White House says will review ‘Cecil the Lion’ petition

http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/white-house-says-will-review-cecil-the-lion-petition/ar-AAdJtmH

WASHINGTON, July 30 (Reuters) – The White House said on Thursday that it will review the public petition to extradite the American dentist who allegedly killed “Cecil,” a Zimbabwean lion.The petition has exceeded the required 100,000 signatures, and the White House has said it will respond to all petitions that meet that level.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said it is up to the Justice Department to respond to an extradition order.

In this frame grab taken from a November 2012 video made available by Paula French, a well-known, protected lion known as Cecil strolls around in Hwange National Park, in Hwange, Zimbabwe.© Paula French via AP In this frame grab taken from a November 2012 video made available by Paula French, a well-known, protected lion known as Cecil strolls around in Hwange National Park, in Hwange…The incident is currently being investigated by Zimbabwean authorities and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

“I am Cecil”

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Every day we can make a choice to save animals who want to live just as much as Cecil did. https://www.facebook.com/veganoutreach

“…most the friends ive seen talking about cecil are meat eaters and it feels crazy that one animal being killed is outrageous because its “majestic”, “pretty” and “exotic” and yet another animals being killed in the thousands daily is totally fine” Emma Smithies

What Could Happen to Walter Palmer and Hunters?

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/cecil-lion-what-could-happen-walter-james-palmer-hunters-n400461

What is the legal case against the guides?

The two Zimbabweans — professional hunter Theo Bronkhorst and farmowner Honest Ndlovu — were in court to face poaching charges. Authorities say they did not have the valid hunting permits.

<img class=”img-responsive img_inline” src=”http://media4.s-nbcnews.com/j/newscms/2015_31/1146066/lion-hunters-ejo-072915_d2c2ca3b3a964dcae3fe0d3df2ed6126.nbcnews-fp-360-360.jpg” alt=”Image: A combination photo shows Zimbabwean safari operator Ndlovu and fellow countryman and hunter Bronkhorst waiting to appear in Hwange magistrates court” title=”Image: A combination photo shows Zimbabwean safari operator Ndlovu and fellow countryman and hunter Bronkhorst waiting to appear in Hwange magistrates court” itemprop=”image”/> Image: A combination photo shows Zimbabwean safari operator Ndlovu and fellow countryman and hunter Bronkhorst waiting to appear in Hwange magistrates court

A combination photo shows Zimbabwean safari operator Honest Ndlovu (rigjt) and fellow countryman and hunter Theo Bronkhorst waiting to appear in Hwange magistrates court on July 29, 2015. PHILIMON BULAWAYO / Reuters

Wildlife officials accuse the men of taking $50,000 from Palmer in order to coax Cecil out of the Hwange National Park and onto private land, where he was beheaded and skinned.

Johnny Rodrigues, chairman of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, said Palmer is the one who fatally shot the creature.

Bronkhorst has been stripped of his license while he faces criminal charges, according to a joint statement from the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Authority and the Safari Operators Association.

Bronkhorst’s bail was set at $1,200 and he’s due back in court in one week. If found guilty, he and Ndlovu could be fined $20,000 and get a sentence of up to 10 years in jail.

What charges could Palmer face — and could he be extradited?

Police would like to question the 55-year-old trophy hunter for his role in the killing, but have not commented on any possible charges.

He may not face any charges depending on the circumstances, according to the U.K.-based charity LionAid, which advocates for the animal’s protection. The group says it is legal to bait lions in Zimbabwe, and even to kill them using a bow and arrow outside of national parks during private hunting trips. Whether or not they’re wearing a radiocollar — Cecil was — also doesn’t matter, the group says.

But the landowner in this case allegedly never obtained a “quota” for the number of lions that could be killed on his property, making it illegal, LionAid said.

Palmer, meanwhile, was merely the “client” and entrusted his guides — a defense that could get him off the hook for any charges, the group added.

Palmer said in a statement Tuesday that he had “no idea” who the lion was and the legalities of the hunt. He added that he has not been contacted by Zimbabwean authorities.

The U.S. does have an extradition treaty with Zimbabwe that covers crimes punishable for more than a year in jail. Minnesota Congresswoman Betty McCollum has asked the U.S. Attorney’s Office and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to investigate whether any American laws were violated.

Palmer in 2008 pleaded guilty to making false statements to U.S. wildlife officials about a black bear he had fatally shot in western Wisconsin.

Why was Cecil so celebrated?

The black-maned beast was a fixture of Hwange National Park, making him a local favorite among parkgoers and wildlife researchers. He was named after Cecil Rhodes, a British businessman who was also the namesake for the former southern African territory of Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe.

