You all have probably heard that an American dentist paid around $50,000 for the opportunity to kill Cecil, a well-recognized lion in a Zimbabwe nature preserve, with a bow and arrow. Legally, the problem seems to be that the people who dealt with the dentist forgot to tell him that he was killing a protected animal, something he was able to do because his contacts lured the animal out of the preserve. Worse, the animal was initially wounded and may have suffered greatly until the hunters found him the next day and finally slaughtered him.
It is not immediately apparent that the dentist committed an illegal act. Certainly, many people consider big game hunting an immoral act. Unlike ordinary hunting, one can’t justify it by saying “I always eat what I cook” or “This is necessary to cull a population that will otherwise starve to death.” Instead, the killing is done for the sheer love of killing — and perhaps to decorate a den at home.
While I’ve long ago left behind my knee-jerk opposition to all hunting, especially since I recognize that hunters do a great deal to preserve natural habitats in America, I don’t think I’d like to hunt, and I most certainly cannot come up with a rationale to justify big game hunting. Put another way, I’m not a fan of what the dentist did, even assuming it’s true he didn’t intend to contravene game preserve protections.
Not being a big fan, though, is not the same as being a crazed, hysterical murderer — and that’s precisely what Cecil’s fans are looking for. Thanks to the miracle of Facebook, I stumbled across a post from a guy named Ron Pringle (rocker/surfer) who is calling for the dentist to be murdered (emphasis added):