Zimbabwe slates proposed US anti-trophy hunting law

by Staff reporter
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Trump’s sons
GOVERNMENT is disturbed by moves by the United States to frustrate wildlife trophy hunting in Zimbabwe and is engaging Washington over the matter, a senior official said yesterday.

The United States is in the process of promulgating an anti-trophy hunting law called ‘Cecil Act’ purportedly inspired by the killing of Cecil the lion at Hwange National Park by an American millionaire dentist, Walter Palmer, in 2015. The killing of the globally famous lion sparked worldwide outrage.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Environment, Tourism and Hospitality Industry, Mr Munesu Munodawafa, revealed Government’s frustrations at Matopo National Park during the launch of the country’s Rapid Response Guide (RRG) toolkit on wildlife crimes yesterday.

A local non-governmental organisation that advocates for protection of animals, Speak for Animals, spearheaded the formulation of the toolkit with the involvement of stakeholders in various Government departments.

Mr Munodawafa said the US congress recently invited Government to make its presentation on the proposed law and Harare is still negotiating with Washington to understand its implications.

“The background of the law is that there was a lion called Cecil which was shot in Hwange National Park under circumstances that are well documented. Now what has since happened is that the American government is coming up with what they call the Cecil Act. The long and short of what is happening is that they are saying we need to protect certain species and for that to happen the effect of the law will be to prohibit the movement of trophies to America whether by airplanes going to America or even to prohibit the American hunters from coming here. That would be the effect of that law,” he said.

Mr Munodawafa said Zimbabwe’s tourism industry thrives on wildlife conservancy and the proposed law would negatively affect conservation efforts. He said the country benefits from controlled trophy hunts as revenues generated are used for anti-poaching mechanisms. Mr Munodawafa said if the Cecil Act sails through, the country would regress on progress it has made in fighting wildlife crimes as Government cannot fund conservation efforts from its coffers.

“On average the operational budget, just the operational budget for national parks, is plus or minus US$30 million and that money has been coming in from various activities like sport hunting. That is why we even fight the issue of the ban on ivory trade. If you look at it, ivory has been banned, trading in live elephants has effectively been banned, now they are moving to cut off trophies for buffaloes, for lions, for anything they are closing all the sources of revenue,” he said.

Speaking at the same event, acting deputy Prosecutor General Mr Innocent Mutsonziwa said it was curious that the Cecil law is being crafted after an American sparked global outrage by killing the famous lion.

“The law which is being crafted to deprive Zimbabwe and other African countries of benefiting from their wildlife is coming from the same country where that person (who killed Cecil) came from. So, as a thinker you must think big and say what was the plan. Was it just a coincidence or it was a well-planned thing that we do this and after so many years then we tie this country down so that it doesn’t develop? It can’t use its resources. These are things that those with huge imaginations should think about,” said Mr Mutsonziwa.

President Mnangagwa recently revealed that the country is considering pulling out of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) as it prevents Zimbabwe from benefiting from ivory stocks worth US$600 million.


Yes, I’m a hunter. My targets are duplicity, lies and cruelty

 We are left to contemplate the needless deaths of keystone animals like lions Skye, Cecil and Voortrekker – not dusty old males hunters claim they hunt, but beautiful creatures in the prime of their lives destined to bolster someone’s ego and bragging rights, says the writer. Photo: Charlie Lynam)  Less

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The trophy hunting industry is on the wrong side of history, serves the macabre leisure pursuits of a handful of the wealthy elite and yet, bizarrely, we environment writers are the ones vilified for trying to call it to account.

As every journalist knows, a disaster without a face is just a number. You tell the bigger story through the individual. Exactly a year ago, that face was a beautiful pride male lion named Skye. Last month it was the huge male desert-dwelling elephant named Voortrekker. Four years ago it was the lion, Cecil.

Trophy hunters don’t like the animals they shoot having names. It enables the public to identify with them as individuals. And as individuals, they easily become a synecdoche – a lens – through which to assess trophy hunting as a sport.

That makes hunters and their apologists uncomfortable. Rather keep it scientific, clinical. We’re just cropping ageing game in a well-regulated sport. It’s sustainable and helps local communities. It keeps cows and goats out of the wilderness.

News that questions this version of reality is hotly contested. Each story written by environmental writers like Elise Tempelhoff, Ross Harvey, Ian Michler, Simon Bloch, John Grobler, Louzel Lombard Steyn or myself never fails to elicit angry rebuttals in support of hunting. Here are a few among the many:

Kent journalism professor Keith Somerville claims those opposing hunting are card-stacking facts or falsehoods and cherry-picking (though he misses the irony that he does just that). What we write, in other words, is not news, but propaganda.

