The killing of Cecil the lion, a magnificent 13-year old and an icon in Zimbabwe, has justifiably outraged the world. It's not just animal lovers who have been sickened by his death; baited, arrowed and shot by a hunter in Zimbabwe, but the media and world citizens alike.
As a conservation organization that works in Africa, we are fundamentally opposed to hunting in all forms – canned lion hunts and trophy hunts. Fortunately in Kenya, trophy hunting is banned and this latest killing, one of hundreds that goes on each year, shows again why trophy hunting is wrong and flawed.
Consuming our wildlife
Across Africa, lions "the king of the jungle," are experiencing a monumental decline due to human-wildlife conflict, prey depletion and habitat loss. Zimbabwe citizens, as well as the world, have been outraged about the circumstances in which collared lion, Cecil, was killed, but he is just one of many killed each year, their lives often auctioned for a hunt.
In fact, according to Lion Aid, trophy hunters in Zimbabwe killed around 800 lions in the 10 years to 2009, out of a population in the country of up to 1,680. But it's not just lions. Cecil, is just one of many animals sold for hunts. A 14-day elephant hunt in Zimbabwe is currently being sold online for $31,000 and includes the killing of one elephant. Buffalos meanwhile go for $14,600 on the same site.