Since 2008, Cecil was being studied by an Oxford University research program. “The lion, Cecil, was a remarkable individual. Remarkable particularly because we have studied him for so long,” Professor David MacDonald, founding director of the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit at Oxford University, told NBC News.

What could happen to Cecil’s cubs?

Although the exact number of cubs that 13-year-old Cecil fathered is unclear, researchers believe about eight to 10 of them could wind up dead. That’s because in a lion’s social circle, when one male dies, incoming males in a new coalition typically kill the cubs of the old incumbents, MacDonald said.

“The death of one male lion can cause a cascade of effects that leads to other lions being killed,” he said, adding, “We are working hard to follow the consequences of Cecil’s death.”

More: http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/cecil-lion-what-could-happen-walter-james-palmer-hunters-n400461

When is it hunting and when is it poaching?

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-33699347

Cecil the lion was a renowned figure in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park.

Earlier this month, however, American dentist Walter Palmer paid roughly $50,000 (£32,000)for the chance to kill the popular animal, although he says he was unaware of Cecil’s fame and reputation.

That prompted revulsion from many on social media, with tens of thousands signing a petition calling for Cecil’s killer to be brought to justice.

But what is the difference between hunting an animal and poaching?

What is poaching?

The crucial distinction to be made between poaching and hunting is where each sits in the eyes of the law. Put simply, poaching is hunting without legal permission from whoever controls the land.

Hunting lions is not prohibited per se in Zimbabwe, and indeed in many other countries in Africa. Hunting is regulated by the government, and hunters must obtain permits authorising them to kill certain animals.

Tourists who wish to hunt in the country may do so. Where and what they hunt, and what type of weaponry they use, is all the subject of regulation.

Foreigners hunting in Zimbabwe must be accompanied by a licensed professional hunter, and tour operators which sell hunting packages to tourists are regulated by the government.

Browsing online, it is possible to find package hunting trips in Zimbabwean game reserves for around $50,000 – about the same amount Mr Palmer says he paid for the hunt which has earned him global infamy.

The dentist who has attracted numerous unwanted headlines over the last couple of days, has insisted that he believed “everything about this trip was legal and properly handled”, prior to killing Cecil the lion.

Why do people poach?

Some animals, such as elephants and rhinos, attract poachers because selling their tusks can prove extremely lucrative.

Earlier this year, Kenya’s president set fire to a pile containing 15 tonnes of seized elephant ivory with an estimated value of more than $30 million (£19 million).

Uhuru Kenyatta lamented that the tusks had been taken from elephants which had been “wantonly slaughtered by criminals”.

Rhino and elephant tusks are routinely exported to Asia, where ivory is used to make ornaments, and in traditional medicines.

For some, like Walter Palmer, however, the act of hunting itself is the attraction. That, and the prospect of a “trophy”, such as a lion’s head, after the kill is made.

Since he acknowledged having killed Cecil, photographs of the hunter with the carcasses of other animals have been widely shared online.

He has expressed regret that “my pursuit of an activity I love” had resulted in the death of such a popular animal.

It is estimated that more than 650 lion carcass “trophies” are exported from Africa each year.

What are the effects of poaching?

The main argument against unauthorised hunting is the effect it has on the numbers of animals living in the wild.

The level of public outcry when a case such as the slaying of Cecil the lion comes to the fore is accentuated by the fact that poachers often target some of the planet’s most impressive and treasured creatures.

The Born Free Foundation estimates that between 30% and 50% of Africa’s lion population has been wiped out over the course of the last two decades. Just 32,000 of the animals remain in the wild.

Can hunting have a positive impact?

Hunting big game in its natural habitat is undoubtedly an attractive prospect for some tourists – and something many are willing to pay tens of thousands of dollars to experience.

Emmanuel Fundira, president of the Safari Operators Association of Zimbabwe, has described Cecil’s killing as a “tragedy” for tourism in Zimbabwe.

Critics say the money paid by trophy hunters rarely reaches those most in need
Critics say the money paid by trophy hunters rarely reaches those most in need….
More: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-33699347 

Voices: Cecil the lion’s death is everyone’s loss

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2015/07/29/cecil–lion-death/30826405/

 LONDON — Growing up in Zimbabwe in southern Africa, I was always awestruck by the country’s majestic wildlife, and I am opposed to hunting purely for sport.

Elephants, rhinos, zebras and various species of antelope were regular sights on visits to game parks on school trips and on family outings.

I’ll never forget the day when my elementary class visited the local vet to see an injured wild dog that had been brought in for treatment — a rare event in the country’s second-largest city, Bulawayo.

