Before you listen and/or read this post, you must understand that the main story in this post is not about Ocean Conservation. The main story of this post is a true story that occurred on land. It was not just a story but a tragedy. But keep in mind as you listen to this podcast and read these show notes that the story has real implications to Ocean Conservation, especially the conservation of iconic species that are hunted not for food but for trophies.
I can understand hunting animals for food – I get it. I can understand hunting animals to earn money to pay for sustenance (food and shelter) – I get it. However, I do not understand and I will not tolerate the hunting of large iconic and ecologically important species such as lions, tigers and sharks for the enjoyment of hunting and to bring home a trophy. In my opinion, this unnecessary act is conducted by people who are compensating for a big void in their lives.
If you don’t know the story of the tragedy of Cecil the Lion then please listen to this podcast where I go into detail. In brief, Cecil the Lion was the main attraction at a protected area in Zimbabwe. He was a beautiful dominant male in charge of a pride and attracted thousands of ecotourists to Zimbabwe each year to see him and his rare black mane (most lions have a yellow mane). Unfortunately, Cecil’s body was found mutilated just outside of the park boundaries. As the story got out to the public, a known trophy hunter took ownership of the kill saying he had a permit to hunt such a lion and that everything was legal as he hired two guides who he thought took care of the legalities.
It turns out, Cecil was lured by the guides outside the boundaries of the park using an elephant carcas, where he was shot by the hunter with a bow and arrow. Cecil stumbled and fought for his life for 40 hours after which he collapsed and the hunter shot in, beheaded him, and skinned him to take with him his trophy.
The world was enraged when it discovered what this hunter, who was a dentist from Minnesota, did and the backlash was harsh for the hunter who received death threats and temporarily had to shut down his dental practice for safety reasons. The dentist said he followed the guide he paid $50K who he expected to follow the law (the dentist has been found guilty of killing another animal in a park in the US and was sentenced to 1 year parole, so he is not that innocent!).
I wanted to talk about this story on the podcast because 9 benefits were a direct cause of the tragedy and the backlash from the world that will benefit other animals and some will even prevent trophy hunting from occurring in the future.
I feel this is an important podcast to which you should not only listen, but you should tell me your opinion on trophy hunting. Do you think it was right and do you think it should continue?
Trophy hunting is rampant in the Ocean as well as on land. Large sharks, swordfish, marlins, and whales are often hunted just for the thrill of the kill. These animals are important to the food web as apex predators. The question of the ethics of trophy hunting is up for conversation on land and in the Ocean. Make your voices heard and comment down below.