Swedish hunter Jens Ulrik Høgh complains that those who support trophy hunting are being “actively demonised, outnumbered, interrupted and treated like the scum of the earth”. Really?

In response to an article about the killing of Voortrekker, US-based Safari Club International (SCI) posted that the writer “John Grobler et al. seem to focus on bringing disrepute upon communal conservancies and sustainable hunting in Namibia. Their relentless rhetoric has fuelled the fervour of many desktop anti-hunting social media activists.”

It fails to mention, of course, that the SCI hunting achievement programme and awards fuel a global guiding and outfitting industry and drives binge hunting for many of the rarest animals on earth.

The pro-hunting Conservation Frontlines website sees the conflict being between “various hunting organisations and a coterie of short-attention-span journalists and tourism operators who style themselves as conservationists”.

Hunter Ron Thomson is always quick to rush into print to kill the messenger and defend the right to gun down elephants. His speciality seems to be mass culling. He claims Botswana has doubled its elephant population (in fact the population has been stable for 19 years). He recommends shooting half of them (around 50,000) and ruminates on the limitation posed by insufficient abattoirs.

The noise in defence of trophy hunting is understandable – it’s getting a very bad name and there’s growing public pushback.

Conservation Frontlines writers Malan Lindeque and Rosalia Lileka have the solution: just rebrand it. Remove all reference to “sport” or “fun”, reposition it as “conservation organisation hunts” and ensure that hunting “demonstrably contributes to conservation”. But of course, do not for a moment question whether it’s okay to kill wild animals.

As a journalist – a real one and not, as depicted, a greenie propagandist – the barrage of criticism has an effect. It’s exhausting having to rebut the same old hoary arguments.

Are we environmental writers and NGOs really completely blind to the virtues of trophy hunting? Well no, I don’t think so. The UN Report on Biodiversity out two months ago was a wake-up call. It warned that about a million species are on the brink of extinction, including many of the species being hunted for pleasure. A Born Free report just out: Trophy Hunting – Busting the Myths and Exposing the Cruelty, has alarming figures on the volume of trophies.

It found that between 2008 and 2017, close to 300,000 trophy items derived from more than 300 threatened animal species were exported from more than 100 countries. Here are some:

“These figures only reflect those trophies derived from species that are protected by international agreement, the export of which is subject to an international permitting system,” the report says.

“When you consider the many trophies derived from the hunters’ own countries, for which official records may not exist or are much more difficult to obtain, these figures represent the tip of a very large iceberg.”

report by the non-partisan US Congressional Research Service backs up the high carcass volumes. Between 2013 and 2017 the US granted import permits for 32,100 black bears, 10,122 sandhill cranes, 2,645 African lions, 2,552 chacma baboons, and 2,148 mountain zebras.

The Born Free report documents the cruelty of trophy hunting, its failure to support conservation, the cheating of local communities out of hunting revenues, and the complete disregard for animal welfare. And this in a world where the populations of the animals that trophy hunters target are, for the most part, plummeting.

Hunters, the report says, claim the fees they pay to government agencies, hunting outfitters, taxidermists and shipping companies benefit wildlife conservation, local communities and the economies of the countries where trophy hunting takes place.

“They also often claim that by targeting problem or redundant animals their activities represent a legitimate form of wildlife management. But their claims do not withstand scrutiny.”

Their major motivation, says the report, appears to be admiration and affirmation from fellow hunters, which they increasingly seek through social media and other online platforms. “The trophy hunting industry encourages this behaviour by offering awards for the number and types of animals bagged by hunters, and the variety of methods and weapons used to kill them.

“Despite their claims, trophy hunters do not generally target problem, redundant or old and infirm animals. They prefer to set their sights on animals with impressive traits – the darkest manes, the biggest tusks, the longest horns.

“This often results in the killing of key individuals, removing vital genetic resources and causing disruption to family groups, populations and, by extension, the wider ecosystems of which they form a part.”

Then there’s the money.

Back in 2013, South Africa’s Department of Environmental Affairs estimated trophy hunting generated around R1-billion. In that year non-consumptive tourism contributed R323-billion.

A report by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in 2009 estimated the annual hunting turnover for 11 countries in Africa that permit big game hunting was 0.06% of their combined annual GDP, generating an average of just $1.1 per hectare.

An analysis of data published by the pro-hunting International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation and the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation found much the same. It noted that hunting companies contribute on average 3% of their revenues to communities living in hunting areas. The vast majority of their turnover goes to government agencies, outfitters and individuals located in national capitals or overseas.

In Zambia, the government’s Wildlife Department is committed by law to returning a 50% share of trophy licence fees and 20% of hunting area concession fees to Community Resources Boards (CRBs) and chiefs in areas where trophy hunting takes place.

