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Cecil, Conservation And How You Can Make A Living Fighting Poachers

Updated on August 1, 2015
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I think that with all the social media and mainstream media coverage of the death of Cecil the lion who was shot by a dentist from the U.S. illegally while being baited outside of a National Park and Reserve in Zimbabwe, that it has come to light now in mainstream America about the plight of the wild animal population in Africa as well as around the world. Being a conservationist and activist myself, I have watched the decline in numbers of elephants, rhinos and other animals with a great deal of heartbreak. When I heard about Cecil, I became very, very angry and I think that was my breaking point about being a nice person.

In the past, since I get a great deal of information about endangered animals from around the world, including the U.S., I am very aware of the things that are going on around the world. Poaching to make a living is at an all-time high. The Ivory trade is a way for illegal gangs and corruption to make money for other things they are involved in. I don’t honestly know how someone could buy ivory, knowing the history of where it came from or the mentality of someone that would think this is a good thing to have. The rich and the privileged I guess, would think they are elite? I do not in any, way, shape or form, understand the mindset of the trophy hunter of endangered animals. Because you have money, you find that it is exciting and thrilling to kill endangered animals and remove them from the planet? You think that you have the right to do this? To put a dead animal on your all, or have it stuffed? What gives you that right? Why do you enjoy killing when you could just enjoy watching animals, not causing them to die and watching them in pain and suffering, at the hands of YOU. I work in mental health and I find this to be greatly disturbing. Not only is this sociopathic, it is narcissistic and entitled.

Also the fact that there are literally people camped outside the National Parks and Reserves where the animals live baiting them out to kill them, do they even know the social connotations of what scum they are? Parasitic pieces of offal. Here people are, trying to save animals that are endangered with land and here are OTHER people with Neanderthal thinking that sit outside of these protected animals trying to lure the animals to their death on the other side of an imaginary line the animal does not know exists. Why the safari guides and land owners would do this for a living, don’t they realize what kind of human beings they are? The people that pay them, what kind of opportunistic sociopaths? Apparently when they found the collar on Cecil they tried to destroy it, so that would mean to me that they knew they were in the wrong. Everything was clandestine, from hunting him at night with spot light, to shooting him with a cross bow, because no one would hear it, because a gun has a shot that makes a noise. They knew what they were doing was wrong. Mr. Palmer had done with this in a bear in the past and you can’t help but wonder what else he has done that he never got caught for?

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I find Walter Palmer repugnant of any positive human qualities, just by this desire to slay endangered animals. When you have people like Ted Nugent on your side that is not a time to be proud of yourself as a human being.

While this was going on with Cecil, rhinos and elephants were being slaughtered and it was business as usual. Today when the rumor was out that Jericho Cecil’s brother may have also been killed in the park, I was just distraught with the sickness of it all. What makes these people think they have the right to do this? As of now, this may not be true, it may have been another lion, but is that really “okay” or any less tragic?

With a country full of jobless veterans that have fought in both Iraq and Afghanistan and with the government’s less than enthusiastic effort to help them when they get back and the fact that most military personnel are living below the poverty level anyway, there is a way to help the world as well as help endangered animals. That is to use your military talents to fight poachers. This is actually for anyone, anywhere in the world with military experience. In the U.S. there are also bounties out there for poachers here in the U.S., where as we have seen individuals like Walter Palmer also do the same thing here at National Parks in the U.S., sit outside of the reserve of the park to kill animals as he did that bear.

There are private companies, looking to give ex-vets and others jobs fighting poachers, to consult and train individuals working in these parks as well as actively work for governments in Africa fighting and shooting poachers. In many African countries, they are allowed to shoot poachers on sight. If you have these skills, then you may want to look into some work with these people, you will be fighting for a good cause and be making a living and go to exotic countries, enjoying the beauty there and enjoy watching the animals. I am sure it is quite an experience.

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I keep wishing that I could go and if I was younger I would. I am with these people in spirit that are fighting this fight. In my prime I was a crash and rescue airfield firefighter in the Navy and very physically fit and I was a crack shot with a gun. I used to target practice, but I could never kill and have never killed an animal with a gun. I used to eat meat of people that had, but they were hunting things legally that they had a permit for and they were not endangered. They also ate and used all parts of the animals, in places like Wyoming, many people live on Elk meat every year and a lot of it has to do with being poor.

We need new heroes. I follow the exploits of Kinessa Johnson a great deal and she is a hero in my book, she and VETPAW, the organization she is with. Everything that I have mentioned is what she does for a living. There is also another organization called Protrack that you can work for. The work is dangerous and the training is hard, I have watched the clips. But if I was young and I had the choice, I would donate my life to this and I would do it. I think that veterans and others should think about it.

Also, as I mentioned there is work out there as a bounty hunter for bringing in poachers in the U.S. I do not know as much about that, but I do know that you can make a living at it. So you get the satisfaction of bringing in scumbags, while you make a paycheck. I am sure that works differently in different states.

