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Trophy Hunting Is Exposing The Weakest and Mentally Ill Members of Our Society

One of the most cowardly and selfish acts now practiced by thousands around the world is trophy hunting--the act of killing defenseless animals for pure sport and pleasure. It clearly takes a special kind of mental illness to engage in this type of activity--one who not only lacks basic empathy, but fails to see the greater consequences of their actions. Earlier this month, locals in Zimbabwe found a protected lion named Cecil shot, beheaded and skinned. After an investigation, the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority has named Cecil's killer as Walter Palmer, a dentist and known big game hunter from Minnesota who is now in hiding and fearing for his life after very serious threats were made once he was exposed as the killer.

Authorities believe a local man was paid $55,000 by a Mr. Palmer to lure Cecil out of the protected park so that the hunter could 'legally' hunt the lion on a local landowner's property.

With one shot of his bow, Walter Palmer went from being a Minneapolis dentist to the world’s most reviled big game hunter. Only wounding Cecil, the lion spent two days bleeding while being tracked by Palmer who eventually killed him and taking his 'trophy.'

The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force also claimed that the hunting party unsuccessfully tried to remove and hide Cecil's tracking collar.

Cecil was a popular attraction among visitors to the Hwange National Park (AFP)

Killing rare animals is nothing new for the dentist, who has crossbow records for killing a menagerie’s worth of wildlife, including rhino, warthogs, buffalo, and more. But none of his kills brought a spotlight on the contentious issue of trophy hunting until he and his hired Zimbabwean hunters lured the black-maned Cecil out from the protection of national park boundaries with bait.

Above: The Beauty of what was Cecil the lion in Hwange, Zimbabwe.

More than 120,000 people have signed a petition to President Mugabe, asking Zimbabwe to stop issuing hunting permits. There's been so much backlash on social media that the dental practice may need to shut down and relocate.

Cecil leaves behind a pride of lions, including 24 cubs, who preservationists say, will now likely be killed by other lions.

Killing For Pleasure Rooted In Mental Illness

Many defend trophy hunting in the name of conservation, but hunting for food or clothing that aren't needed really amounts to sport hunting. It's a game to seek pleasure from. They are not conserving anything but gaining satisfaction from the pain and eventual death of another living thing simply for decor or acknowledgement--a sense of superiority derived from killing animals who cannot defend themselves. In essence, cowards.

The guiding principles of compassionate conservation seek to create common ground between those who are concerned with the well-being of individual animals and those who are concerned more with conservation. This is neither. Recreationally shooting animals is not permissible in the paradigm of compassionate conservation and never will be.

Trophy hunters such as Palmer exist all over the world and are simply mentally ill. They derive pleasure from behaviors that hurt other living things, and are even willing to expend extra effort to make another living being suffer.

The trophy hunters of the world mostly deny the suffering and death(s) for which they're directly responsible. To them the behavior they exhibit and lack of conscience is completely acceptable. From their perspective, they are normal.

In reality, they are mostly immature and narcissistic individuals who demand or crave attention and affection of some kind. They absolutely cannot stand to be deprived of desired gratifications, like a baby who cries because mother removes the breast.

In a statement sent to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, Walter said he didn’t know the lion he killed was a local favorite or that it was radio-collared for study by Oxford University professors.

"I relied on the expertise of my local professional guides to ensure a legal hunt," the statement said. "Again, I deeply regret that my pursuit of an activity I love and practice responsibly and legally resulted in the taking of this lion."

By Palmer's logic he seeks forgiveness from the public because he shot the wrong Lion for fun. Do you see the problem?


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