I Prefer to Shoot Animals With a Camera — Not a Gun
W alter James Palmer allegedly lured Cecil — at 13 years of age, one of the oldest and most famous lions in Zimbabwe — out of his protected area in Hwange National Park with bait before shooting him with a crossbow.
Approximately 40 hours later, the lion was reportedly killed with a gun on Wednesday, July 1, 2015 prior to being skinned and decapitated, according to this report with video from both Reuters and NBC News.
Having returned from safari in Kenya earlier this year, I am beyond outraged. I prefer to shoot animals with a camera — not a gun or crossbow.
It is one thing for people to hunt for animals for food, clothing, medicinal or population control purposes — although the ethics of that can be debated depending on which viewpoint you believe. I have always felt that if an animal must be killed, then use all of it and let none of it go to waste: the meat for food and the fur for clothing, for example…
…but to simply kill an animal for sport?
If the dentist from Minnesota really wanted to kill an animal for sport, then how about ditching the weapon and hunting animals with nothing more than his bare hands?
What’s that? The lion would have the edge in that matchup, Mr. Dentist? Well, whaddya know?!?
I am unsure of what is the fun of shooting an animal and mounting its head up on a wall. I would much prefer watching animals in their native habitat going about their lives — such as when I was unexpectedly treated to witnessing a cheetah surprising its prey, killing it and feasting on it.
Watching zebras and their sometimes quirky behavior was interesting to me. There was the viewing of the lion with one eye with his lioness companion. I enjoyed hanging out with elephants at a watering hole…
…and let us not forget the different varieties of birds which I spotted while on safari in Kenya.
I would rather have done all of that — and recorded them with my camera — than to shoot them with guns or crossbows.
There are more photographs of different animals on deck from that safari to be highlighted in future articles — including but not limited to giraffes, hippopotami, monkeys, rhinoceroses and buffalo.
Please stay tuned…
Photograph ©2015 by Brian Cohen.