Sunday, August 2, 2015
I think that just for the hell of it I'll check in over the Cecil the poor old lion brawl going n these days.
First World problem.
Before I go any further I'm calling this entire mess nothing more or less than a First World problem because we are the only ones with the luxury of time to spend wailing and gnashing our teeth over it.
While we're at it, how about the five elephants that truly ARE endangered in Kenya that were killed by poachers while this ballyhoo was going on.
Truth is, most Zimbabweans don't really even give a damn about the death of a lion. According to some sources, even Zimbabwan government officials had never heard of Cecil's or even Cecil killing until it became big time international news. Doesn't sound like he was too well known to the big shots over there. Lion? What lion? You don't say? Someone killed a lion?
Several locals have asked why we don't get upset when a lion eats a couple of villagers. Interesting point.
When that happens the PETA types defend it by saying lions gotta be lions. Interesting point.
So they eat a couple villagers every so often. So, what? Lions gotta lion.
Next time you're at the zoo and hear some PETA type gripe about the lion in captivity mention that they eat people. If they explain that lions just gotta lion just grab the PETA person's four year old and fling him or her into the cage.
Let me know if their attitude changes. I'd be interested to find out.
I have yet to hear from the #zebraslivesmatter people. I'll let you know when I do. It would be interesting to hear what they have to say. I'll bet they were tickled pink to hear Cecil bit the dust.
Now lets take a look at Dr. Palmer.
As of now we don't even know if he did anything illegal. He hired a professional hunter (PH) to take care of his hunting trip. It's the job of the PH to make all of the arrangements, get the proper permits and insure the hunt is ethical and legal.
Assuming Palmer didn't know what was going on he is guilty only of being duped by an unscrupulous PH.
If Palmer did know what was going on he is complicit in the illegal hunt and probably deserves to be punished. We don't know enough to judge things yet, so we really ought to not get so worked up until we find out who is responsible.
From the accounts I have read, the entire poor excuse for a hunt was a botched, unethical affair. Cecil was baited out of a National Preserve which is arguably unethical. (I think it is unethical) He was baited into an area where there had been no lion permits issued, making the kill itself illegal.
From there he was struck by an arrow supposedly shot by Palmer and wounded. He was killed forty hours later by gunfire by whomever. Hunter ethics demand a quick, clean kill.
After Cecil died his radio collar was removed which is yet another violation.
So we're looking at a string of crimes here and unless the good dentist was aware of this, it looks like the entire mess drops on the lap of the PH.
I just read where he has had his license yanked and is out on bail.
Truth of the matter is that Good Old Cecil was on the protected list. It's possible that no permits were issued in the area to protect him from hunters.
This doesn't sound lie too much of a hunt to me. It sounds like out and out poaching.
From what I heard, Cecil was pretty popular among the photo safari set and drew a lot of money into Zimbabwe. I have looked on his Wikipedia page and it says he'd allow vehicles to within 10 meters of him.
I have to say that he probably brought a lot more money into the cash strapped country than his trophy fee did. Unlike most creatures (humans included) it seems like he was one of those rare creatures that was worth more alive than he is worth dead.
Cecil's Wikipedia page, according to another source didn't get set up until after he was killed. It smells like the entire ballyhoo is a red herring set up by the media to cover for something else.
Anybody taken a peek at what Congress is doing while we are all glued to our seats over the Cecil drama?
The Planned Parenthood fetus parts scandal seems to have taken a back seat to Cecil. So have several other things.
Of course, the politicians are on this because they never let a crisis, real or imagined, go to waste for political gain.
Now they'll pander to the heart strings of the "He killed Bambi!" set. Laws will likely be enacted and we'll probably send a gazillion dollars to Zimbabwe to get them to outlaw hunting or some such thing.
Of course, the PETA types that want to ban hunting don't realize that the damage done to the herds isn't done by ethical, legal hunters. It's done by poachers.
The money that hunters bring to this paradise on earth is likely one of the only things that finances anti-poaching patrols. without the revenue the animals would probably be extinct.
The PETA types are quick to say that eco-tourism doesn't hurt the herds but that's half the story. It doesn't help them very much, either. Figures I read say that the average hunter brings in more money that 50 to 100 eco tourists do.
