The killing of Cecil the lion

I have not written anything about the Minnesota dentist who killed the lion. What is there to say? Pretty much everyone has felt and expressed their revulsion at such a senseless and cruel act and have wondered what psychological need it satisfies in some people that they go to all that trouble and expense to kill just for the fun of it a magnificent, and in this case beloved, animal of which there are precious few left. And then decapitate it and mount the head on their wall. It would creep me out to see it forever looking down at me in silent reproof for subjecting it to a painful and extended period of dying but clearly trophy hunters don’t see things the same way.

I will let these two segments from The Nightly Show comment on it.

(These clips aired on July 29, 2015. To get suggestions on how to view clips of The Daily Show and The Nightly Show outside the US, please see this earlier post. If the videos autoplay, please see here for a diagnosis and possible solutions.)


  1. busterggi says

    What I find hypocritically ludicrous about it is that some right-wing nutcases are siding with the lion. Surely this incident is a perfect example of the unrestricted free-market capitalism they espouse for the entire economy.

  2. Excluded Layman says

    Let’s see: 20,000 (Nat Geo) to 34,000 (Sci Am) lions in the world, compared to 1,400,000,000 cattle (Economist). In strictly proportional terms, that makes 1 lion the same as 41,000 to 70,000 cattle.

    Somehow, I think that many cows would fetch more than $50,000, even on the black market.

  3. says

    ‘I have seen many comments say “What’s the big deal? We kill cows for meat all the time.”’
    So they expect the depraved dentist to eat the lion?
    Whether you approve of eating meat or not, at least the cows are killed for a purpose, the lion was presumably just killed for perverted pleasure.

  4. says

    Why don’t all the fucking hunters go sign a bunch of release forms and go somewhere and fucking hunt eachother? Now, in terms of challenge, excitement, difficulty, it’d be pretty hard to top that. Just ask any combat veteran.

    What they are actually doing is a simple process involving application of technology. It’s as hard to shoot an animal (or a human, for that matter) with a scope-sighted rifle as it is to use a cordless drill. Actually, since I used to pull .5″ 5-shot groups at 200yd with a .308, I’m probably messier with a drill. When I see these hunter goons talking about the beauty of nature and the challenge -- simply: they are bullshitting themselves. Stalking any apex predator in its territory is kind of like staking out the 7-11 because you suspect that sooner or later humans are going to show up. Holy, shit, that’s some skills.

  5. Who Cares says

    The sad thing is that this got a lot of attention due to Cecil being a national treasure.
    This became news on Monday. They poached 5 elephants in Kenya ( Washington Post link) that day. Just as bad but not as attention worthy.

  6. bmiller says

    You know, I think some of us are missing the point here. The issue is not only about the rarity of the lions (although that is certainly a reason for not allowing hunting of the big cats) Given that cows, pigs, and even chickens feel pain, emotions, suffer, and are horribly oppressed by our modern industrial farming system, we do have to recognize that most of us participate in crimes against sentient creatures. And I include myself in this, as I am not Vegan. (Heck…one analysis I saw claimed that Veganism in some food systems, like Australia, which rely on pasture raised animals, may through the increased demand for soy, cereals, etc. result in more death and destruction through habitat destruction????.

    Not justifying the barbarity of trophy hunting and the douchbaggy attitudes prevalent among a good part of our professional class and their more macho members. Although: such hunting can, sadly enough, allow for habitat conservation through muderous tourists like The Running Man dentist here…the porters and guides can support their families through organized, heaviliy regulated hunting. Do we REALLY need to kill lions and elephants, though? The mind boggles.

  7. Who Cares says

    @Marcus Ranum(#5):
    I want to point out that he didn’t do it the ‘easy’ way. At least not initially. He used a bow for it, didn’t get the kill and lost track of the lion. Tracked down Cecil the next day and then his guide used a gun to put him (that is Cecil) out of his misery.

  8. EigenSprocketUK says

    Let’s be fair and more sporting: the hunters should level the playing field and face the lions without guns or bows after both go for a week without food. Just on foot with bare hands and bare claws. That hunter would be worthy of adulation and respect.

  9. atheistblog says

    What are the people talking here and with crunching numbers all about ? Cows ?! Seriously ?
    You people do know the difference between domesticated and wild animals right ?
    I still don’t understand how hunting is so prevalent without much restriction in US. It also brings another point, good hunters needs guns, even Bernie Sanders supports these people. And if you want to solve the gun problems, you can’t just excuse good hunters guns, urban guns.
    And I heard people arguing people need to hunt to feed their families ?
    Really you spend almost a grand to buy a gun, spend more money on ammo, you don’t have any skill in US to live and feed your family ? You know you can still feed your family with grains, vegetables, right ? Gosh, these pathetic meat eaters.
    We give unemployment benefits, food stamp, still you can’t get a job ? Only way is to do sport hunting and feed your family ? Are you people native Amazonians or Greenland Intuit’s ?

    This hunting culture is very serious problem in US in every level. They decimate wild spices here and around the world, then defending gun culture. Just shame. Shame on bernie to defend these people as some noble good hunters.

  10. atheistblog says

    Gosh, heavily regulated hunting ? What’s that ? What about safari ? Can’t that give jobs to porters and their family ? These are the insane arguments people make in the name of jobs. If hunting stops, it’s not going to be the end of world for lot people and families in the world. Dog fighting might give lot of jobs too. These are the sick and stupid arguments people make who doesn’t see the ensembles of the world, and just use the magic word ‘jobs’.

  11. File Thirteen says

    What strikes me as strange is the number of people pinning all the blame on Palmer and clamouring for his head when Bronkhorst has admitted that, if there was any fault, it was his.

    I despise hunting, but let’s not have a witch-hunt here. They had some kind of permit, so while you can level accusations of ignorance and stupidity at them, you can hardly say they were being wilfully criminal.

    Unlike the poachers, who are still rife in Zimbabwe.

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