Target: Zimbabwe President, Robert Mugabe
Goal: Don’t lift the hunting ban on lions in Zimbabwe right after Cecil the lion’s murder.
Lions can now be hunted legally again in Zimbabwe and the ban on hunting lions has been lifted after the tragic killing of Cecil the lion. The country suspended the hunting of lions on August 1 after Cecil’s death.
The ban was lifted as Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe told the country that they need to be protecting Zimbabwe’s natural resources from foreign “vandals.” He is no doubt referring to the slaughter of Cecil the lion by American dentist James Palmer, who paid to kill the lion but lured Cecil out of Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park illegally. Zimbabwe’s Parks and Wildlife Management Authority reportedly ordered park staff at Hwange National Park to accompany hunters and that collared animals still cannot be hunted. Cecil the lion was collared when he was lured out of the park to be hunted and was the fourth or fifth collared lion to be killed in the last year.
While President Mugabe’s statements seem to imply that illegal hunters are the only problem in this situation, lifting the ban on killing a species that already has critically low numbers is a terrible decision. These beautiful animals will become extinct if we do not stop the senseless killing of them. Lions play a vital role in our ecosystem and we should be working to conserve the species, not kill them.
After killing Cecil in such a barbaric way, it is shameful that Zimbabwe’s president only suspended the hunting of lions for less than two weeks after the incident. If we don’t stop hunters from killing lions, they will be wiped out completely. Please sign the petition below to stop Zimbabwe from lifting the ban on hunting lions.
Dear President Robert Mugabe,
I am deeply saddened that after less than two weeks, Zimbabwe has decided to lift the ban on hunting lions. After Cecil the lion’s tragic murder, I was hopeful that better conservation efforts would come from this.
American dentist Walter Palmer disgustingly lured Cecil the lion out of Hwange National Park and shot him, decapitated him, and showed him off to the world shamelessly. You have called these hunters “foreign vandals” and that you were taught as a child that these animals are “God’s creatures” who should not be shot because it is a sin. Your words do not match your actions and lifting the hunting ban will only cause lion numbers to dwindle.
Please reconsider lifting this ban in order to save this majestic species. Zimbabwe should see Cecil’s death as motivation to strengthen conservation efforts rather than continue the senseless killing of lions.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Benh Lieu Song