So like many others…More: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2015/07/29/cecil–lion-death/30826405/

American Dentist Who Admitted Killing Cecil the Lion Now Hounded on Social Media

 http://abcnews.go.com/International/american-dentist-admitted-killing-cecil-lion-now-hounded/story?id=32757906

Walter Palmer, the Minnesota dentist who acknowledged hunting and killing Cecil, a beloved lion in Zimbabwe, is now the one being hounded on the Internet by protesters flooding his social media, creating online petitions and mocking him on parody accounts.

Over 273,000 tweets contained the trending hashtag #CeciltheLion on Twitter in the past 24 hours after the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, which is not part of the Zimbabwe government, alleged in a statement on Tuesday that Palmer paid $50,000 for the chance to kill Cecil the lion in early July. ABC News has not been able to independently confirm that figure.

Palmer responded later Tuesday, saying in a statement that he “deeply” regretted the pursuit of the early July hunt in Zimbabwe that “resulted in the taking of this lion.” He added that he “had no idea” Cecil the lion was a “known, local favorite, was collared and part of a study. I hired several professional guides and they secured all proper permits. To my knowledge, everything about this trip was legal and properly handled and conducted.”

But the Internet wasn’t satisfied with Palmer’s apology and descended upon on the Minnesota dentist on social media. Palmer’s Facebook page for his dental practice, River Bluff Dental, was flooded with expletives directed towards him and death threats. The website was seemingly taken down Tuesday evening and was not up as of Wednesday morning.

Palmer’s Yelp page for his practice has also received an overwhelming amount of sarcastic reviews attacking him for killing Cecil. The page was still up as of Wednesday morning.

PHOTO: This photo shows the dental offices of Walter James Palmer in Bloomington, Minn., on July 28, 2015.

Amy Forliti/AP Photo
PHOTO: This photo shows the dental offices of Walter James Palmer in Bloomington, Minn., on July 28, 2015.

“I hope your patients abandoned you and that you are never able to earn a living again so that you can no longer bankroll your lust for killing,” a user by the name of Mike C. wrote on the page.

“Five Stars at being a miserable excuse of a human being,” another user by the name of Thomas D. wrote. “You are not a hunter but a coward!”

A parody account mocking Palmer and his dental practice was also created on Twitter under the handle @RiverBluffDental.

Additionally, online petitions to both U.S. and Zimbabwe officials have garnered thousands of supporters.

An online petition to President Obama on Change.org demanded “justice for Cecil” and for the creation of new laws protecting big game from being hunted outside of the U.S. and brought back. Over 7,200 supporters signed the petition as of Wednesday morning.

Another petition on Care2 Petitions was addressed to Zimbabwe Republic President Robert Gabriel Mugabe and also demanded “justice for Cecil” and for the country to “stop issuing hunting permits to kill endangered animals.” The petition had over 350,000 signatures as of Wednesday morning.

Palmer and his spokesman Jon Austin did not immediately respond to ABC News’ requests for comment on the outpouring on social media. River Bluff Dental was closed Tuesday and today.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service issued a statement today noting that the agency is “deeply concerned about the recent killing of Cecil the lion.”

“We are currently gathering facts about the issue and will assist Zimbabwe officials in whatever manner requested. It is up to all of us — not just the people of Africa — to ensure that healthy, wild populations of animals continue to roam the savanna for generations to come,” the agency said in its statement.

In 2008, Palmer pleaded guilty to making false statements to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service about a black bear he shot and killed in Wisconsin outside of an authorized hunting zone, according to court documents.

Though Palmer said in his Tuesday statement that he had “not been contacted by authorities in Zimbabwe or in the U.S. about this situation,” the Associated Press reported that Zimbabwe police said they were looking for Palmer, who is facing poaching charges.

“We arrested two people and now we are looking for Palmer in connection with the same case,” Zimbabwe Republic Police spokeswoman Charity Charamba told the AP.

A professional hunter named Theo Bronkhorst and a landowner named Honest Trymore Ndlovu are facing criminal poaching charges in connection with Cecil’s death and are set to appear in court today, the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management authority said in a joint statement along with the Safari Operators Association of Zimbabwe on Tuesday.

DEMAND JUSTICE FOR CECIL THE LION IN ZIMBABWE

DEMAND JUSTICE FOR CECIL THE LION IN ZIMBABWE

PETITION CLOSED

This petition is now closed. You can still make a difference in the Care2 community by signing other petitions today.

BROWSE PETITIONS ▸

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/821/738/351/demand-justice-for-cecil-the-lion-in-zimbambwe/#sign

  • author: Ruth McD
  • target: Robert Gabriel Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe
  • signatures: 198,641

198,641

300,000

we’ve got 198,641 signatures, help us get to 300,000

On July 1, Cecil the lion, one of the most famous animals in one of Zimbabwe’s national parks, was shot by a bow hunter. The hunter was a dentist from Minnesota who paid $55,000 for a hunting permit before shooting the 13-year-old big cat.

