Cecil the Lion

NKQualtieri

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Curious as to what you guys think about this one:

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/wor...ions-killer-revealed-as-American-dentist.html

There is clearly a shitload of bias in this article that I'm really not into, but here's my quandary: Why hunt big game in Africa where the spotlight is going to be big, the general public reaction is going to be piss-poor, and it seems to demean the type of ethical, game-management-focused hunting that the majority of American hunters participate in?

This case seems particularly disturbing, even when I try to account for the things I know about hunting.

I'm not trying to upset anyone. I'm just curious what the argument is. Some of you guys have hunted in Africa, I have friends who have done it. What's the right way to do it? Is it really necessary? Is it inherently a thrill kill b/c it's exotic? Does it undermine the North American hunting community?

I'm looking for answers on ethics, not the tourist dollars argument. The sub-saharan community makes far more $$ from wildlife watching than it will ever make from hunting, negating that argument before it even begins.

Questions for my favorite thoughtful community.
 

JMG

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I agree with you regarding hunting "in the spotlight". But, technically the lion left the safety of the Park. I look at it no different than the wolves leaving Yellowstone. How far outside the boundary of a Park is it "OK" to start hunting?

I wonder what the locals feel about it. Do they like lions or not like lions conparatively to how the locals here like or don't like wolves.
 
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I think everyone who does any activity vaguely related to hunting as we know it has to remember they are representing hunters on the whole. Its like when you travel representing your high school at a sporting event and you have to be on your best behavior because everything you do reflects on your community as whole.

I don't know enough about what happened and quit trying to read an article about the lion this morning because it was so incredibly biased. It seems like its really easy today to get social media coverage when an easily vilified person kills a Disney character.

Africa is in a weird spot where we encourage westernized economic growth and while maintaining the natural world in our own vision. I'm not sure the economics of wildlife management in Africa are organic within the population, but rather imposed western will. Between Chinese exploitation of African natural resources and European views towards camera safaris vs gun safaris I don't think the continent has a sustainable hunting model.
 

WapitiBob

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There is a level of trust when on an outfitted/guided hunt. If the guys running the hunt are shady you're in trouble and there isn't going to be a way for you to find out till the knock on the front door.
 

jzeck2

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Pathetic

In light of the dudes other run ins with the law I don't feel the need to defend his actions or the actions of the PH.

Another example of If you have money you should be able to do whatever you want. Unfortunately for the rest of us who obey the laws this only adds fuel to the fire and pushes more people into the anti hunting fold.

The legitimate hunting community needs to take a stand against this type of behavior.

I'm hoping that any of the groups I am a member of strip him of his membership if he is also a member. Not holding my breath on that one though. I'm sure some will try to defend this and push more people away from hunting.
 

jzeck2

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WapitiBob,

I'm sure your a stand up guy otherwise you wouldn't be involved with this forum but I have to tell you I'm not necessarily buying what you are selling. Been on one outfitted hunts where the outfitter said something along the lines of go ahead and shoot that wolf, they cause a lot of damage. I have to take some responsibility to know the rules and regulations and to know if it is actually legal to do so. I would have loved to taken a wolf but I knew that it was illegal to do so.

By the way I didn't go back to that outfitter and fortunately he is no longer in the business.

Did have a friend who was on an outfitted elk hunt and the guide took him on to private land where he shot an elk and was fined for trespassing and had to surrender the elk.. That is obvious a situation where a person is probably unaware and you hope the people you are dealing with are ethical.

I'm thinking this case is more like the former example and not the latter.
 
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Apparently the guy's dentist office is getting bad review bombed by the internet, like 2300 negative reviews as of today and Yelp is can't pull them down fast enough for violating terms of service since they aren't relevant to the provided service.
 

HSi-ESi

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When I was a kid I dreamed of African adventures after reading the works of Capstick, Jim Corbett and other African adventure books. I had dreams of going on a safari for sure. But as an adult, I just can't relate to this anymore. There is still plenty of adventure to be had in North America.

I could see travelling over to spend time with locals - learning their culture - and if a "hunt" came out of that I could see myself participating. But it would be in-line with observing their customs.

The two articles linked above show questionable ethics - ones that I do not agree with. But I also don't want to rush and condemn the man. (although, the Seattle article says that he used a crossbow. If that is the case, then condemnation is imminent - at least from the MT Hunt-talk crew)
,
"Social shaming" on Social Media is becoming very tiresome. Reading through some of the Yelp posts (http://www.yelp.com/biz/river-bluff-dental-bloomington?osq=Walter+Palmer+dentist) makes me wonder where we are headed. It seems to me that Vigilantism is alive and well on the internet.

I know a few folks that have gone on African hunts. Some went for adventure and some went for their "social status".