However, Born Free’s investigation found that little, if any, of this money ever reaches them. As a result, local people have a negative attitude towards trophy hunting, accusing the government and Department of National Parks and Wildlife of corrupt practices and of exploiting wildlife for the benefit of others, including officials, outfitters and professional hunting guides.

Of particular concern to Born Free in its report was the generally neglected welfare of the animals hunted, an issue often derided by the hunting fraternity. While in most countries there are strict rules about the killing of farm animals, no such protections apply to wild animals.

“While some hunting organisations acknowledge that trophy hunters have a responsibility to avoid inflicting undue suffering, many offer awards for methods of killing a trophy animal which might include the use of bows and arrows, handguns, or ‘traditional’ weapons such as muzzleloaders or spears. These methods clearly do not prioritise the welfare of the target animal and are likely to increase the possibility of suffering.”

Because heads are displayed, it says, there’s the increasing probability that a body shot will be favoured, reducing the likelihood that a clean kill will be achieved and increasing the possibility that the animal will suffer.

“In order to give wild animals a secure future,” concludes the Born Free report, “we must learn to treat them with far greater respect and find alternative ways of realising value from wild animals and nature through non-lethal, ecologically and economically sustainable practices that will benefit wild animals and people alike.”

Now let’s step back for a moment and consider. There are very few NGOs and environmental journalists documenting the activities of a wealthy and often callous hunting industry and supportive governments which turn their face away from corruption and animal cruelty.

The trophy hunting industry is on the wrong side of history, serves the macabre leisure pursuits of a handful of the wealthy elite and yet, bizarrely, we are the ones vilified for trying to call it to account.

That industry doesn’t approve and we get vilified for the temerity to challenge it.

We could all be social reporters or cover crime, do the social beat or become sports writers. But, I’ll be honest, it’s the duplicity, lies and cruelty threaded through the hunting industry that keeps me hammering away at environmental issues.

The smokescreen of deception thrown around the hunting of Skye in Greater Kruger was a red flag screaming “Investigate Me”, which the parliamentary Environmental Committee did. Along the way, Kruger Park was roasted for failure to obey a parliamentary instruction. But in the end, nothing came of it. After all, the hunter had a government-issued licence.

So we’re left to contemplate the needless death of keystone animals like Skye, Cecil and Voortrekker – not dusty old males hunters claim they hunt, but beautiful creatures in the prime of their lives destined to bolster someone’s ego and bragging rights.

It’s a sad reflection of our species. Permit me to conclude with a (slightly altered) verse from Blowin’ in the Wind by Bob Dylan:

How many ears must one man have
Before he can hear creatures cry?
Yes and how many deaths will it take till he knows
That too many creatures have died?
The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind
The answer is blowing in the wind. DM

Cecil the Lion’s infamous death didn’t actually do much to change trophy-hunting laws


Even beloved animals rarely hold our attention for long.

cecil the lion in 2010

The iconic Cecil in 2010.

When Cecil the Lion was slain by American dentist Walter Palmer in July 2015, the incident sparked fury around the globe. The 13-year-old lion was a popular attraction at Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park, known for his striking black mane and comfort with tourist vehicles. His fate drew intense news coverage, a flurry of celebrity tweets, and an impassioned monologue from Jimmy Kimmel.

But that short spike in public attention wasn’t enough to inspire lawmakers to make widespread changes to trophy-hunting policies, a new report indicates. Researchers at Indiana University Bloomington found that people really were more concerned about lions and trophy hunting after the incident, yet the impact of that interest proved limited.

“There was this moment of extreme attention focused on lions after Cecil’s death, but it really was fleeting,” says coauthor David Konisky, an environmental policy researcher.

Individual animals—however appealing they are and however upsetting their deaths may be—don’t have a great track record for changing conservation policies, he says. Cecil may not have overhauled the rules on trophy imports, but he was still a pretty impressive poster lion.

To understand Cecil’s legacy, Konisky and his colleague Stefan Carpenter investigated internet search histories in the aftermath of his death. Right after the news broke, people around the world looked up terms related to lion conservation and trophy hunting 50 times more frequently than in the previous two years. But three weeks later, the spike in searches had already waned. In the six to 12 months following Cecil’s death, public interest was only slightly higher than in the two years before the incident.

The team also examined new laws in the United States (and the other seven countries that most often import lion trophies) in the year after Cecil’s death. They found that Cecil’s demise had only a limited impact on the adoption of new rules to restrict trophy imports. This isn’t surprising, Konisky says. “These windows of opportunity are short and often insufficient to create the impetus for policy change.” However, he says, “There were some policies that were already underway, and it may be that Cecil’s death helped push them over the finish line.”

