This is hard to hear, but Cecil, the beloved lion murdered by a big game hunter in 2015, likely suffered for hours before his death. A new book details the ‘cruelty’ just as Trump okays trophy hunting in the US.
When Minnesota dentist Dr. Walter Palmer shot a lion named Cecil just outside an animal sanctuary in Zimbabwe in 2015, it ignited major outrage and controversy among animal lovers throughout the world. The horrific killing of the innocent animal, that had been protected by the sanctuary, especially devastated Oxford University wildlife biologist Andrew Loveridge, who had been studying the black-mane lion for eight years. Three years on from Cecil’s death, Loveridge detailed the incident in his upcoming book, “Lion Hearted: The Life and Death of Cecil and the Future of Africa’s Iconic Cats”. The details of Cecil’s death are heartbreaking.
“[Cecil] most definitely did not die instantly and almost certainly suffered considerably,” Loveridge writes in a passage of his book shared by National Geographic. “Judging from the events described by Cornelius and the data sent by the GPS collar, the injured lion most likely was killed 10 to 12 hours after being wounded. Cecil suffered incredible cruelty for at least 10 hours, severely wounded and slowly dying. 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.”
As if this tragedy couldn’t get any worse, the excerpt from Loveridge’s book was released just after the Trump administration quietly approved lifting the ban on elephant trophy hunting. Americans will now be allowed to shoot African elephants for sport and bring the trophies back to the United States. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke issued a letter on March 1 that announced that elephant trophies will be approved on a “case-by-case basis.”
The announcement is a reversal of the decision President Trump made in November 2017, when the ban being lifted was first announced by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. After the administration faced incredible scrutiny for the needlessly cruel decision, he tweeted, “Big-game trophy decision will be announced next week but will be very hard pressed to change my mind that this horror show in any way helps conservation of Elephants or any other animal.” Interestingly, sons Eric and Donald Trump Jr. are avid big game hunters, who have proudly showed off pics of their killings in the past. We’ll spare you the horror of seeing those photos.