Cecil The Lion: Could He Be Saved?
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Cecil The Lion lived in Africa as a male African lion. He spent much of his time in the Hwange National Park in Matabeleland North, Zimbabwe. Many people came to see him, which is not part of the evolutionary arc for wild animals. Cecil often found himself studied and tracked by Oxford University as part of a larger study. July First, 2015, turned out to be a really bad day. He was shot and killed.
A recreational big-game hunter from America wounded him with a bow and arrow two days prior to his demise. The whole thing attracted international media attention. Some animal conservationists found themselves very upset. Politicians and celebrities and people with Twitter accounts realized a strong negative internet response. Evidently many ostensibly sentient humans disapprove of hunting wild animals in favor of staying home to play video games wherein virtual humans are disemboweled in HD.
What could have saved Cecil?
Could the world band together, putting aside petty differences such as nuclear climate change and The Kardashians, to save Cecil? Probably, but we will never know. Unless an animal psychic comes forward from New Jersey to channel Cecil we can only speculate.
And we will speculate. Speculation is more interesting than listening to Bernie Sanders hate the rich. Speculation swirling around Cecil is more interesting than trying to understand why Hillary isn't in under indictment. Sure, we all make mistakes but Cecil wasn't caching state secrets in direct violation of federal law.
Cecil Needed a GPS
A Global Positioning System tells you where you are within, like, 6 feet. We sentient humans leverage such devices in the hope of locating Starbucks. We need something like this to tell us where the coffee is. Doubtful, it is, that Cecil craved a mocha latte. However, had Cecil known he was dangerously close to the borders of the National Park, perhaps he would have turned back. Inside the park he was mostly 'safe', in a relative sense. Perhaps he would have returned to his friends and continued indiscriminately bringing down wildebeests and springboks for snacking.
We sentient humans selfishly deploy GPS products to find our way home from Gatlinburg. Many routes overlap and intertwine when approached from Knoxville. I40 beckons. State Route 441 presents opportunities for tourist travel. We crave efficient travel and rarely do we need to avoid bow hunters aiming at us. Navigating highways and byways, locating the most convenient Starbucks, and estimating arrival times are luxuries that Cecil will never have the luxury of enjoying,
Cecil could have used a distraction
Being stalked by American hunters armed with expensive bows and tour guides presents challenges. Lions posses innate skills such as camouflage and merciless killing but none of that would have helped Cecil evade razor sharp arrows whizzing through the underbrush. If only Cecil had thought to pack some form of distraction.
A popular distraction comes in a can and shoots harmlessly at American hunters. Silly String, the aerosol party-starter invented accidentally in 1972 by, ironically, American scientists, might be effective in dissuading American hunters from discriminate arrow-launching.
There is no evidence that a birthday party or a graduation party or a wedding reception has ever been disrupted by American hunters when Silly String was at hand. No one can resist the distracting effects of florescent strands of synthetic resin. Even Hawkeye and William Tell would find themselves unable to focus.
Other distractions might have saved Cecil. For example, he could have configured an Italian Ice machine on the fruited plain. Thirsty amateur tourist-hunters would have flocked to his start-up. Guides would have guided numerous otherwise sentient humans to partake of his cooling wares. It's hot in that part of the world: nothing slakes hunters' thirsts more effectively than cherry ice or strawberry ice. Think of the stories exchanged around campfires after learning that Cecil does indeed accept American Express. The economy of that little patch of creation would skyrocket. Travelers would travel from around the world to not hunt Cecil and enjoy his fruity concoctions.
Another distraction that could have enabled Cecil to safely scurry into the underbrush would be faux fur. China cranks out oodles of the stuff: no one would know the difference as long as the tags were expeditiously removed. All Cecil needed to do was strategically drop a few artificial pelts about the watering hole. Erstwhile hunters would scoop them up, assuming that a big game hunt was pretty much like shopping at Target. It could happen.
A Challenging Place to Hide
Hiding is relative
Hawange National Park, is, like, a big place. Compared to your living room it's really large. Unless you're Donald Trump, your entire house fits comfortably into the park with room left over to provide comfort and joy to Cecil. He easily loses himself in the gently undulating plains and rolling veldt. Bow hunters would have a doozy of a time tracking him. Even poaching bow hunters ostensibly guiding rich tourists boasting Eddie Bauer accoutrements would be challenged. Even if the so-called hunters applied modern drone technology they would face a difficult challenge locating and assassinating Cecil and his ilk.
Cecil could have deployed a decoy
Typical hunters simply want something to shoot at. Whether you're Dick Cheney or an American Big Game Hunter, all you crave is a head to hang on the wall. To that end, strategically deployed decoys might have changed the outcome on that fateful day.
You can shoot an arrow at an artificial beast just as easily as a majestic flea-infested King of the Jungle. American hunters probably can't tell the difference anyway, since they are American hunters, after all. Cecil, being a lion, probably understood the strategic value of decoy deployment across the Serengeti. Sadly he couldn't get Internet access inside the National Park.
Cecil could have traveled in an SUV
According to American TV commercials on American Cable TV, Sport Utility Vehicles provide safe and robust travel across African terrain. Many models offer seating for up to 12 lions. Cecil could transport his entire pride with room for drinking water and zebra carcasses. Arrows bounce off an SUV as long as the sunroof is closed.
A quick check of Travelocity and Wikipedia indicates a distinct lack of filling stations across the Hawange National Park. Judicious driving would be necessary. Cecil and his pride might find themselves stranded near a watering hole, bereft of fuel. On the other hand, the only traffic jam would be the evening wildebeest migration. No quick response from AAA should be expected, either. Nominal response time from Harare, the largest city in Zimbabwe, is thought to be measured in months. Cecil would be advised to pack supplemental fuel as well as auxillary batteries for his iPad and sun block for the National Geographic film crew inevitably following him.
In conclusion, Cecil, could have done much more to take care. As King of the Jungle he had the responsibility of looking out for his majestic self. Humans provided miles and miles of National Park in which to seek refuge. Park rules prohibited arrow shooting and poaching but not giraffe bringing-down for afternoon noshing. Everything was oriented for wild animal survival, pretty much.
Herein we have offered 4 disparate products with which Cecil might have improved survival opportunities. We know not if Cecil owned an Amazon Prime account or even if his Master Card was un-expired. Sadly, we can only speculate. Perhaps Jeff Bezos would have been willing to deliver Cecil-ordered products via drone. Perhaps this sad ending could have been avoided if tourist-hunters spent their money on Occulus Rift technology rather than murderous Bass Pro Shop technology, allegedly.
On the other hand, we see no productive purpose in American podiatrists from Las Vegas spearing beasts in the their natural habitat. These folks could buy a stuffed head from a taxidermist and spend their vacation at the shooting range or getting their legs waxed.