The United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution to fight the illegal wildlife trade on July 30, 2015. In November France issued a ban on lion trophy imports. Cecil’s death may have influenced this move, although it’s hard to know by how much, Carpenter said in an email.

In the United States, several bills were named after Cecil. However, only New Jerseyand Hawaii passed new laws to restrict the import, sale, or possession of animal parts that year. In December 2015, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed one subspecies of lion as threatened and another as endangered; however, the original petition to update the big cats’ statuses had been filed in 2011.

Cecil may have made people more aware of lion trophy hunting. Still, in the United States, the average citizen does not spend much time thinking about lions, Konisky says. “Having a brief spurt of attention is not going to create long-term demand for policy change.”

There are times when a high-profile crisis can draw enough public scrutiny to spur policy changes. This happened after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill and the nuclear meltdown at Three Mile Island in 1979.

However, Konisky says, he’s not aware of any incidents involving a famous animal that sparked major changes to conservation laws—or even captured worldwide attention the way Cecil’s death did. “People are really concerned about air pollution and water pollution, but issues around endangered species don’t typically garner a lot of concern or interest,” he says.

For many people, though, the lion’s story was uniquely compelling. Early accounts were filled with “salacious details” of Cecil’s wounding and death, Konisky and Carpenter wrote in the journal Oryx on November 2. “People found it objectionable on many levels,” Konisky says. “It made a mark on folks.”

There are signs that people in the United States are beginning to pay more attention to big game hunting. More than 40 airlines announced in August 2015 that they would refuse to ship lion, elephant, leopard, rhinoceros, and buffalo trophies. In October 2016, the United States banned the import of trophies from captive lions. And when the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service decided to end a ban on importing elephant trophies last month, the backlash was intense. Several days later President Trump announced the ban would stay in place for now.

So it’s possible that future hunts will create even more of an outcry. On the other hand, Cecil’s son Xanda was also killed by a game hunter this summer and received less intense news coverage. “If we had a big focusing event, I would not necessarily expect a different outcome than we saw with Cecil the Lion,” Konisky says.

End Trophy Hunting in the National Park Where Cecil the Lion Was Brutally Murdered


We all know his name … it appeared on countless news channels … he was even projected on the Empire State Building. Cecil the lion’s tragic death brought trophy hunting to the forefront of global conversation like no other case did. People from all walks of life spoke out, changed their Facebook profile pictures, and donated money to the cause, but as media hype died down, the vast majority forgot all about it after a few short weeks. Unfortunately, trophy hunting is still happening and innocent animals are still suffering – in the same place Cecil called home.

A petition on Care2 has been launched demanding that the Zimbabwean government intervene and stop allowing heartless trophy hunters to kill endangered animals around Hwange National Park. This is where Walter Palmer paid $50,000 to brutally end Cecil’s life without even actually “hunting.” Many other disturbing facts behind the infamous case are being brought to light in a new book by the man who studied Cecil for eight years before the tragedy, including how Cecil was lured to the nearby conservatory where lion research was performed and how the Zimbabwe government slid it all under the rug.

The bottom line is that as long as trophy hunting is allowed, animals will be murdered for profit. If Cecil’s story touched you, signing the petition is a simple step you can take in his honor. There is no reason this had to happen to Cecil, and no other animal should be put in the position of being murdered and tortured for the pleasure of cruel and evil trophy hunters. Zimbabwe’s government needs to be held accountable for not taking the crime seriously, and it’s time they call an end to all trophy hunting in and around Hwange National Park once and for all!

Buzz Petition

Cecil the lion ‘died in agony’ 10 hours after being shot by hunter, says zoologist

While the world didn’t learn about Cecil the lion until after his death, Andrew Loveridge knew the animal for years. The zoologist had been studying lions around Hwange National Park since 1999. (A. J. Loveridge)


Read Story Transcript

Cecil the lion died “in agony” 10 hours after he was first shot, says a zoologist who had fitted him with a tracking collar.

The animal’s death made headlines around the world in 2015, after U.S. dentist Walter Palmer shot and killed him, with the help of a local hunting guide.

“We know that Cecil then probably ran away — about 20, 30, 40 metres away — into some bush and survived for the next 10 hours with a devastating arrow wound,” says Andrew Loveridge, who has spent his career studying Cecil and the other lions in the Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park.

They didn’t bother to go and kill it, to put it out of its misery.– Andrew  Loveridge

Loveridge was able to piece together the lion’s final hours through data from the satellite collar, and testimony from staff at the local hunting camp.

“When we spoke to the hunting tracker, he said that he could hear the animal struggling to breathe,” Loveridge tells The Current’s guest host Liz Hoath.

“So it was obviously close by, and they didn’t bother to go and kill it, to put it out of its misery.”