The funny thing about ethics though, it tends to follow us around.
 

TRS_Montana

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It seems to me that a discussion of the ethics of hunting exotic animals, in general, and this instance, in particular, must be wrapped up in a larger discussion that entails the ethics of hunting for sport versus hunting for sustenance.

I think the main motivation for the people who hunt for sport is that it is an endeavor that pushes their limits. Each year, there is this internal competition to outperform their "old self". To shoot a bigger animal, to shoot more animals, to shoot a more exotic animal. Obviously, the degree to which one is pushed is relative. A guy or girl who is new to hunting and doesn't spend much time in the outdoors might be pushed by sitting in a treestand for 30 minutes over a feeder located on a private field and shooting a nearly tame deer. On the other hand, a guy or girl who has grown up in the woods and been hunting since they could walk might be pushed by killing a lion with a bow.

As far as an ethical stance on killing for sport, in my opinion, there isn't anyone on this thread that can conclusively say whether or not it is morally and ethically acceptable to end a creature's life for the sake of pursuing one's passion. I have been hunting my entire life and have killed a lot of animals, and watching an animal die is still the hardest part of any hunt. However, I reconcile it with the science that shows mismanagement of wildlife (overpopulation) to result in disease, increased food and habitat competition, and a number of other negative aspects. I also have a deep respect for the animals I hunt and always eat what I kill. I am not sure how (or if) a person can use this argument to reconcile killing an exotic animal from an unmanaged population. However, that does NOT necessarily mean that I think it is wrong. It just means that I think that for some people, the pursuit of the passion and their internal competition has become more important than reconciling the killing of a creature (which, again, I don't think is fair for me to judge, as long at it's done legally).
 

LopeHunter

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I agree with you regarding hunting "in the spotlight". But, technically the lion left the safety of the Park. I look at it no different than the wolves leaving Yellowstone. How far outside the boundary of a Park is it "OK" to start hunting?

I wonder what the locals feel about it. Do they like lions or not like lions conparatively to how the locals here like or don't like wolves.

The lion left the safety of the park. The country says there was not a valid lion permit for where the lion was shot, though.
 

MinnesotaHunter

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Setting aside the exploits and controversy surrounding this one hunter.

I think African hunting is a hard issue. There have been periods of time when the wildlife populations of Africa have been decimated by meat hunting, and by reintroducing hunting the animals gained a value beyond meat and in general wildlife in Africa is flourishing because the local populace protects the wildlife from poaching, so that it can be hunted.

The part of African hunting I have a hard time with is that it starts to feel more like collecting than hunting, and the focus is on the kill or score rather than the hunt. Granted I have no first hand experience, and maybe this feeling comes more from outdoor tv and the hunting industry propagating the phenomenon for $$$. Either way, it is not my cup of tea, and obvously every small mistep deals huge damage to the hunting community as a whole.

Ever since I was a kid, I have dreamed about the time when I could do an old fashioned tracking safari for cape buffalo, where there is a hunt to savor, not just punching the ticket of species. To me this feels like a form of hunting in Africa closer to what I find value in.
 

charliebravo77

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Been on one outfitted hunts where the outfitter said something along the lines of go ahead and shoot that wolf, they cause a lot of damage. I have to take some responsibility to know the rules and regulations and to know if it is actually legal to do so. I would have loved to taken a wolf but I knew that it was illegal to do so.

I don't think that what I'm about to describe pertains to Mr. Dentist specifically. However, I do think that it might be a little more prevalent in other situations than some may think.

As someone who's very new to the world of hunting, I see first hand a lot of misconceptions and lack of education out there as far as legalities and what you can and can't do.

Lots of people have no idea that there are wanton waste laws, strict quotas and management of game, laws on method of take, etc. I could see someone who has no background in hunting and a lot of disposable income deciding to live out their Teddy Roosevelt fantasy and go on a hunt in Africa, or even here in the US paying an outfitter $$$$$ and just following instructions without question because hey, they're the expert.

As an example, not having grown up in a family with any immediate members who hunted, or friends that hunted, or really knowing ANYONE who hunted I was at a huge disadvantage when I decided to give it a go. It wasn't until very shortly before my first hunt did I come to realize that "trophy" hunters didn't just cut off an animals head and leave the rest in the field. Hardly any hunting show out there talks about, let alone shows the real process of hunting, including butchering, processing, and consumption of meat. My general impression was that few people actually kept the meat from animals they killed. Most hunting shows I had seen up to that point went from gunshot or arrow release to a grip and grin, then credits. From the outsider's perspective it's not hard to see why some have such a skewed view of hunters.
 

d-bone20917

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I agree with you regarding hunting "in the spotlight". But, technically the lion left the safety of the Park. I look at it no different than the wolves leaving Yellowstone. How far outside the boundary of a Park is it "OK" to start hunting?

