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.

See more Articles


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

Zimbabwe drops charges against hunter who helped American dentist kill Cecil the lion


Friday, November 11, 2016,
Charges against the hunder who helped Walter Palmer (pictured) kill Cecil the lion have been dropped.

Charges against the hunder who helped Walter Palmer (pictured) kill Cecil the lion have been dropped.


Zimbabwe has dropped charges against the local hunter who alleged helped an American dentist slaughter the nation’s most beloved lion.

Theo Bronkhorst — accused to aiding Minnesota native Walter Palmer when he gunned down Cecil the lion during a July 2015 hunting trip — was cleared of charges, his lawyer announced Friday.

Despite international outcry about the killing of the rare black-maned lion, Palmer had legal authority to hunt outside Hwange National Park, Zimbabwean authorities said.

So instead, they slapped Bronkhorst, who guided Palmer on his trip, with charges of failing to prevent an unlawful hunt.

Boat of Minn. dentist who killed Cecil the lion stolen from home

Cecil's death sparked international outcry.

Cecil’s death sparked international outcry.

(New York Daily News)

The local hunting trip leader’s lawyers petitioned the High Court in Zimbabwe’s second city of Bulawayo to set aside the charge, arguing it was it was not an illegal hunt because Palmer had the proper permit.

“The court granted us that prayer yesterday — that the charges be quashed,” said Lovemore Muvhiringi, a lawyer for Bronkhorst, adding that it’s unlikely that the state will re-file charges against the local hunter.

Palmer, traveling with Bronkhorst, took down Cecil last summer. The animal had been fitted with a collar to track his movements but strayed outside the confines of Hwange National Park and was then shot.


Cecil the lion was killed in July 2015.

(Paula French/AP)

Bronkhorst was accused of setting bait to lure Cecil out of the park. Palmer said at the time that no one in his hunting party realized the targeted lion was Cecil, a beloved symbol of the park and the country.

Typical pr bs: Trophy hunting of lions can conserve the species, report suggests


September 22, 2016
University of Kent
Trophy hunters can play an important role in lion conservation, researchers have shown. These findings may surprise the public, but most lion conservationists think trophy hunting could play a key role in conserving this species because lions need large areas to thrive, and managing this land is expensive. The new work shows land under long-term management for trophy hunting can help fill this shortfall.

The findings of this report may surprise the public, but most lion conservationists think trophy hunting could play a key role in conserving this species because lions need large areas to thrive, and managing this land is expensive. Their work shows land under long-term management for trophy hunting can help fill this shortfall.
Credit: © Vasilev Evgenii / Fotolia

One year after the worldwide controversy when an American dentist killed Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe, the DICE team says hunting works but only when hunting companies are given long-term land management rights.

Dr Henry Brink and Dr Bob Smith from DICE (the Durrell Institute of Conservation and Ecology), and Professor Nigel Leader-Williams from the University of Cambridge’s Department of Geography, studied lion population trends in Tanzania’s Selous Game Reserve.

This protected area is divided into blocks in which hunting rights are allocated to different companies. Their study showed that blocks under short-term allocation were over-hunted. In contrast, lion trophy hunting levels were sustainable in blocks owned by the same company for 10 years or more, thereby also maintaining important habitat for this threatened species.

Dr Brink said DICE’s research shows that those who have secured long-term use rights to natural resources are more likely to manage them sustainably. This is an important lesson for lion conservation, as loss of habitat means this species is increasingly restricted to protected areas.

Dr Smith added that their findings may surprise the public, but most lion conservationists think trophy hunting could play a key role in conserving this species because lions need large areas to thrive, and managing this land is expensive. Their work shows land under long-term management for trophy hunting can help fill this shortfall.

This research also supports calls to change the hunting fee system in Tanzania. Nigel Leader-Williams explained that at present, the government sells hunting block fees cheaply, and raises more by setting high quotas and high fees for each trophy animal shot, which encourages those who are only allocated blocks over the short-term to shoot more lions, at the expense of long-term sustainability and profits. Increasing block fees, reducing trophy fees and reducing the hunting quota could bring in the same tax revenue, while reducing the temptation of hunters to over-use lions.

Man steals, crashes boat belonging to hunter who killed Cecil the lion


8 / 21

Alexi C. Cardona3 hrs ago
In this undated photo provided by the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, Cecil the lion rests in Hwange National Park in Hwange, Zimbabwe.© Andy Loveridge, AP In this undated photo provided by the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, Cecil the lion rests in Hwange National Park in Hwange, Zimbabwe. NAPLES, Fla. — A stolen boat that crashed off of Marco Island in the Gulf of Mexico last weekend belongs to the Minnesota dentist who sparked international fury after killing Cecil the lion last summer at a national park in Africa, police said.

Andrew Derwin, 26, of Marco Island was arrested Tuesday on a felony grand theft charge. Police said he stole and crashed a boat belonging to Walter Palmer off Caxambas Pass on the southern end of Marco Island.

Officials initially were called to reports of a boat crash at the Caxambas Park Marina on Sunday afternoon.

Marco Island Fire Rescue and Collier County EMS performed first aid on a passenger, Nicolas Stolinas, who suffered serious injuries when struck by the vessel’s propeller.

Police said they soon learned the boat had been stolen and was registered to Palmer.

Derwin, Palmer’s neighbor, took the keys to the boat from the rear lanai of Palmer’s home Sunday, according to Marco Island police.

A woman who watches over Palmer’s house told officials the Minnesota dentist left the keys on the lanai for a boat maintenance person to service the vessel. Palmer was supposed to let the woman know when to take the boat keys back inside the house.

The boat is valued at $61,175.

Collier County Sheriff’s Office arrest records state Derwin has been arrested 13 times on various charges, including driving under the influence, forgery…

More: http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crime/police-man-steals-crashes-boat-belonging-to-hunter-who-killed-cecil-the-lion/ar-BBuDdDW?li=BBmkt5R&ocid=spartandhp

Las Vegas Rally for Cecil


Join the Las Vegas Rally For Cecil and speak out against evil trophy hunting!

The Las Vegas Rally For Cecil will also feature demonstrations to be held at the Mandalay Bay on every day that Safari Club International is in town.

We anticipate protest times to be: Feb 3, 4 & 5: 6-7:30 Feb 6 (Worldwide Rally For Cecil): 10-12 We will finalize the times of our protests and the Rally in January.

Posters and literature will be provided. If you choose to make your own, please do not use violent or aggressive language. These will be peaceful, educational demonstrations focused on raising public awareness.

Worldwide Rally for Cecil Day in Santa Fe New Mexico

Worldwide Rally for Cecil Day in Santa Fe New Mexico
February 6th at 11:00am.  Lasts until 2:00pm.
At the Roundhouse/statehouse, at the entrance by the corner of Paseo De Peralta and old Santa Fe Trail.
We are trying to help Mountain Lions in New Mexico while also honoring and remembering Cecil.
By reminding our NM government leaders that a civilized society does not condone trophy hunting nor trapping.  Please show your support.
You can share invitations easily from our event’s Facebook page, at this link: https://www.facebook.com/events/1541114956212489/
David Forjan
Creative Director
The Animal News Hour