The vitriol over now infamous hunter who killed Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe, Africa has been taken up a notch thanks to (you guessed it) People for the Extortion, Torture and Abuse of human beings (PETA). TIME quotes the group’s head Ingrid Newkirk saying that they want Cecil’s killer extradited, charged, and, preferably, hanged and the group is among many calling for the hunter’s execution. Bloomington, Minnesota dentist and hunter Walter Palmer recently killed the infamous lion, Cecil, during a hunting excavation in Africa.
According to CNN who cites the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, Cecil was lured out of his home at Hwange National Park on to private property and then Walter Palmer shot the lion with a bow and arrow. The wounded lion survived almost two days only later to be tracked by hunters and then shot dead. During the process of skinning and beheading the animal, hunters attempted to remove a GPS tracking device placed on the lion as part of an Oxford University study. Palmer is said to have paid $50,000 for his hunting safari and two Zimbabweans have been arrested by authorities in connection with Cecil’s killing.
The Minnesota dentist has expressed regrets for what he did and also stated he didn’t know that his hunt was illegal. But as a result of his infamous prey’s demise at Palmer’s hands, it has resulted in a tremendous backlash of revenge with vitriolic comments from people not just on Walter Palmer’s Facebook page but also nearly seven thousand reviews at his dental practice’s Yelp page were posted by others condemning him for what he did.
Despite Walter Palmer’s apology, CNN points out, this is not the first time he has been in trouble. During 2009, The New York Times published a profile of him in which The Gray Lady says Palmer was sentenced to seven years probation after pleading guilty for making false statements to federal wildlife officials over the killing of a black bear while on a guided hunt in Wisconsin.
The death of Cecil is very unfortunate, I do not think that Walter Palmer acted recklessly in killing the lion. He relied on the judgement of his guides and paid the necessary hunting fees in order to be able to go on his safari. Regardless if he did or not, I don’t think this event warranted the vitriolic, hateful reaction demonstrated by netizens. For PETA to call for the death of a lion is not only callous but outright revolting. It goes to show the kind of low life scum that PETA is and the people condemning Walter Palmer for his, admittedly, reckless act are just as guilty of helping to further the idea that the life of an animal is more important than a human. You notice no animal rights activists will live among the animals they claim to want to save. In this case, I would dare to argue that Ingrid Newkirk and her cohorts go live among lions or other animal species. If people like Newkirk feel that strongly about this then let them see first hand what it is like for a human to live among animals, especially predators.