting, it was about protection and survival for this hunter. I mean seriously, what choice did the hunter have here but to kill this lion he went out looking for?
Something else that I think should be talked about is the fact Cecil was no angel. He is reported to have fathered numerous cubs in the area out of wedlock. In fact, not only did this lion have countless cubs, he also failed to provide for them. Reports indicate that he often let his babies’ mamas find food and would then show up at the last minute and eat it. We’re still waiting to see what the toxicology tests have to say, but I wouldn’t be surprised if there was some grass in his system.
And can we talk about Cecil’s mane for a second? That thing was so big and luxurious. I’m not saying he brought the killing on himself, but if he had kept his mane trimmed, he might not have even caught the attention of the hunter.
While there will be some out there who will blame the hunter and even claim that using a dead animal to lure Cecil out of hiding was a trap, at the end of the day Cecil has to be held accountable for his own actions. He is the one who made the decision to come and try to take the meat. He is the one who was walking around the park and he is the one who grew out an awesome mane. If he had simply ignored his instincts and reflexes none of this would have happened. Even better, if he had just not been born a male lion in Africa, he wouldn’t have even been hunted down in the first place.
So if you’re looking for someone to blame in this tragic situation, try looking at Cecil and all the bad decisions he made that led up to his own death. Hunters do a lot of good in our communities and they deserve to continue to receive the benefit of the doubt. This hunter was out in the middle of nowhere, a big lion was coming to take his food and we all know the reputation lions have. Would you have really done anything differently than this hunter if you were in his shoes?
Let me conclude by saying I’m sickened by that attention this story is even getting. If this lion weren’t a celebrity and there hadn’t been pictures of the whole thing, no one would be batting an eye. Tomorrow another lion will be shot, but if the media doesn’t make a big deal of it, no one will care. This whole thing is just a flash in the pan and I encourage all hunters to just ride it out. The public will be on to the next shiny object soon and you’ll be able to get back to business as usual.