Poor Cecil

Hunt (v – used with object). 1. to chase or search for (game or other wild animals) for the purpose of catching or killing.

Cecil

Cecil ruminates on the fragility of man and beast and awaits his impending doom stoically

Poor Cecil the Lion. You’d never heard of him until a month ago, had you? His fame has flourished since his stock has been in the ground. I wonder if he knew it would be like this? Probably not, he was a lion, after all. Anthropomorphising again. Sorry. I blame the Lion King.

To be brung low by an American dentist is, I’m sure, not what Cecil would have imagined for himself, if he ever dared to dream of his future. Which he almost certainly didn’t. Oh the indignity. Every time I have seen Walter Palmer mentioned in the news regarding Poor Cecil,the word ‘hunter’ or ‘hunting’ is usually somewhere in close pursuit. Think ‘hunting’ in Africa and you might be forgiven for conjuring up something almost romantic, but it’s a misappropriation of the word and the sentiment. This is a much updated ruin from a much outdated style of archaic light gun and slaughter-based entertainment. I’m not sure if he sees himself as Quartermain or worse, Hemingway, but if we are to term what the likes of Palmer do

Hemingway

Hemingway: Pompous Ass?

as hunting, then we may have to expand the definition of hunting to include all kinds of other activities. Butcher might be a better description for what is involved here, but that rather maligns butchers, without whom my life would be distressingly bacon-less. These ‘hunters’ provide nothing but an object for scorn and disdain.

There is something so very unsound about it. These people neither chase or search for their quarry. Like pheasant hunting, I fail to see what the challenge is if your quarry is either produced in such vast, dopey numbers that you can’t miss or is herded directly in to your gunsight without having to undergo the unnecessary discomfort of doing any of the actual ‘hunting’ yourself. If you’re not hunting for subsistence, then surely that’s what it’s all about? I have no great problem with hunting, I think it may well be an innate part of our make-up that we can’t easily shift, but what in gods name is the challenge in shooting a giraffe? So Walter Palmer and Cecil the Lion are inextricably linked now, remembered for a while at least. But don’t let it be said that Cecil was ‘hunted’. He was killed to order. Maybe assassinated is a better word, one more fitting for a King of the Jungle*.

*No, I never understood this one either.

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