Please sign the petition to demand justice for Cecil! Tell Zimbabwe to stop issuing hunting permits to kill endangered animals!

The hunters reportedly lured Cecil out of Hwange National Park, where it is illegal to kill wildlife, at night. Cecil was shot with a bow and arrow. The wounded lion didn’t die until 40 hours later, when the hunters tracked him down and shot him with a rifle. They then skinned and beheaded him. The Zimbabwe Professional Hunters and Guides Association confirmed that Cecil was killed outside the park on private land, and an investigation is ongoing into the legality of the hunt.

The legend of Cecil started about three and a half years ago, when the then-10-year-old lion was kicked out of his pride, beaten by younger, more powerful males. Hunters argue that as loners, prideless male lions aren’t as important to sustaining lion populations.

But Cecil wasn’t finished. He soon teamed up with another lone male named Jericho, and the lions regained control of the region’s two prides, one of which consists of three lionesses and seven cubs under seven months old.

The loss of Cecil most likely spells the end of Jericho’s reign, and the possible loss of the pride’s cubs. Jericho, as a single male, will be unable to defend the two prides and cubs from new males that invade the territory. This is what we most often see happening in these cases. Infanticide is the most likely outcome.

Please sign the petition to demand justice for Cecil! Tell Zimbabwe to stop issuing hunting permits to kill endangered animals!

Shot with an arrow then chased for two days until he was skinned and beheaded: Zimbabwe’s most famous lion, Cecil, becomes a hunting trophy

:http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3171875/Shot-arrow-chased-two-days-skinned-beheaded-Zimbabwe-s-famous-lion-Cecil-hunting-trophy.html#ixzz3gkFJTCiP

  • Cecil the Lion, 13, was one of the stars of Hwange National Park 
  • The lion was shot with an arrow by a hunter, outside the park’s border
  • Badly wounded, the lion was left for two days before he was killed 
  • The hunter skinned Cecil the Lion and cut off the head for a hunting trophy 

With his striking mane and relaxed manner around the cameras, Cecil the lion was one of the stars of Zimbabwe’s biggest national park.

Now park rangers and safari lovers have been left devastated after the much-loved lion was horrifically killed by a hunter.

After wounding the great beast with an arrow, the depraved hunter spent two days tracking down the injured lion before killing the animal with a rifle. After skinning the corpse, the lion’s noble head was hacking off and taken by the hunter as a hunting trophy.

The death of the 13-year-old big cat has left conservators deeply worried for the safety of several lion cubs, who are now living unprotected in the park.

 

Bobcat hunting is approved in Illinois

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/illinois/bobcat-hunting-is-approved-in-illinois/article_63483eb2-2c3c-5143-9436-48d2e4bf6bff.html

PRINGFIELD, Ill.  — Illinois hunters may target bobcats beginning next year after Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a law Tuesday.

As it did during debate in the General Assembly, the issue and the Republican’s action drew sharp rebuke. To hunters, the once-endangered nocturnal cat’s growing population is a nuisance and potential danger. To opponents of the law, the “shy and elusive” animal is being put in the crosshairs by trophy-hunters.

The Humane Society of the United States issued a statement condemning the “absurd and outlandish exaggerations” upon which lawmakers relied to garner support.

One of the proposal’s sponsors, Democratic Rep. Patrick Verschoore of Milan, pointed out there are as many as 5,000 bobcats in Illinois today. Supporters say that’s ten times more than at any time in the past two decades.

No more than 300 bobcats may be hunted or trapped during a season running from Nov. 1 to Feb. 15. State-issued permits will cost $5.

But the first season won’t begin until 2016, said Chris Young, spokesman for the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. The state must first require necessary permission from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which requires proper tagging of bobcat pelts.

“Hunters and trappers play an important role in managing resources and paying for conservation services, and Illinois homeowners should be given the ability to manage wildlife that are causing problems on their property,” Catherine Kelly, spokeswoman for the governor, an avid hunter, said in a prepared statement. “If at any time the species is threatened, the IDNR will suspend hunting and trapping.”

Opponents argued bobcats aren’t hunted for eating, just for sport by those seeking a prize and bragging rights.

In a prepared statement, Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society, criticized Rauner’s action and for ignoring what he said was overwhelming Illinois-taxpayer opposition to authorized hunting.

“To get the bill passed through the Legislature,” Pacelle said, “lawmakers relied on absurd and outlandish exaggerations about bobcats — who are shy and elusive creatures that only weigh slightly more than an average house cat — and it’s unfortunate that the Governor apparently fell for this fear-mongering.”

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