Loveridge thinks Palmer wanted to claim the kill as a bowhunting trophy. But in order to do that, he says that “he would have to kill it with a bow and arrow, he can’t go and shoot it.”

“I guess they wanted to wait for the animal to die of its initial wound.”

The new claims about the manner in which he died are made in Loveridge’s book Lion Hearted: The Life and Death of Cecil and the Future of Africa’s Iconic Cats, set to be published next week.

For his part, Palmer issued a statement after the outcry over Cecil’s death, which said, in part: “I had no idea that the lion I took was a known, local favourite, was collared and part of a study until the end of the hunt. I relied on the expertise of my local professional guides to ensure a legal hunt.”

Palmer never faced charges in the incident, and the charges against his local hunting guide, Theo Bronkhorst, were thrown out by a Zimbabwean court.

Andrew Loveridge argues that conservation efforts have to become a global responsibility, not just paid for by African governments. (Simon & Schuster Canada; Regan Arts)

A species under threat

Loveridge says he was accustomed to seeing the lions he studied be killed in trophy hunts. In fact, Cecil was the 42nd male lion in his study group to be killed by hunters.

According to figures from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), African lion populations declined by about 43 per cent between 1999 and 2014.

And yet, Loveridge says trophy hunting is not the only, or even the most significant threat to Africa’s lion populations.

The lions live in almost constant tension with local people, who see them a danger to their agricultural livestock, and an impediment to economic development.

Andrew Loveridge says hunting is only part of the reason that lions are endangered. They are losing their habitats, and natural prey, as farms increase in size and number. (A. J. Loveridge)

“We can’t talk about conserving lions, without understanding that African perspective of lions,” says Loveridge.

“Lions are dangerous animals, they kill people’s domestic stock, they sometimes kill people, they kill people’s kids. And people are frightened of them.”

“They have a lot of respect for them — they don’t necessarily want to live with them.”

With the human population in Africa expected to double in the century from 2000 to 2100, according to United Nations estimates, there’s pressure to make sure that the economy can grow, in order to support the people who live there.

But that means the lions’ habitat would invariably shrink.

Habitats will shrink as the human population in Africa grows, bringing lions into greater conflict with farmers. (Jane Hunt)

Global responsibility

Loveridge says much more will need to be done to ensure that wildlife and people can continue to live side-by-side, and that lion populations are preserved.

He says conservation has to become a global responsibility, not just paid for by African governments, which are the least able to devote money to it.

“Western governments could fund conservation in a heartbeat if they wanted to.” says Loveridge.

“It’s a fraction of the defense and development spending that governments spend all the time.”

Listen to the full conversation at the top of this page, where you can also share this article across email, Facebook, Twitter and other platforms.

This segment was produced by The Current’s Alison Masemann.

Cecil the lion ‘suffered incredible cruelty for at least 10 hours,’ new book says

By Kyle Swenson/‎Mar‎ ‎7‎, ‎2018


Booze shook the secret loose from the hunting staff. They arrived thirsty at
the safari lodge in the Zimbabwe wilderness in July 2015. Their pockets were
fat with cash.

Drinks went down and they became chatty, talking about a huge lion killed
days earlier by a visiting trophy hunter. The lodge workers overhearing the
boasts immediately wondered if the hunters were talking about Cecil, the
12-year-old lion who prowled the Kalahari woodlands of the Hwange National
Park, according to a
=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1520409599&sr=1-1&keywords=andrew+loveridge> new
book by Oxford University researcher Andrew Loveridge.

It would prove to be the first clue in unraveling how Cecil was killed. The
big cat had not been seen since July 1. Jericho, the area’s other male lion,
had filled the recent nights with lonely, unanswered calls. The lodge
workers relayed what they’d heard to a National Parks ranger.

Cecil’s 2015 death created international controversy, with much of the
fervor knotting around
the-big-business-of-big-game/?utm_term=.989c4f039563> Walter Palmer, a
55-year-old Minnesota dentist and avid big game hunter. Palmer had
reportedly paid local hunters and guides $50,000 to bring down Cecil with a
bow-and-arrow on the Gwaai Conservancy, a private wildlife refuge bordering
the park. The volume of the uproar rose when it was reported no lion hunting
had been legally greenlit for the area.

Palmer later issued a public apology stating that he “had no idea that the
lion [he] took was a known, local favorite, was collared and part of a
study.” Although Palmer’s guide was initially charged for his part in
Cecil’s death, a Zimbabwe high court later dropped the proceedings.

Loveridge’s book, “Lion Hearted: The Life and Death of Cecil and the Future
of Africa’s Iconic Cats,” offers the first detailed account of Cecil’s last
hours, including new information on how the hunters lured the lion out of
the park to his death. The book, based on interviews with members of the
hunt and the analysis of Loveridge’s data, also purports corrects many of
the factual errors plaguing news coverage of the death.

