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The Internet is in an uproar over the death of Cecil the lion, one of Africa’s most famous big cats.
Walter Palmer, an American dentist from Minnesota, reportedly paid $55,000 for the opportunity to visit Africa and kill Cecil, one of the most beloved lions in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park and a major tourist attraction.
Palmer, accompanied by two local hunting guides, lured Cecil out of the national park and shot him with a bow and arrow, Palmer’s preferred method of killing things, from rams to leopards to rhinos.
The arrow didn’t kill Cecil, though. The wounded lion survived for 40 hours until the hunters found him and shot him with a rifle. They then beheaded and skinned the lion, taking both as trophies and leaving the slaughtered body to rot. Cecil was wearing a GPS tracking collar to be studied by Oxford University, which Palmer and Co. tried to destroy but failed to do so.
So, yeah, you can see why people are pissed.
Palmer released a statement saying, “I had no idea that the lion I took was a known, local favorite, was collared and part of a study until the end of the hunt. I relied on the expertise of my local professional guides to ensure a legal hunt.”
It’s not just the act of hunting animals — er, “taking” animals — here for the sake of food, though. It’s the unconscious killing of precious creatures for no use other than to hang a head on a wall and tell your buddies, “You should have SEEN the size of that thing before I got my bow and slaughtered the bastard!” (These buddies then clank cans of PBR.)
Well, Jimmy Kimmel has joined the chorus of people crushing Walter Palmer, as he gave a four-minute commentary on the topic Tuesday evening.
“The question is, why are you killing a lion in the first place?” Kimmel said. “I’m honestly curious why a human being would be 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? If that’s the case, they have a pill for that — it works great.”
Near the end, as Kimmel is trying to turn this story into a positive and raise awareness for an organization that helps wildlife, he gets choked up and has to fight off tears. It’s a superb video well worth your four minutes, and I encourage to watch the whole thing here:
UPDATE: PETA, an organization that’s always completely level-headed, has called for Walter Palmer to be “preferably” hanged. Yes, it really requested that in an official statement, which you can read here. The NY Daily News also has more on the extent of Palmer’s hunting activities, which has included more than 40 kills as a member of an “elite hunting club.”
Teddy Mitrosilis works in content production at FOX Sports Digital. Follow him on Twitter @TMitrosilis and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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