What helps the herds is money to make sure the anti-poaching patrols are on the job. The big money from hunting does a lot more good for the herds than the nickel-dime eco tourists.
Hunting trophy fees are not cheap, but photo excursions are, relatively speaking. Big game hunting still seems to be where the real money is.
Zimbabwe needs the money badly. Their dollar isn't worth anything. If you want to become a millionaire now it's easy. Buy Zimbabwean currency. Five bucks get you a million Zimbabuan dollars...and you get change from your five. Instant millionaire.
When you realize their dollar isn't squat you can only imagine the quality of the anti-poaching patrols. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that a couple of greenbacks will probably get the patrol to move about 20 miles down the road.
Meanwhle, there goes a small herd of elephants, killed for their ivory. Or a couple Rhinos killed for their horn. The rotting carcasses added to the endless list of unsolved criminal poaching.
If it's not an elephant or five, it's another lion or something bagged by an unethical PH or poisoned by a native that's tired of having his goats or maybe his kids eaten.
Incidentally, the villagers are not just upset over the damage caused by the big cats. Elephants are pretty destructive as are giraffes and a lot of herbivores. They eat crops and a herd of elephants can flatten a field in minutes.
Hippos kill more natives than any other species.
Of course, First world people can scream blue bloody murder over the death of a lion half a world away over shrimp cocktails. They'll eat half the shrimp cocktail to save room for the steak which in turn will be half eaten to save room for the cheesecake.
They'll likely finish the cheesecake and lick the plate clean, all the while talking about poor old Cecil.
Meanwhile, back in Africa some villager would kill to have the leftovers and half-eaten steaks and shrimp that have landed in the dumpster.
Very possibly he's going to be having whatever leftovers that Cecil's cousin left from his prize goat. That's if he's damned lucky.
As for Palmer? Who knows.
Last I read the feds were looking for him and you can bet your ass they are going to be looking for some thin excuse to ship his ass back to Africa to face trial in some kangaroo court.
After all, its votes for some dopey political candidate that would likely sell his own monther into white slavery for three votes. To him this is a pretty good deal. He can save his mom for the time he faces a close election.
A quick Google check in Zimbabwean court systems says that theoretically it's a Roman-Dutch based system influenced by the South African system. From a practical point, it's been compromised by Zimbabwe's Fearless Leader, Robert Mugabe.
It looks to me that Palmer is facing a decade or more in an African jail unless he can come up with some serious scratch to cram into Mugabe's pockets. At least that's my guess at this point in time. I could be wrong. Maybe he will go directly to jail and sit there until he can drum up some cash. At which point he will be quietly released. Who knows?
On the other hand, maybe we'd be better off with Palmer sitting in jail someplace.
Judging from the hate mail Palmer's received maybe HE'd be better off sitting in a safe African jail someplace. Wanting the man dead for poaching is a little extreme in my book.
Truth is I have no idea if he knew that he was being taken for a ride by the PH. Maybe he was, maybe he was a knowlegable party to it. My guess, based on his history, is he was. Still, we don't know for sure.
He does have a history involving a legal bear kill in the States and has a hunting related felony conviction over it. As a result he can't own firearms here.
From what I've read between the lines this guy really isn't much of a sportsman. I've harvested game off and on for decades. I've killed nuisance animals from time to time. None of the killing has ever given me any joy. My joy came later at the dinner table.
Over the years I've met a couple of so-called hunters that didn't enjoy the harvest, the camraderie or the hunt. They drew their satisfaction in the actual killing.
Truth is I think there is something wrong with these guys. I think the only reason they hunt is because it give them a legal excuse to kill something. I think it is possible that Palmer is one of these.
Still, no matter what, he doesn't deserve the death threats he's getting from the whack jobs. There's someting wrong with them, too. Many of them sound like bogger whack jobs than Palmer. The crime doesn't seem to fit what some of the punishers want to give him.
One of the things I am grateful for is the luxury of First World Problems. It's really rather nice living in a country where people have the time and resources to worry about a dead lion in Africa.
Ahh, yes. The #Zebraslivesmatter people have just checked in.
To find out why the blog is pink just cut and paste this: http://piccoloshash.blogspot.com/2009/12/my-feminine-side-blog-stays-pink.html NO ANIMALS WERE HARMED IN THE WRITING OF TODAY'S ESSAY