Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Cecil’s Death: Time to end the false ‘legal trophy hunting’ narrative

TWS||Nicholas Waigwa

As the US President Barrack Hussein Obama was making his fourth visit to the Sub-Saharan Africa in July, 2015, an American dentist identified as Walter Palmer had just visited Africa on hunting mission that ended up in the alleged murder of Zimbabwe’s 13 year old iconic lion.

Pic Credit:Photobucket
Barrack Obama whose plane landed in East Africa on Friday 24th July in the evening, was in Nairobi- Kenya for the 6th Global Entrepreneurship Summit on 25th-26th, and later for a two day visit in Ethiopia where he addressed the leadership of the Africa Union (AU). The address to the AU was the first by a sitting US president.

Among the pertinent issues President Obama addressed while in the two East African Nations touched on fundamental freedoms, endemic corruption, democracy, development and ethnicity.

Ironically, as the US president was delivering his powerful speeches, which were well followed all over Africa and overseas, the body of Cecil the lion was decomposing outside the Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe.

Photo: Nick Waigwa
At the center of Cecil’s murder is an American dentist who is alleged to have lured the lion – a valued heritage in Zimbabwe, outside the park before taking away its life and a valuable part of the Hwange National Park where Cecil lived with his family.

The murder of Cecil has raised a global outrage, a renewed call for the protection of endangered species, and the call for the extradition of the key suspect to Zimbabwe to face justice for reportedly killing a lion in Africa.

The call for Palmer’s extradition to Zimbabwe is already being seen as a tall order. It still remains to be seen is if the US will embrace the spirit of equal treatment before the law and let its citizen fly to the South African nation to face justice.

Photo:Nick Waigwa
I use president Obama’s visit to ground this article because while in Nairobi in what was his first visit as the first sitting President of the United States of America, he did talk about a possibility of a tighter policy to check the importation of ivory in America. The inspiration behind President Obama’s comment on Ivory trade must have been placing an end to the harmful ivory trade, which is threatening the existence of jumbos in the planet. 

Justice for Cecil is justice for many endangered animals that die every day due to the so-called legal trophy hunting. The world must now take action now to truly protect the endangered wildlife and end the false narrative behind ‘legal trophy hunting.’ Africa can use a better way to generate income for conservation. The thinking behind killing an animal to use the proceeds to protect others is counteractive and unrealistic.Cecil’s Death: Lessons for Africa

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