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Dentist Pays $50,000 to Kill Cecil the African Lion, Sparks Internet Outrage
More sad news on the wildlife front. Yesterday, a Northern White Rhino in a Czech zoo died, bringing the grand total of Northern White Rhinos on Earth to four (and they are all in captivity). Now, it has come to light that Walter Palmer, a man from a small town near Minneapolis killed Cecil the Lion, one of Africa’s most famous lions and the star attraction at the Hwange national park in Zimbabwe, according to The Guardian.
— Stephen Mangan (@StephenMangan) July 28, 2015
The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force said Palmer is the culprit and he was abetted by two Zimbabwean men, professional hunter Theo Bronkhorst and farm owner Honest Ndlovu,who will appear in court for allegedly helping lure the lion outside of its protected area to kill it, reports the AP. They are charged with poaching offenses for not having the required permits and could face up to 15 years in prison if found guilty, reports the BBC. Palmer could also face poaching charges.
The lion was wearing a GPS collar as part of an ongoing research project, so authorities were able to track his last movements and his final location. "The hunters tried to destroy the collar, but failed," authorities told The Guardian. The lion was found skinned and headless on the outskirts of the park.
Palmer, an avid hunter, and the two Zimbabweans claim they didn't know the lion they killed was protected. "I had no idea that the lion I took was a known, local favorite, was collared and part of a study until the end of the hunt," Palmer told the AP, maintaining that to his knowledge, everything about the hunt had been legal. “I deeply regret that my pursuit of an activity I love and practice responsibly and legally resulted in the taking of this lion,” Palmer told CNN, saying he would cooperate with authorities' inquiries.
Palmer closed his dental practice as its Facebook page and website were flooded with angry comments and threats. Some users then turned to Yelp with one calling him an “American psycho incarnate.” Palmer had a similar incident in 2006 when he shot a black bear "outside an authorized zone" and then lied about where he shot and killed the animal, according to CNN. He was given a one-year probation and fined $3,000.
The death of Cecil the Lion comes as countries in Africa are working to crack down on illegal poaching, which is second only to the drug trade in its scope. The World Wildlife Fund has enlisted Jared Leto in its efforts and solutions run the gamut from 3D printed rhino horns to drones. Read page 1
For now, the wildlife trade is alive and well, as proven by the recent report from International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) and Wildlife Conservation Society on the ivory and wildlife trade on Craigslist.
In response to Cecil the Lion's death, Jeff Flocken, North American regional director for IFAW, issued the following statement:
"We are extremely saddened by the news of Cecil the Lion being illegally killed for sport—not only from an animal welfare perspective, but also for conservation reasons. African lion populations have declined sharply, dropping nearly 60 percent in the last three decades. With as few as 32,000 African lions remaining in the wild, individuals matter for conserving the species.
Even worse, the killing of a dominant male in a pride, like Cecil, can have a ripple effect and result in the deaths of other males, young cubs and females in that pride. And as troubling as it is, the rarer these trophy hunted animals become, the more hunters are willing to pay to kill them—like the American hunter, who recently paid $350,000 to kill a critically endangered black rhino in Namibia.
Actions, like these, are quickly pushing imperiled species toward extinction. So long as a value continues to be placed on these animals, where they are worth more dead than alive, the future of majestic creatures like elephants, lions, tigers and rhinos will remain in grave jeopardy."
It's not just conservation groups that are up in arms, though. The lion's death has sparked widespread outrage around the world. By early this morning, more than 210,000 people had signed an online petition demanding "justice" for Cecil. "The petition called on Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe to stop issuing hunting permits to kill endangered animals," reports CNN. Several celebrities including Sharon Osbourne, Debra Messing, Ricky Martin, Olivia Wilde and Ricky Gervais took to twitter to express their complete outrage:
Ohh the dentist "had no idea" the lion was famous. Because had he known, he would never have murdered it without asking for a selfie first.
— olivia wilde (@oliviawilde) July 28, 2015
This asshole. Why would anyone want to kill a lion for fun? What is wrong with people?
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) July 28, 2015
#JusticeForCecilTheLion NOW. — Ricky Martin (@ricky_martin) July 28, 2015
This is heartbreaking in every possible way. What a loss. Trophy hunting is SHAMEFUL and disgusting. #CecilTheLion https://t.co/hnzcFJnCK0 — Mandy Moore (@TheMandyMoore) July 29, 2015
Used to hate my dentist for yelling at me about my night guard but at least she didn't kill #CecilTheLion
— Jerry O'Connell (@MrJerryOC) July 28, 2015
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) July 28, 2015
— Debra Messing (@DebraMessing) July 28, 2015
Hunting is not a sport. In a sport, both sides know they're in the game. #CecilTheLion
— Nicky Rothschild (@NickyHilton) July 29, 2015
— Chad Lowe (@ichadlowe) July 29, 2015
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) July 29, 2015
Jimmy Kimmel even dedicated a segment of his show last night to talk about how upset he was about the trophy hunt. Watch here:
Watch this video of the magnificent Cecil with his pride of lions:
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Cabin fever is often associated with being cooped up on a rainy weekend or stuck inside during a winter blizzard.
