Cecil The Lion 2002 - 2015
By now, just about everyone has heard of Cecil the Lion, that is unless you've been living in a cave. But for those who might not have heard the whole story, Cecil was a beautiful alpha lion in charge of his own pride in a protected National preservation park in Zimbabwe Africa . He wore a GPS collar since his birth put there by the Oxford University Research Unit that was tracking and recording the movements of African lions. They have been tracking and recording African lions since 1999. Cecil was a rare black maned lion and was protected and was also a favorite of thousands of visitors and tourists a year.
In July 2015, an American dentist from Minnesota paid two disreputable guides and a land owner, who had land adjacent to the National park, $55,000 for the 'privilege' to hunt and kill an African lion. When Walter Palmer, the dentist, arrived he was brought to the park with his guides. They lured Cecil from the park with fresh meat of a recently killed animal and when Cecil came out of the protected boundaries, they shown a light in his eyes ( a despicable practice called jack lighting) which caused the mighty beast to freeze in his tracks. Palmer then shot him with a bow and arrow, which unfortunately for the poor wounded lion was not fatal, only injurious. Wounded, in pain, Cecil took off running away from the would be murderers and they hunted him for 40 long hours, before finally shooting him with a rifle. They then decapitated him, for their trophy, and skinned his hide.
They attempted to remove the tracking device, but were unable to. Then, knowing what they had done, an illegal hunt, they left behind all of Cecil's remains and ran themselves.
The Zimbabwean authorities have petitioned the United States to extradite Walter Palmer back to Africa to stand trial for his crime. The trackers and land owner are already under arrest and are being dealt with by the authorities. What Palmer and the trackers didn't care to realize was that there was danger of territorial lions from other areas coming into the pride and killing Cecil's cubs and other male lions to take control of the pride. Up to 10 or more male lions could have been killed, as this happens in cases like this. I can report good news in this regard. Jericho, Cecil's brother lion has taken over the pride and has assumed guardianship of Cecil's cubs and the pride remains intake and secure as of now. This was an unexpected positive turn of events, according to the researchers and park rangers.
The President of the United States, needed 100,000 petitions by August 27th to consider extradition proceedings against Walter Palmer. Two days after this story appeared on the Internet, the petition had 150,000 signatures and the list is growing. As of this discussion the President of Zimbabwe has received over 1 million signatures from around the world to ban trophy hunting in his country. He has since increased restrictions when it comes to trophy hunting, and has made the practice much more difficult to do legally. But Walter Palmer doesn't care about legalities. back in 2008 he was arrested for the felonious killing of a black bear in Wisconsin. He was convicted of lying to federal investigators about exactly where he had killed the bear.
Unfortunately, there are other hunters. People with more money than compassion at their disposal, who thrill at taking the life of majestic beasts. Who have no care that many of these species are in danger of becoming extinct, IN OUR LIFETIME. That's right, in less than 50 years many species are in danger of becoming extinct solely because of humans enjoyment of killing. In less than 15 years from now, experts are predicting that there will no longer be any wild elephants left. As a witch and as a human that loves animals and all wild things of nature, this simply breaks my heart.
We, the witches, are the caretakers of the Earth. When so many are worrying about their jobs, homes, social lives, shopping, amongst other day to day issues, and that is how it should be, the witch cares about keeping the Earth healthy and alive and thriving. We will stop and pick up trash when others walk by, oblivious. We will cry tears when even one animal is abused and left to die. We worry deep into the night, that the rain forests are soon to be gone, that we won't have clean water to drink and use, that our air is becoming poisoned and that our very existence on the Earth is harming Her.
People this week, especially on Social media, where I posted things about Cecil the Lion and other animal abuses, have accused me of caring for an 'insignificant fuzzy lion' (their words) and not caring about other injustices in the world. The truth is, the witch does care, about so much and so many injustices it breaks our hearts. We are deeply capable of caring for many, many issues that face the world today. But to think Cecil the Lion is just one insignificant lion, you are missing the point. He is a symbol of where our world is going, and just how quickly we are bringing to an end all that is wild, beautiful and magnificent in our Natural World. It is like the Lorax and the trees. Nobody missed the trees until the last one was gone. As a matter of fact, right now there is one, lone, lonely Northern White Rhino living in Kenya, that is the last of his species, on Earth. We have done it yet again. Wiped out an entire species.
But, we CAN do something today! We do not need to wait for the last lion, the last elephant, the last giraffe. We can donate money to the Oxford University Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, the web address is www.wildcru.org . As of this story being given so much press, the Research Unit has received over $500,000 in donations. Every little bit will help keep endangered animals alive.
At the same time, Delta Airlines, the only American airline that travels to Africa has banned any transport of trophy's of murdered wild animals. Three other American airlines as well as several foreign airlines have done the same. You can ask, before you book your tickets, even states side travel, if the airline allows trophies from hunting to be transported. If so, let them know you'll be using another airline.
President Obama has issued a Nation wide ban on selling any ivory in the United States. But beware of Internet sellers who feel they are exempt from the rules. If you see anything made of ivory for sale on Etsy, Ebay, Amazon, Craigs list etc. Let the administrators of that site know you will not shop their site if they don't remove these items. And do it! Hold firm to your beliefs. There are many, many Chinese sites and sellers who sell ivory and it is causing the poaching of elephants to increase daily. Until recently the United States and China were the two largest purchasers of ivory. Now it is China. Boycotting a Chinese company or business may make your life a bit more inconvenienced but that is of very little importance in comparison to the ultimate loss when elephants become extinct.
I hope, by writing of Cecil and alerting you to the tragedies of trophy hunting in our world, it will somehow make a difference and his death will not have been in vain. I also hope, as I light a candle and ask the Goddess for help in stopping these unnecessary deaths, that I will one day live to see the end of trophy hunting in it's entirety. By the will of the Goddess, So Mote it Be!
Peace and Happiness
© 2010-2015 Faith M. McCann. Portions of this blog posting may include materials from my book “Enchantments School for the Magickal Arts First Year Magickal Studies.” For more information, see www.enchantmentsschool.com or go to the title of tonight's discussion and click, it will link you to my school's website. Please note that the copying and/or further distribution of this work without express written permission is prohibited.
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