“What I find most difficult about the whole incident is the apparent
callousness with which the hunters undertook this hunt,” Loveridge writes in
the book, which was excerpted this week in
ting-andrew-loveridge/> National Geographic. “The lion was a commodity to be
collected, ‘taken’ in hunting parlance. Concern for the pain and suffering
of the animal never seems to have been a particular consideration.”

The book arrives as big game hunting again is a hot topic in the United
States. Under President Trump — whose sons are
n/?utm_term=.20b90dafd4dd> big game hunters — the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service has quietly been rolling back restrictions on importing hunting
trophies from overseas. Beginning
es-20171120-story.html> in October, the agency began issuing new permits of
lion carcasses from Zimbabwe.

Palmer’s attorney was not immediately available for comment on Loveridge’s


Dentist Walter Palmer, arrives to his office in Bloomington, Minn., in 2015.
(Jim Mone-File/AP)

Loveridge studied Cecil for eight years, and the work was often beset by
loss. Since the research began at the park in 1999, 42 collared male lions
have been killed by trophy hunters, according to National Geographic.

“It’s hugely sad to lose a study animal that you are very very familiar
with, you spent a lot of time with,” he
<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBRaGGwqbG0> told the BBC after Cecil’s
death. “You get very up close and personal with them. They all have
personalities, so it’s very distressing when they die, not only from
trophy-hunting but from other causes as well.”

According to the book, members of the research team began worrying about
Cecil on July 6, when they noticed the animals GPS collar had not
transmitted data since July 4. The collar had new batteries. A malfunction
was unlikely.

When the team heard rumors about a lion hunt, they hit the field, picking up
the information from the safari lodge. Eventually, the team tracked the
boastful hunters down to Antoinette farm, “a 25-five-square-kilometer parcel
located in the Gwaai,” Loveridge writes.

From interviews with staff there, the team learned an elephant carcass was
transported 300 meters from where it was killed to a location for the Palmer
hunt. Downwind from the dead elephant — an appetizing lure for a lion —
staff members constructed a blind in a nearby tree. This is where Palmer
initially shot Cecil, Loveridge writes.

The lion survived the first arrow hit.

“It is clear that Cecil was at this stage mortally wounded and hadn’t moved
far from where he was shot,” the author writes. “This is corroborated by the
GPS data from Cecil’s collar, which allows a forensic reconstruction of
events. The collar sent a position from the hunt site at just before 9 p.m.
By 11 p.m. the collar’s position had moved 80 meters roughly southeast from
the carcass. It therefore seems probable Cecil was shot at some point
between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m. on July 1.”

Palmer and his hired team finished Cecil off “10 to 12 hours after being

“Cecil suffered incredible cruelty for at least 10 hours, severely wounded
and slowly dying,” the book states. “Clearly, although the wound was severe,
the arrow had missed the vital organs or arteries that would have caused
rapid blood loss and a relatively quick death. Certainly, the lion was so
incapacitated that in all those hours he’d been able to move only 350 meters
from the place where he was shot.”

20000 trophy hunters descend on Las Vegas to join pay-to-slay auction


The hunts, which will eventually kill about 600 animals in 32 countries, have outraged activists

More than 20,000 trophy hunters are descending on Las Vegas this week to take part in a series of “pay to slay” auctions that have outraged animal rights activists.

The hunting jamboree, at which delegates will bid for the right to take part in 301 hunts that will eventually kill about 600 animals in 32 countries, is organised by Safari Club International (SCI), whose members include the notorious killer of Cecil the lion.

The four-day extravaganza at the Mandalay Bay hotel and convention centre on the Las Vegas Strip includes live music from country veteran Merle Haggard and Blood, Sweat & Tears.

The auction features an array of items including a white gold leopard broach – starting price $39,000 (£27,500) – and bullet gift certificates.

But the centrepiece of the event is unquestionably the auction of packages to hunt – and in some cases stuff – big game. Lots range from Iberian red deer and Pyrenean chamois to Australian water buffalo and African elephants.

The description of the 10-day Alaska Brown Bear and Black Bear hunt, which has a starting price of $75,150, reads: “This all-inclusive hunt is an outstanding option for hunters who want an all-in-one luxury hunting experience…in amazing areas boasting the highest density of bears in the world.”

US dentist Walter Palmer, who shot Cecil the lion, with another of his trophies

It adds: “Method of take is hunters’ choice.”

The Ultimate Hunters’ Market has been condemned by animal rights activists, amid a renewed focus on the ethics of big game hunting after SCI member and US dentist Walter Palmer killed Cecil in Zimbabwe last year.