We need to do something, the world needs to do something about saving what is left of our animals. We cannot allow this to happen anymore.

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    • Tamara M Wright profile image
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      TM Wright 2 years ago from U.S.

      By the way, I don't mind your humble opinion at all, mine is too.

    • Tamara M Wright profile image
      Author

      TM Wright 2 years ago from U.S.

      Not trying to be rude, but that is the dichotomy thing again. You are totally changing the subject from conservation to Obamacare. Apples and oranges. Pointing out again, this article is about conservation, about jobs for veterans saving animals about poachers and I have no idea how YOU circled around to Obama again. I didn't. It is okay, I don't mind bantering back and forth with you. It is good practice. LOL. BUT just saying, the point of this article had nothing to do with Obamacare. It had to do with the death of a lion by a poacher, Vets getting jobs in the anti-poaching organizations and the evils of poaching. I am not lessening the issue any about other things, just focused (without political ADHD) on the article I have written. Not to say I am NOT concerned about other things, because I am...very much. But that is not what THIS is about. Let's stick to the topic.

    • claptona profile image

      John D Wilson 2 years ago from Earth

      I didn't bash obama. I just quoted what the what the guy said who was the architect of obamacare.

      Don't like his words?

      Call him - don't blame me that government employees are calling the american people stupid.

      That's between you and the government folks. :)

      I'm just here giving MHO!

      Cheers

    • Tamara M Wright profile image
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      TM Wright 2 years ago from U.S.

      John, I actually agree with many of your articles that you have written. Particularly about the millenials. Don't know if you saw that one I wrote. I am a "Tweener". Had a young Boomer Mom. Anyway, many things we do agree. I am an animal rights activist though. This is a big passion for me. Animals, John, do not have their own voice to complain or do anything about their plight. Do you think it is right that all of these animals are being killed for no good reason? That are endangered? I got sick of seeing all the comparisons to what people should be caring about instead of this lion. It is not just this lion. This lion represents all animals having this happen to them and because it went mainstream, it was finally something that got to the public about CARING about the situation. It brought endangered animals into the forefront. For someone like me, it was a time to have the rest of the world care as much as I have. People that normally wouldn't because it went to the mainstream media. Anyway, that is where I am at with this and WHY in a way on the glass half full side, Cecil's death actually got people to finally care a little more about what is going on around them besides their cell phones and their SUVs and in this country, that is quite an accomplishment.

    • Tamara M Wright profile image
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      TM Wright 2 years ago from U.S.

      Also, false dichotomy...somehow a poached lion got compared the Obama administration...and corruption in our government...somewhere in your argument and it was a weak one. False dichotomy...

      "A dichotomy is a set of two mutually exclusive, jointly exhaustive alternatives. Dichotomies are typically expressed with the words "either" and "or", like this: "Either the test is wrong or the program is wrong."

      "A false dichotomy is a dichotomy that is not jointly exhaustive (there are other alternatives), or that is not mutually exclusive (the alternatives overlap), or that is possibly neither. Note that the example given above is not mutually exclusive, since the test and the program could both be wrong. It's not jointly exhaustive either, since they could both be correct, but it could be a hardware error, a compiler error and so on. "

      http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?FalseDichotomy

      You are a black and white thinker Claptona. It is this or it is that...and sometimes they don't even connect.

    • Tamara M Wright profile image
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      TM Wright 2 years ago from U.S.

      No he did not legally hunt the lion. I think you don't get it. He used spot lights, the land did not have a permit quota for the lion. He poached, just as he did that bear in Wisconsin. He didn't legally hunt the lion. I plan on making sure that no one forgets Walter Palmer for this. He poached a lion from a third world country illegally and exploited them. Also "spending his money the way he wanted it" , could have been helping all those starving people you were talking about in that country instead of killing off it's resources. I think that the military people can choose, since we are talking about choice here...if they want to do something like this. I thought I would put it out there. I agree that the U.S. government is corrupt. Also, you always bash Obama on my posts when I am not an Obama fan. You are lumping people together. I don't like Obamacare and think we should just have socialized medicine. Remember? You wrote on my articles about socialism. I am a Bernie Sanders fan. So bringing him up on my article, is a little silly. But I get what you are are saying about the government. Because this guy is white, male and rich, our government probably won't hand him over to Zimbabwe because they want him extradited, just like they protect war profiteers/criminals in the Bush administration, particularly Bush and Cheney, who can never step foot outside of this country without being charged for their crimes from the rest of the world. In our country, his brother tries to run for president after him! I would love to see horrible things happen to Walter Palmer. I stand by this. Even if that means spending the rest of his life in prison.

      Cheers to YOU!

    • claptona profile image

      John D Wilson 2 years ago from Earth

      Tamara,

      Not knocking you personally.

      I just think that what has riled so many people is interesting.

