Cecil the lion back in the news


Cecil the Lion is back in the news with reports that American dentist Walter Palmer who killed the lion in July will return to work tomorrow.

Palmer insists that he killed the lion in a legal hunt but refused to disclose how much he paid to kill the lion which, reports said, was lured from the Hwange National Park into a private farm and killed with an arrow.

The owner of the farm Honest Ndlovu and Theo Bronkhorst, the professional hunter who assisted Palmer, are now before the courts in Zimbabwe.

Palmer says he did not know at the time that Cecil was a known lion which was the subject of a study by Oxford University.

Zimbabweans were surprised at the interest the lion attracted with opposition parties wondering why the world was so incensed about the killing of a lion and not the disappearance of an activist, Itai Dzamara, who disappeared on 9 March and has not been heard of since.

Reports that Palmer is returning to work have once again raised worries about his safety with animal activists saying he cannot get away with what he did, legal or not.

United States animal rights group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, says Palmer should be hanged for killing the lion.

But one reader commenting on the story about Palmer’s planned return to work wrote: “PETA is incorrigible.  This lowlife has not excuse.  But PETA?  Inexcusable. This guy should not get a pass, but PETA just blew it. With PETA in the equation, shoot all the lions, tigers and bears you can find until PETA is disbanded.  What a crock of an organization.”

Police have said they are not going to dedicate officers to watch Palmer when he returns to work. “We still have a security camera out in the lot there. We knew, eventually, he was going to return,” the local police chief said.

Cecil’s killing has sparked calls for a ban on trophy hunting and at least three airlines banned the transport of trophies on their planes. But conservationists argue that the ban on hunting will be detrimental to the countries that benefit from hunting and could worsen poaching.


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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.


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