Tags: Cecil | Lion | Walter Palmer | Blood Lion

Cecil Tragedy Exposes Cruel Lion-Hunting Industry

By Monday, 03 August 2015 09:53 AM Current | Bio | Archive

The killing of Zimbabwe's favorite lion by an American dentist Walter Palmer, has captured the attention of citizens and conservation groups worldwide.

Cecil the lion enjoyed celebrity status as an Oxford research subject and a favorite among tourists. But the lion's untimely death spotlights another tragedy — the exploitation of Africa's most cherished wild animals.

South African lion handlers are cashing in on the rest of the world's fascination with the king of the jungle.

The revenue stream starts a few days after birth when the cubs are separated from their mothers and leased out to popular tourist destinations.

Nothing attracts foreigners like the possibility of cuddling with a cute lion cub.

Once the cub out grows its adorable stage it is no longer safe enough to have it posing with tourists so they are sent to be the attraction of a different outlet.

"Walking with lions" is a growing adventure activity in Southern Africa where tourists get the thrill of walking with a "wild" lion. In truth that lion is no wilder than the cat sitting on your couch at home and poses no risk due to the supervising ranger.

Once the lion is big enough to possibly hurt someone it is no longer fit for your average tourist. This is where the predominantly American hunters get their thrills.

The hunter would pay around $30,000 for a lioness and around $50,000 for a black-maned lion. The lion is then released from its' cage into an area where the hunter can see it. The hunter has very little to fear because even if the lion sees the hunter, it is so used to humans that it would probably not even take note of his presence.

The hunter can now shoot the "wild" lion with his/her choice of weapon.

The lions head and skin can now be removed, bubble wrapped and shipped to the hunter's home.

A new documentary called "Blood Lion" is about to be released. It shows that there are about 6,000 to 8,000 lions currently awaiting this fate.

Perhaps the only positive to come out of Cecil the lion's death would be the exposure of a cruel practice and thriving industry, giving the tourists a better understanding of what they are buying into when they book an interaction with one of nature's most majestic beasts.

Matthew Klynsmith earned a business administration diploma at CTI in Cape Town, South Africa. He now works at Strategic Options as an associate partner. To read more reports from Matthew Klynsmith, Go Here Now.

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South African lion handlers are cashing in on the rest of the world's fascination with the king of the jungle.
Cecil, Lion, Walter Palmer, Blood Lion
Monday, 03 August 2015 09:53 AM
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