Wendy Higgins, of Humane Society International said: “The auction site reads like a grotesque killing-for-kicks catalogue, in which the lives of the precious wildlife are sold to the highest bidder so that they can be slaughtered for fun.

“It is a tragic indictment on our society that, despite the global outrage over Cecil the Lion’s pointless killing, this scale of trophy hunting is still going on,” said Wendy Higgins, of Humane Society International.

League Against Cruel Sports chief executive Eduardo Goncalves added: “It beggars belief that there are still people who are excited by the prospect of slaughtering an animal for target practice and turning it into a trophy.”

The Safari Club International (SCI) is expected to raise more than $2.5 million from auctioning the mammal hunts alone, which have been provided from various hunt organisers.

The club runs the convention annually and it provides the majority of its income – most of which is used to lobby Washington.

Trophy Hunting


Article posted by C.A.S.H. Committee To Abolish Sport Hunting


By Peter Muller, VP of C.A.S.H.

Trophy hunting is the selective hunting of wild game for human recreation. In “Trophy Hunting” the entire animal or part of the animal is kept as the “trophy.” It is frequently kept as a remembrance of the hunt. The game sought is usually the oldest with the largest body size, largest antlers or other distinguishing attributes.

trophy hunting

Trophy hunting has both supporters as well as opponents – both from within the hunting fraternity and from outside of it. Discussions concerning trophy hunting are not only about the question of the morality of recreational hunting and the supposed conservation efforts of hunting, but also the observed decline in the animal species that are targets for trophy hunting.
Trophy hunting occurs internationally at many levels. We all remember the worldwide press coverage and outcry that Cecil received with many negative comments regarding that taking.

Was it legal?

Was Cecil “set up” for the kill by a wealthy American?

What was the benefit of the money paid by the hunter to the local community?

and so on..

However, let’s restrict this discussion to the US only and look at the arguments in favor and opposed to trophy hunting in the US.
In the US, trophy hunters select their targets according to whether the animal has the largest horns, antlers, or other visible attributes that would be of importance to pass on to future generations – in other words, they are genetically laden with attributes that need to be passed on to future generations for the benefit of the species as a whole.

To selectively kill off these genetically laden members of the species will gradually diminish these positive attributes from appearing in future versions of the species as a whole. In other words, the species, as a whole would slowly but surely decline.

Trophy hunting causes what has been referred to as “unnatural selection.” It has been shown to reduce antler size and body size in roe deer and horn size and body size in mountain sheep.

This unnatural selection which is common to all groups that are trophy hunted likely compromises the long-term viability of all terrestrial and aquatic species.

You can read more here: Fred Allendorf and Jeffery Hard, “Human Induced Evolution Caused by Unnatural Selection through Harvest of Wild Animals,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Science 106 (2009); 9987-94.

To compensate for smaller bucks, game managers now cooperate with the Quality Deer Management Association to build herds with large antlers for sport hunting.

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Ballot measure launched to ban trophy hunting of America’s lions


October 12, 2017

Two summers ago, a color photograph of Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer and his hunting guide kneeling over Cecil, an African lion they’d slain, found its way onto social media platforms and ricocheted across the planet. In response, 45 of the world’s biggest airlines – including all major U.S. carriers – said they’d no longer ship lion trophies in the cargo holds of their planes.

These companies knew that the public found the practice of trophy hunting of African lions and leopards and other rare wildlife repugnant.

With the launch of an Arizona ballot measure yesterday to stop the trophy hunting of mountain lions and bobcats, voters in the Grand Canyon State will have an opportunity to stop the same sort of pointless, cruel killing practices on a big patch of land on this side of the globe.

Specifically, The HSUS and a coalition of about 60 organizations have filed a ballot initiative to stop the trophy hunting of mountain lions and bobcats in Arizona. The measure would also ban trapping of bobcats, currently killed by the thousands every year in this state for their fur. In addition, the ballot measure would codify a no-trophy-hunting policy on jaguars, ocelots, and lynx, in case these rare cats establish healthy populations in Arizona and trophy hunters see them as future targets.

The question that millions of people asked in the wake of the killing of Cecil is the same one that people should ask in Arizona: Why would a person of wealth and privilege shoot a lion he isn’t even going to eat? An animal whose hunting behavior keeps prey populations in check and whose presence is a reminder that there are still wild places in our world where all kinds of beautiful animals, including native carnivores, should be allowed to flourish.

This will be the sixth ballot measure in the west to stop the unsporting trophy hunting of mountain lions, and voters have sided with establishing or maintaining protections for lions in every single one of them. It is also the seventh statewide ballot measure on animal protection issues in Arizona since 1994, and voters have sided with the animal protection position in six of six cases.

