Cecil the lion – the most famous creature in one of Zimbabwe’s national parks – has been killed by an American hunter who has previously boasted about shooting a menagerie of animals with his bow and arrow.
In The Earth Emperor’s Eye, Mother Nature personified casts a protective spell to help save her kingdom,
“I circle our world with this trust and rod, against the sore stitch, against the sore bite, against the Grim Dread, against the great horror that is hateful to us all, and all evil that enters this land.”
It’s most curious because the individual responsible for this vulgar and barbaric act was a dentist! Walter James Palmer, from Minnesota, is believed to have paid £35,000 to shoot and kill the much-loved lion with a bow and arrow. The animal was shot on July 1 in Hwange National Park.
“He never bothered anybody,” said Johnny Rodrigues, the head of Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force. “He was one of the most beautiful animals to look at.”
Conservation groups in Zimbabwe have reacted angrily to the news that the 13-year-old animal had been killed as Cecil was known to visitors and seemingly enjoyed human contact. They are also livid at the way in which he was killed. During the hunt, it is alleged that Cecil was lured at night about half a mile out of the national park using bait, and then shot with a bow and arrow. The next day he was found wounded by the hunters and killed, before being beheaded and skinned. Animals cannot be killed within the confines of the park. The hunters then removed his collar – further contravening park rules. What goes on in the mind of a monster? May the killers be harshly judged and severely sentenced.
Other coincidences with the story are the role of the lion head statue and the name of the first name of the protagonist is Walter! It’s a very strange thing indeed, and a stark reminder of the threats faced by the majestic ‘big game’trophy’ animals.
RIP Cecil. May your death not be in vain.