      The guy LEGALLY hunted the lion - that's how Zimbabwe gets a lot of foreign cash

      Businesses don't do business there because the country's so screwed up and so unsafe.

      We have, in the U.S., corruption in our government, going on for decades with little action taken by citizens to stop it.

      All the major banks in the U.S. have committed felonies, laundered money, rigged markets and numerous other things, which has hurt every single American family, and no one has gone to jail.

      Yet, no big deal to the American citizens.

      I read justifications from the press about lying politicians that it's OK because all politicians lie. And that' acceptable to Americans

      We have allowed out politicians to take away our privacy - against the law, according to the Constitution - but, no big deal to most Americans.

      But, let a lion with a name be killed - well, heck, what's more important than that?

      Get the point?

      Vets going to work - lots of other alternatives. But, if you think their military skills can be used, great. Good luck on that career path.

      U.S. Aid spends billions in these countries like Zimbabwe.

      But, as a fellow in Honduras told me "We citizens never get this money. It goes to the government and they spread it out amongst their friends and they get rich off it"

      And if you ever travel outside the U.S. you see that the funds coming from the U.S. does very little good.

      So, again, if you want to rally around a dead lion, demonize a dentist who's done nothing more than spend his money the way he wants, knock yourself out.

      I just think it's an odd priority when so many other things will have a greater impact on the world if they are not stopped.

      As the guy who helped design obamacare stated, "American's are stupid"

      Nice to have guys like that on your payroll, ain't it?

      (Yes, using your tax money, he's made thousands off of your "stupidity". His words, not mine.)

      The government people might judge you like that, but I would never say that to you.

      This raises my ire, and I think this guy out to be tracked down and strung up.

      But, silly me, with my silly priorities of self survival.

      Carry on!

    • Tamara M Wright profile image
      Author

      TM Wright 2 years ago from U.S.

      Oh, and if you ask me? Yeah string the guy up. He was breaking the law, he was killing an endangered species and he is a piece of offal sadistic scumbag. Yep, I think we should light the fire under him.

    • Tamara M Wright profile image
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      TM Wright 2 years ago from U.S.

      The other thing is if these guys instead of paying so much money to kill edangered animals were to actually give that money to people in need such as the starving people in that country as a donation, the world would be a much better place. Also killing off all of their animals for their tourist trade which actually brings them money, is killing their country off and they money they make from it.

    • Tamara M Wright profile image
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      TM Wright 2 years ago from U.S.

      Also, this article is about vets finding jobs doing something good for conservation, and so forth. The animals aren't going to be around forever, they are almost gone, Rhinos I have heard may be totally extinct before 2017. Dictators and humans are going to be here a lot longer than that. You are only attacking one part of my argument. If the U.S. was in every war or there for every dictator, we only appear to do that where there is oil by the way...then we would be in more wars than we are in now. We don't ever seem as a country to do anything humane. We have been next to dictators that were pretty ruthless in Central and South America and we would only go and try to free "Iraq" on the other side of the world from tyrrany? I am for human rights, I am for a lot of things. I saw a post that pretty much summed up where I am at about all of this, it said, "There is nothing wrong with standing up for lions or against trophy hunting. It doesn't mean that you don't stand for anything else." Besides humans can speak to try and defend themselves, animals cannot. They have to have people do it for them.

    • Tamara M Wright profile image
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      TM Wright 2 years ago from U.S.

      Oh, Hi Claptona. Yes, there are a lot of things wrong in the world. I am an activist about many things. But this is horrific and not any less horrific because of the other things. It is false dichotomy to compare apples to oranges. Just because people care about the lions, doesn't mean they don't care about the other things. I think that people are just so sick of the fact that we have lost most of the animals in the world because of what is going on with ivory and so forth that this just set them over the edge. I know you like to play the devil's advocate as from what I have seen you don't appear to agree with anyone about anything.

    • claptona profile image

      John D Wilson 2 years ago from Earth

      Tamara,

      Interesting article.

      It seems that the "uproar" over Cecil is a mind boggling thing for a lot of people.

      What I find interesting is that

      1) Zimbabwe is one of the most corrupt countries in the world.

      2) It's estimated that about 3 million people are starving in the country

      3) Zimbabwe has an estimated 80% unemployment rate

      4) The leader of Zimbabwe is a dictator who's been accused of ethnic violence and murder, attacks against freedom of the press and his political opponents, and numerous other human rights violations.

      Now, this haas been going on since he got into power in the 80's.

      And the world gets upset over the death of a lion?

      No outrage for the starving.

      No call to arms to protect the people from this inhumane man.

      No call for a united action against the injustices to the people living in the country.

      But, killing a lion is unthinkable - atrocious, despicable!

      Amazing to me the things that light the fire of "activists".

      I guess there are so many humans on planet earth, that a few million won't be missed.

      Certainly, though, we would not be good people if we did not rally around the burning stakes to get that dentist strung up.

      (and today, more lions were killed, more people died, and more rights violated)

      Cheers

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