There are perhaps few things as senseless as the trophy hunting of mountain lions; no one eats these animals, and that makes killing them easy to classify as trophy hunting in its purest form.

What makes it even worse is that the primary method of hunting the lions is with packs of dogs and radio telemetry equipment, in what amounts to a high-tech search-and-destroy mission. A trophy hunter releases a pack of hounds, fitted with radio transmitters on their collars, and then tracks the chase with a handheld directional antenna. Once the dogs pick up a scent and careen after the lion, the quarry flees, but sometimes turns to fight – resulting in a situation that pits animals in violent combat. If the cat doesn’t kill the dogs, or the dogs don’t overtake and kill the cat (including young kittens), the cat will scamper up a tree.

The hunter will then follow the radio signal to the base of the tree or cliff face, and shoot the lion at close range.

It’s about as sporting as shooting an animal in a cage at the zoo.

Trophy hunting clubs like Arizona-based Safari Club International have, in recent years, promoted the killing of mountain lions by offering awards, certificates, and killing contests to reward and encourage trophy hunters. SCI’s award categories like “North American 29,” “Cats of the World,” and “Trophy Animals of North America” include mountain lions.

Mountain lions pose an immeasurably small risk to humans and do their best to avoid us. Lions have attacked just a handful of people in the United States in the last 30 years, even as we’ve invaded their traditional habitats with developments, agriculture, and recreational activities.

On the other hand, trophy hunters have killed more than 78,000 mountain lions during that same period – an average of 2,500 a year in 10 western states, according to a report we released earlier this year in cooperation with the Summerlee Foundation: State of the Mountain Lion: A Call to End Trophy Hunting of America’s Lion.

These native carnivores provide all sorts of benefits to their ecosystems. Mountain lions keep deer and elk herds healthier, taking weak, sick, and diseased animals. They leave carrion for black bears, grizzly bears, and other scavengers. They are highly sentient and familial. A mother will care for her kittens for up to 24 months, and if she is killed, the kittens could die from starvation, predation, or exposure.

In cases where lions cause an actual problem or pose a perceived or actual threat, the ballot measure allows selective killing of those individuals. The measure, on the other hand, is designed to stop trophy hunters from chasing down and killing unoffending lions – lions who aren’t bothering anyone, and like any creature, are just trying to live and get through another day.

This ballot measure is about our humanity. It’s about ending unsporting methods, killing for no good reason, or killing as a head-hunting exercise. It’s about letting animals have small slices of land where they don’t have to worry about the threat of premeditated human violence.

Join us in this fight to protect America’s own iconic lion and other wild cats of the west. Their future depends on our decision to act on their behalf.

Cecil the lion’s son Xanda shot dead by big game hunters

  • by  Samuel Osborne
  • Cecil the lion’s oldest cub has been shot dead by trophy hunters.

    Xanda was killed outside the Hwange National Park in north west Zimbabwe, according to lion guardians at the national park.

    He was just over six years old and had several young cubs.


    Xanda’s pride of lions on the hunt for buffalo in Hwange National Park (Bert Duplessis/Fisheaglesafaris.com)

    Two years ago, Walter Palmer sparked international outrage by shooting Cecil, one of Zimbabwe’s most cherished lions.

    Richard Cooke, the professional hunter accused of killing Xanda, also reportedly killed the cubs’ brother in 2015.

    Mr Cooke handed Xanda’s electronic collar back to researchers.

    Andrew Loveridge, from the Department of Zoology at Oxford University, told The Daily Telegraph: “I fitted it last October. It was monitored almost daily and we were aware that Xanda and his pride was spending a lot of time out of the park in the last six months, but there is not much we can do about that.”

    Cecil the lion’s cubs

    He added: “Richard Cooke is one of the ‘good’ guys. He is ethical and he returned the collar and communicated what had happened.

    “His hunt was legal and Xanda was over 6 years old so it is all within the stipulated regulations.”


    Lions of Hwange National Park wrote on Facebook: “Today we heard that a few days ago, Xanda, the son of Cecil the lion has been shot on a trophy hunt by Zimbabwe PH Richard Cooke.

    “Cooke also killed Xanda’s brother in 2015, he was only about four years old then. Xanda is still a young father at 6.2 years old and has several young cubs.

    “We can’t believe that now, two years since Cecil was killed, that his oldest Cub Xanda has met the same fate.

    “When will the lions of Hwange National Park be left to live out their years as wild born free lions should…?”

    Cecil was found beheaded and skinned near Hwange National Park in 2015 and authorities said Walter Palmer, a dentist from Minneapolis, paid a $55,000 (£35,000) bribe to wildlife guides to allow him to shoot the lion with a crossbow.

    He was forced to abandon his dental practice for weeks amid the outcry over the killing