When Cecil, Zimbabwe’s famous lion, was found to have been killed in early July, authorities initially searched for a Spanish killer. But nah. The Telegraph says it’s a trophy-hunting dentist from the Upper Midwest. Of fucking course it’s an American. We are the fucking worst.
Cecil was a major tourist attraction in Hwange National Park; the 13-year-old lion was known for seeming to enjoy visits from humans. He was also wearing a GPS collar as part of an Oxford study on (ha) “the impact of sports hunting on lions living in the safari area surrounding the national park,” according to The Guardian. His killers lured him out of the park at night (hunting lions inside parks is illegal—but then again, so is hunting lions at night), shot him with arrows, stalked him for 40 hours as he weakened from his injuries, then skinned and beheaded him and left his corpse to rot in the wilderness. His six cubs will probably now die, too, as rival males take the opportunity to force their mothers to mate again.
Which is to say, this is fucking awful. Even on the terms of some coldly rational trophy-hunting-is-good-for-the-economies-of-poor-African-nations bullshit, this is a disaster. Cecil was a source of steady income for the local tourism industry, as tourists paid to stay in the nearby lodge and hired guides to find him for photo-ops; he could have kept on doing that for years just by being permitted to live. He already had generated far more money than the $50,000 or so this porcine Midwestern shit-for-brains paid to kill him, and could have done it many times over had he not been killed for no good reason. (He can only be killed once, in case you were wondering.)
More importantly, he was also a living creature who fit neatly into his own goddamn ecosystem, getting along as lions do and not interfering with humans at all. He was none of this dentist’s business. His killing fed no one; addressed no legitimate need; protected nothing but the frail self-image of a mouth-breathing retainer salesman qualified by nothing save the contents of his bank account and boundless sense of entitlement to decide for all the world that a valued inhabitant of it ought to decorate his fucking hearth. By all rights this fucker should have to eat the trophies he collected before he can re-enter society. Pelt and tail and skull and everything.
Hi there, bloodthirsty, blunderbuss-humping, trophy-hunting American shitheads! Please do not journey to exotic far-off countries for the purpose of destroying and claiming for yourself the beautiful living things you find there. If you wish to adorn your home with proof of your own wanton avarice, drive a fucking Range Rover halfway through the wall of your stupid den and park it there.