Julian Omidi discusses the importance of the viral outrage happening towards big game hunters.
In recent months, criticism of big game hunting in countries like Africa have gone viral. More people are sharing their outrage of senseless big game hunting of animals like giraffes and more recent, lions. One of the more vocal animal activists has been comedian Ricky Gervais, who has used social media to shame those who post photos of big game hunting. This week, the outcry got even louder.
Cecil the lion, one of the most beloved creatures in Zimbabwe’s national parks was killed by an American hunter. This news was reported when the hunter, Walter James Palmer of Minnesota boasted about the kill online. Once the information was revealed online, there was a backlash of criticism towards Palmer.
Apparently, Cecil the lion was lured out of the Zimbabwe National Park at night and was then shot with a bow. Afterwards the lion was then skinned and decapitated by the hunters. Cecil the lion was only 13 and beloved by visitors of the Zimbabwe National Park. Palmer is said to have paid upwards of $54,000 for the right to hunt lions.
The public outcry put Palmer, a Dentist who runs his own practice River Bluff Dental, in hot water. People criticized Palmer on the River Bluff dental Facebook page. The profile was taken down a few hours after the frenzy.
Similarly, the company’s Yelp profile was plastered with negative criticism of the killing of Cecil the lion. They then rated the profile 5 stars to push it up the page listing to allow others to find it. People on Twitter even posted Palmer’s home address and telephone number.
The story even got highlighted on Jimmy Kimmel Live! The River Bluff Dental practice has since closed. The building space has been said to become a makeshift memorial for Cecil the Lion. Palmer consistently states that he assumed all his paperwork and the hunt were legal.
It is good that stories like this spark so much advocacy for animals. The more the practice of big game hunting can be scrutinized in the public forum, the more quickly it can be stopped. Some of these animals are the last of the great wildlife we have on this Earth, and they need to be protected.
Be good to each other,
Julian Omidi is the co-founder of Animal Support, a nonprofit that advocates for the fair treatment of animals.