I wonder what the locals feel about it. Do they like lions or not like lions conparatively to how the locals here like or don't like wolves.

It was reported that the guides lured the lion out of the park by dragging a dead animal behind a vehicle to where this guy was waiting. That just doesn't sit right with me ethically.
 

Jwill

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Poor Simba, er Cecil... I don't get too fired up about African wildlife, though I hope at some point conservation will catch on and these amazing animals can have sustainable populations. At the end of the day I just think it's really tough for third world countries to give a shit about conservation when they're more worried about just surviving.

Also, having read a ton of children's books the last couple years, it's not hard to see where the outrage is coming from, warranted or not. Damn near every book has some anthropomorphized cuddly little bear, wolf, lion, elephant, giraffe, pig, etc. in it. So to combat this I occasionally have to work in a talk about the North American Model, tailored to a 3yr old. :)
 

NKQualtieri

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The funny thing about ethics though, it tends to follow us around.

This. We should all write this down and carry it in our pockets and read it a couple times a day. Thanks for that, Hsi.

And lots of other good thoughts. It reminds me of the years I spent working with kids. There were the kids that craved attention and would do anything to incite a reaction, and giving them any sort of reaction--whether positive or negative--reinforced that behavior.

I personally think that hunting an african lion is not fair chase, especially when they're habituated as this particular one had to have been. Generally, it seems to be another form of high fence hunting. The fact that this guy has been convicted of poaching in the US only fuels that fire. It also kind of ends the conversation in a weird way, because we're not talking about hunting anymore, but poaching. So thanks to Lope for pointing that out.

The other thing that sits poorly with me is that "imposed western will" that has dismantled Africa's resources for generation upon generation that Flatland brought up. I couldn't find it for some reason, but whoever talked about participating in a cape buffalo hunt with locals, that seems like a culturally appropriate and respectful way to hunt in Africa, and one that I think would have many more benefits to both cultures than the exotic trophy game in play here. We are long past Roosevelt's days collecting specimens for the Smithsonian.
 

LopeHunter

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I was hunting in southern Arizona and speaking with a guy who had gone to Africa to hunt. He spent extra effort before booking the hunt to find an outfitter than would allow him to hunt on foot rather than sit in the back of a Land Rover or sit on water. He arrives in Africa and they load up in a Land Rover the first morning. They start to spot game. He has to argue with the PH that he did not travel to Africa to merely shoot but wants to hunt. They spend the rest of the days being dropped off near suitable habitat and trying to spot and stalk. He was able to shoot a few animals, most likely smaller horns that usually are taken in that area, yet he felt like he was hunting the entire time.
 

Southwind

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Well I have a very good friend that has hunted lion with this ph. The concession they hunted was 10's of thousands of acres and spent several days all on foot tracking. As they tracked commonly they found tracks over theirs as they worked in large circles a pair of lions were stalking them, he ended up taking his lion at 15 yards. This was not shooting a lion in a zoo.

I do not defend this ph or the shooter but I do believe this social media outing witch hunts are bs because it has happened to many a legit hunter as well. I don't know what happened there it could very well unethical and criminal and hopefully justice will be served.

My friend checked out this ph very well and found no problems but that is no guarantee, everything in Zim is corrupt and almost all business is done by bribery. If there is a target on this ph he doesn't stand a chance right or wrong he is likely done. His two sons just finish ph school and probably won't have much of a future in that business either. I also know the government confiscated about 15k acres from this ph to give to a local commissioner so things are not like they are in the good old USA.

A lot of lions that end up on these concessions are problem lions that have been transplanted from parks because eating photo safari tourist is bad for business.

Anyway, I will never hunt lion, just not my cup of tea but I think it is way too early to take a judgment especially when most of the information out there is highly biased.

I have places and animals I have on my list to hunt but mostly I am happy and content to my diy's here on our continent.
 

Outdoor Junkie

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this is disgusting, if they in fact lured the lion out of the park by dragging a dead animal behind the vehicle. At that point the hunter had to know they were at best doing something unethical and at worst doing something very illegal.
 

glass eye

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this is disgusting, if they in fact lured the lion out of the park by dragging a dead animal behind the vehicle. At that point the hunter had to know they were at best doing something unethical and at worst doing something very illegal.

Knowing how slanted and biased the media is, I'm going to give both the hunter and outfitter the benefit of the doubt.
Baiting is legal and perhaps the " dragging a carcass from the park to the private property is a gross exaggeration of a carcass hanging from a tree.
I looked a numerous photos and videos of the lion and it's nearly impossible to see a collar.
It has already been established that Cecil had been dethroned and so it's quite possible he left the park on his own.
Don't believe everything you read. It's possible he's guilty on all points, then again.......
 

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