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Hunting is fun, just ask Cecil

Updated on July 31, 2015

You're gonna hear me roar!

This was (reportedly) one of the last pictures taken of Cecil. He seems to be greeting one of the lionesses in his Pride.
This was (reportedly) one of the last pictures taken of Cecil. He seems to be greeting one of the lionesses in his Pride. | Source

A must watch!

A little history lesson

In the 1800s southern and central European hunters often pursued game only for a trophy, usually the head or pelt of an animal, to be displayed as a sign of prowess. The rest of the animal was often wasted.
*Remember this quote, it will come up later*

The year is 1909. The total kills in one father-son safari? Over 500. Who are these men? They must be monsters, because only monsters kill for fun! They must be low-life scoundrels with empty chest cavities!

So, who are these two men you ask? None other than one of America's favorite U.S. Presidents, Teddy Roosevelt and his son. Still think they are monsters, low-life scoundrels? Sort of makes the Dentist in Minnesota look a tiny bit better, right? Well, not really. Teddy Roosevelt and his son had an explanation for this massive safari trip.

"Kermit and I kept about a dozen trophies for ourselves; otherwise we shot nothing that was not used either as a museum specimen or for meat...the mere size of the bag indicates little as to a man's prowess as a hunter, and almost nothing as to the interest or value of his achievement" -Teddy Roosevelt

We have to remember that in the 1900's it wasn't simply looked at as hunting for fun. Back then, they were still doing so much research on these animals. Research that we may never have had today, if it wasn't for "conversationalist hunters". Many of the animals that were killed by Teddy Roosevelt and his son were donated to the Smithsonian and are on display for us to all enjoy today.Smithsonian-Roosevelt African Expedition

"Mores around conservation and hunting were dramatically different in 1909, and the countries Roosevelt visited — today's Kenya, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Sudan — had very different big-game politics, as well".

I suggest reading this article if you want a little more history on trophy hunting:

Teddy Roosevelt and Son's "Game" list during one safari trip


Ernest Hemingway on Safari

We all grew up learning about Ernest Hemingway and reading his great work in school. He is well-known for his writings and incredible impact on history. What you may not know about Ernest Hemingway is that he spent much of his time hunting and fishing.

He would hunt anything from squirrels and other small game that would inhabit the Michigan woods to the much larger game in Africa. Hemingway spent three months on safari in Africa; tracking through Kenya, Tanzania, and the plains of the Serengeti. His time on safari inspired the book "Green Hills of Africa" and the short stories "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" and "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber". Hemingway would return to Africa again, this time with his fourth wife.
"They traveled through the Belgian Congo, Rwanda, and Kenya. Once again, Hemingway exercised his skill as a hunter, and brought home many big game trophies. Hemingway’s persona as a fearless adventurer only increased when he suffered through two plane crashes on his second trip to Africa, prompting many news outlets to prematurely run his obituary".

“Every man’s life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived that distinguish one man from another.”

— Ernest Hemingway

Is there any good in trophy hunting?

In the 1800s southern and central European hunters often pursued game only for a trophy, usually the head or pelt of an animal, to be displayed as a sign of prowess. The rest of the animal was often wasted.-

As I mentioned this quote earlier, if we take this information into consideration then we must realize that trophy hunting has been around for a long time. The laws surrounding trophy hunting (and any hunting) were barely in existence.

Today, many Americans hunt deer, turkey and other common game for both the thrill of the hunt and also, to feed their families with. But, there are laws protecting the animals and the humans. Hunters are required to have hunting permits that keep the hunter responsible for his/her actions. There are also mandatory weaponry licenses and fishing licenses.

Humans have been eating meat since our cave dwelling days and anyone would be naive to think that hunting or meat eating would be eliminated. The question of whether or not there is any good in trophy hunting is answered differently by each person. I personally can understand hunting for food, but there should be no other reason. We should be well passed the days of killing animals to satisfy the need to make clothes (a necessity in caveman days)or to mount on living room walls.

*The following useful exert is from*

Hunting in North America in the 1800s was done primarily as a way to supplement food supplies. The safari method of hunting was a development of sport hunting that saw elaborate travel in Africa, India and other places in pursuit of trophies. In modern times, trophy hunting persists, but is frowned upon by some when it involves rare or endangered species of animal. Other people also object to trophy hunting in general because it is seen as a senseless act of killing another living thing for recreation, rather than food.Advocates of trophy hunting disagree. They note that modern regulations explicitly address issues of unnecessary harassment and that the vast majority of the edible portions of the animal are consumed by the hunters themselves or given to local inhabitants.This along with fees paid to hunt contribute to the local economy and provide value to animals that would otherwise be seen as competition for grazing, livestock, and crops.

So, what do you think?

See results

Wildlife Conservation Research Unit

The Wildlife Conservation Research Unit is one of the leading research universities in the world. Based out of Europe, and founded in 1986.

Our core research draws on a wide range of natural science disciplines, including ecology, behavior, epidemiology, genetics, parasitology, biochemistry and physiology. WildCRU’s recent recruits include environmental economists and development specialists. Our research is deliberately empirical, aimed at generating data through experimentation and observation. This integrated approach provides the necessary expertise for developing workable conservation solutions.-

This is the research team that had a GPS collar on Cecil. The team will safely capture and "tag" an animal so that they can track and learn from the animals in their natural environments. The tagging is harmless and the animals most likely don't even realize they are being tracked. We receive vital information about their habits and how to protect them.

The team has made this statement on their website in reference to Cecil's death:
"Despite our sadness, as scientists, we seek to learn from this event, and to find some benefit from it. A very important aspect of lion conservation is what we call the perturbation effect: namely the cascading effects on the surviving lions of the death of one of them – in brief, we have found that when a male lion is killed, because of the way their society works, a likely consequence is the overthrow and death of other adult male members of his weakened coalition (normally of brothers), and the subsequent infanticide of his cubs by the incoming new coalition of males. We are working hard to study the consequences of Cecil's death on his pride and their neighbors, so that we learn as much as possible. This requires hard work, manpower and expensive equipment, as does our wider work on lion conservation in Zimbabwe and elsewhere in Africa".

I am guessing that not many of the trophy hunters out there even are aware of the society that each species lives by. I'm sure that the hunters don't know or even care to know that the killing of any animal (but especially the King of a Pride) is horrific for the remaining herd. Luckily, there are conservation groups out there that are aware and can hopefully help them or at least learn from them.

This isn't over...

With a very brief history of the Roosevelt's and Hemingway and their ventures to Africa to "trophy hunt" we have a little more perspective on the history of this sport. Although I don't agree with killing for sport, I was inclined to do my research to give fairness to all sides.

Do I believe the claims that trophy hunting is good for the conservation of endangered species? No, I don't. But, having done my research I am more educated on why I don't believe in it. I do however believe in the work of research teams such as WildCRU. I believe that they are using impressive resources to learn all they can about these animals and how to protect them and then they share that research with the world.

Cecil, and the thousands of other animals who have been killed out of a human's need for entertainment were worth more than the dollar amounts put on their heads. By spreading knowledge and understanding of these situations, maybe we can keep them around for our children and their children to learn from and enjoy for generations to come!

"I’m honestly curious to know why a human being would feel compelled to do that. How is that fun? Is it that difficult for you to get an erection that you need to kill things that are stronger than you?”

— -Jimmy Kimmel


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