In reality, though, it can actually occur anytime you feel isolated or disconnected from the outside world.
What is cabin fever?<p>In popular expressions, cabin fever is used to explain feeling bored or listless because you've been stuck inside for a few hours or days. But that's not the reality of the symptoms.</p><p>Instead, cabin fever is a series of negative emotions and distressing sensations people may face if they're isolated or feeling cut off from the world.</p><p>These feelings of isolation and loneliness are more likely in times of <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/yes-covid-19-cases-are-rising-why-you-still-need-to-practice-social-distancing" target="_blank">social distancing</a>, self-quarantining during a <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/what-is-a-pandemic" target="_blank">pandemic</a>, or sheltering in place because of severe weather.</p><p>Indeed, cabin fever can lead to a series of symptoms that can be difficult to manage without proper coping techniques.</p><p>Cabin fever isn't a recognized psychological disorder, but that doesn't mean the feelings aren't real. The distress is very real. It can make fulfilling the requirements of everyday life difficult.</p>
What are the symptoms?<p>Symptoms of cabin fever go far beyond feeling bored or "stuck" at home. They're rooted in an intense feeling of isolation and may include:</p><ul><li>restlessness</li><li>decreased motivation</li><li><a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/irritability" target="_blank">irritability</a></li><li>hopelessness</li><li><a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/unable-to-concentrate" target="_blank">difficulty concentrating</a></li><li><a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/irregular-sleep-wake-syndrome" target="_blank">irregular sleep patterns</a>, including sleepiness or sleeplessness</li><li>difficulty waking up</li><li><a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/lethargy" target="_blank">lethargy</a></li><li>distrust of people around you</li><li>lack of patience</li><li>persistent <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/depression-vs-sadness" target="_blank">sadness or depression<br></a></li></ul>
What can help you cope with cabin fever?<p>Because cabin fever isn't a recognized psychological condition, there's no standard "treatment." However, mental health professionals do recognize that the symptoms are very real.</p><p>The coping mechanism that works best for you will have a lot to do with your personal situation and the reason you're secluded in the first place.</p><p>Finding meaningful ways to engage your brain and occupy your time can help alleviate the distress and irritability that cabin fever brings.</p><p>The following ideas are a good place to start.</p>
When to get help<p>Cabin fever is often a fleeting feeling. You may feel irritable or frustrated for a few hours, but having a virtual chat with a friend or finding a task to distract your mind may help erase the frustrations you felt earlier.</p><p>Sometimes, however, the feelings may grow stronger, and no coping mechanisms may be able to successfully help you eliminate your feelings of isolation, sadness, or depression.</p><p>What's more, if your time indoors is prolonged by outside forces, like weather or extended shelter-in-place orders from your local government, feelings of <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/anxiety" target="_blank">anxiety</a> and fear are valid.</p><p>In fact, anxiety may be at the root of some cabin fever symptoms. This may make symptoms worse.</p><p>If you feel that your symptoms are getting worse, consider reaching out to a mental health professional who can help you understand what you're experiencing. Together, you can identify ways to overcome the feelings and anxiety.</p><p>Of course, if you're in isolation or practicing social distancing, you'll need to look for alternative means for seeing a mental health expert.</p><p>Telehealth options may be available to connect you with your therapist if you already have one. If you don't, reach out to your doctor for recommendations about mental health specialists who can connect with you online.</p><p>If you don't want to talk to a therapist, <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/top-iphone-android-apps" target="_blank">smartphone apps for depression</a> may provide a complementary option for addressing your cabin fever symptoms.</p>
The bottom line<p>Isolation isn't a natural state for many people. We are, for the most part, social animals. We enjoy each other's company. That's what can make staying at home for extended periods of time difficult.</p><p>However, whether you're sheltering at home to avoid dangerous weather conditions or heeding the guidelines to help minimize the spread of a disease, staying at home is often an important thing we must do for ourselves and our communities.</p><p>If and when it's necessary, finding ways to engage your brain and occupy your time may help bat back cabin fever and the feelings of isolation and restlessness that often accompany it.</p>
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