Jimmy Kimmel Secures Over $150,000 In Less Than 24 Hours For Cecil The Lion…
On July 1, Cecil the Lion was killed by Walter Palmer, an American dentist who hunted game as an extracurricular activity in Zimbabwe. Palmer killed Cecil, who was a local animal favorite at Hwange National Park, on uncharted land where it is illegal to kill animals if the proper permits are bought. However, it may be difficult to charge Palmer with a crime because he paid for his hunting trip and was guided by professional hunters.
A conservation charity named Lion Aid told Heavy.com, “A client usually has no idea about the laws and regulations of the country he is hunting in – he just buys a safari and then places himself in the hands of his professional hunter guide. Finding the client could be interesting to let him tell his side of the story, but in terms of legal prosecution this person is hardly important.”
Palmer told media outlet KSTP-TV:
“In early July, I was in Zimbabwe on a bow hunting trip for big game. I hired several professional guides and they secured all proper permits. To my knowledge, everything about this trip was legal and properly handled and conducted. I had no idea that the lion I took was a known, local favorite, was collared and part of a study until the end of the hunt. I relied on the expertise of my local professional guides to ensure a legal hunt. I have not been contacted by authorities in Zimbabwe or in the U.S. about this situation, but will assist them in any inquiries they may have. Again, I deeply regret that my pursuit of an activity I love and practice responsibly and legally resulted in the taking of this lion.”
Since release of this news, there has been an uproar over Palmer’s deeds and the dentist has been faced with millions of death threats on social media. This past Tuesday, Late night ABC host Jimmy Kimmel made a heart-wrenching plea for viewers to donate to the Oxford Wildlife Conservation Research Unit who kept track of 13-year-old Cecil the Lion during his lifespan for research. Time Magazine reports Kimmel’s announcement garnered over $150,000 in donations for the Oxford Wildlife Conservation from 2,600 people in less than 24 hours.
I love Jimmy Kimmel but it is hard to sympathize with how afflicted he and others feel over Cecil’s death. Although Cecil’s death was insensible and unwarranted, I wish Kimmel and other celebrities who are so angry by this case would use their platform to raise funds for the minorities who died due to police brutality and whose deaths failed to receive such national attention. Some may say the two are isolated incidents, however the reaction many, namely white people, have to Cecil’s death confirms, yet again, that animals are highly regarded more than people of color in America. Lion Aid reported, “Cecil was not the first male lion enticed out of the park to be shot by trophy hunters. In fact, the research programme indicates that over the years, 74% of the male lions on the border of the National Park have been shot by hunters.”
Heavy.com also noted, it is legal to bait lions in Zimbabwe and to kill them outside a national park in a private hunting area and to kill collared lions.