Cecil the lion and some inconvenient truths for North Americans raised on a
Some sources put the cash injection into Africa by hunters at $200 million a
BY IAN ROBINSON, CALGARY SUN - UPDATED: FRIDAY, JULY 31, 2015 01:20 PM MDT
Walt Disney's got a lot to answer for. I blame !#$&ing Bambi and all the
anthropomorphic drivel that followed, like the Lion King. That unfortunate
part of the culture, more than anything else, seems to "inform" the view of
nature held by effete urbanites who rarely venture out of doors. So, let me
weigh in on the Cecil the Lion controversy. It was just another animal - and
the outrage generated by its death is unreasoned, sentimental nonsense.
People who claim to "love" animals more than people are emotionally damaged
individuals incapable of weathering the difficulty required in a real
relationship with something that can talk back. You think your widdle
puddy-tat loves you? Is that why if you leave the door open your widdle
snookums heads for the hills and you spend the next month teary eyed,
putting up posters begging your neighbours to assist in its return? (Helpful
household hint for Calgarians who have lost a cat: Save yourself the
printing costs. A coyote already ate it.)
The guide who took Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer hunting told the British
newspaper The Telegraph that they set up on a farm next to Hwange National
Park. There is no evidence that Palmer - an experienced big-game hunter -
knew anything was amiss. He paid his guide $50,000. It's reasonable for
Palmer to conclude it was just another legal hunt, conducted by a guide who
has been in the business since 1992. Reuters interviewed a guy selling used
clothing on the streets of the capital, Harare. Tryphina Kaseke told the
news agency: "Are you saying all this noise is about a dead lion? Lions are
killed all the time in this country. What is so special about this one?" I
dunno. Cause this one made Jimmy Kimmel tear up on TV? (I guess it has been
a long time since The Man Show.)
You know what didn't make Jimmy Kimmel tear up on TV? The estimated 1,200
Africans who are killed by wild animals, including lions, every year. Or the
fact that 10 times as many babies die at birth in Zimbabwe as do in Canada.
Or that only 30% of the population has a job. Or that the average wage for
those lucky enough to be working is $253 a month. Or that the country
recently suffered hyperinflation, that in one month, was estimated at
231,000,000% And no, that's not a typo. Some sources put the cash injection
into Africa by hunters at $200 million a year . not including economic
multipliers. That's big money for those folks. And it's a lot of protein on
the table when the hunt is done. Lions attack humans when they get old and
their teeth decay and need easy prey. Before they starve to death. And
speaking of elderly lions, how old was Cecil? He was 13. Average life span
of a lion in the wild? Around 12-15. That lion was already on borrowed time.
A trophy animal is, by definition, near the end of its life span.
Finally - and here come some of those pesky and annoying things called
"facts" - here are a couple from a renowned conservationist and expert in
endangered wildlife management. Guy works out of Cambridge University and
his name is Nigel Leader-Williams. He's the farthest thing from a trophy
hunter. And yet the University of Washington's Conservation magazine points
out that in The Journal of International Wildlife Law & Policy,
Leader-Williams noted that legalizing the hunting of white rhino in South
Africa resulted in a jump from fewer than 100 to more than 11,000. Why?
Because when the animal was monetized, private landowners reintroduced the
animals onto their lands.
Leader-Williams also, according the the university publication, noted that
allowing hunting of Zimbabwe's elephants doubled the amount of habitat under
wildlife management. Again, because privately owned lands were made
available, thus "reversing the problem of habitat loss and helping to
maintain a sustained population increase in Zimbabwe's already large
elephant population." Gee. Is there anything capitalism can't do? Name the
countries that have banned hunting - Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia - and you'll
see an accelerated loss of wildlife and habitat not seen in jurisdictions
that allow hunting. That's known as an inconvenient truth . but it oughta
take precedence over the feelings of pampered North Americans raised on a
diet of Disney flicks.
I sent Ian a thank you note: firstname.lastname@example.org
NOTE: If you don't want to receive any e-mails from me please reply to this
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GET OUR PALs OFF OF CPIC
Maintaining Information on Law-abiding Citizens on CPIC Serves No Legitimate
By Gary Mauser, Professor Emeritus - Tuesday, February 25, 2014.