5 New Developments in the Killing of Cecil the Lion
The Internet outrage over the killing of Cecil the Lion continued over the weekend. Last week, Walter Palmer, a dentist from Minnesota admitted to hunting and killing Cecil the Lion, the star attraction at Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park.
The hunt took place at the beginning of July, but last week the Zimbabwean Conservation Task Force identified Palmer and two local Zimbabwean men as the responsible party. Many are now demanding that Palmer face prosecution. Here are 5 updates on the killing of Cecil:
1. Walter Palmer has gone into hiding
— posted-today.org (@postedtodayorg) July 30, 2015
The backlash against him is so intense that Palmer has been laying low since news broke last week of his involvement. He closed his dental practice and could not be found at his home. Palmer finally contacted U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials on Thursday night who had been trying to reach him all last week to investigate the case.
2. Zimbabwean officials are urging Palmer's extradition
On Friday, Zimbabwe’s environment minister called for the extradition of Palmer. The minister said "she understood the process was underway to have Dr. Palmer extradited from the United States and that the 'foreign poacher' needed to be held accountable for his actions," reports The New York Times.
3. Cecil the Lion's "brother" Jericho alive and well despite rumors
The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force announced on its Facebook page Saturday that Cecil's "brother" Jericho was shot and killed by a poacher. Those rumors turned out to be false for two reasons: one, the lion in question was perfectly fine and two, Jericho is not Cecil's blood brother, but "rather a partner in a 'coalition' of a kind often formed by unrelated male lions to better compete for territory and prides," the director of the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit at the University of Oxford told The Guardian. Still, the task force said in their follow up post that another "lion has in fact been killed," just not the one that they thought it was.
4. Many are urging the U.S. to put the African lion on the endangered species list
Although adding the African lion would not outright ban trophy hunting in Africa, it would require a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in order to be able to bring the lion or its body parts back into the country and that permit would only be issued if "the agency determined that importing a lion or parts of it would not be harmful to the survival of the species, Tanya Sanerib, at Center for Biological Diversity told Reuters.
The Fish and Wildlife Service proposed listing the African lion as endangered last year. Fifty Democrats in the House of Representatives sent a letter on Thursday to the service asking it to finalize listing the lion as endangered.
5. Cecil the Lion lit up the Empire State Building over the weekend
— CNN International (@cnni) August 3, 2015
On Saturday, documentary filmmakers of Racing Extinction projected a loop of images of endangered animals on the Empire State Building to raise awareness about how we are in the midst of the planet's sixth mass extinction and humans are to blame. The filmmakers held a similar event last September on the day before the People’s Climate March and two days before the UN Climate Summit.
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