The Tale of the Lion Hunter Who Became the Hunted
I’m sure by now you’ve heard about the Minnesota dentist, Walter Palmer, who killed a protected lion, haven’t you? The news of his brutality was publicized just last week.
See him below, flashing his pearly whites and grinning like he hasn’t a care in the world? As if he doesn’t shoot wild animals for pleasure just so he can mount their heads on his wall.
Photo courtesy of: NY Daily News
In early July, he paid $54,000 to hunt and kill a lion in Zimbabwe, which turned out to be not just any lion, but a collared, protected, beautiful, lion named Cecil, who was loved by all.
The way he hunted the lion down was nefarious. His hunting guides, native Zimbabweans, set up the hunt by tying a dead animal to the back of a truck and luring the lion out of the sanctuary in which he lived, only so he could be shot by the big game hunting dentist with a crossbow, tracked for 48 hours, and then finished off with a gun. After the final kill, Cecil was skinned, beheaded and the rest of his body was left to rot in the dirt.
Palmer, of course, insists that he didn’t know that Cecil was collared, and yet this wouldn’t be the first time that he had illegally killed an animal, so it’s a hard story to swallow.
Here’s the good doctor below, grinning and giddy – high from his most recent kill.
Photo courtesy of: youtube.com
I think that most of us would agree that what Palmer did was heinous.
It’s not something to slap each other on the back about. It’s not something to applaud. What he did is something to loathe. His actions were those of a self-absorbed hunter out to bag the largest kill his seemingly endless money supply could buy.
As far as I’m concerned, he’s a sadistic bully with a gun and a hefty wallet.
And it seems the American public, for the most part, feels the same way.
There have been numerous polarizing occurrences in our country lately: the demise of the Confederate flag, new Equal Rights legislation legalizing gay marriage, renewed attacks on Planned Parenthood, shooting of innocent movie and churchgoers due to racial hatred and guns run amok, cops brutalizing African American citizens, and police officers being vilified and attacked every day during the line of duty to name a few.
Both sides of our divided country have felt the blows.
However, this brutal slaying of a protected wild cat is something that we, as a country of nearly 320 million people, can come together on as a whole, except for the contingency of big game hunters of course, which is 55,000 strong. (I’m talking to you, Ted Nugent and Donald Trump’s two, mega macho, big game hunter sons.)
Photo courtesy of: the sun.co.uk
And, with one voice, with all of the strength we can muster, we’ve been shouting from the rooftops, while shaking our self-righteous fists, THIS LION HUNTER IS GOING DOWN!
And go down, he did.
His house appears to have been vacated. He’s not answering his phone. The website for his dental practice has been removed. The doorway to his practice is buried in stuffed animals representing the big game hunting kills he has made throughout the years. The Yelp page with reviews on his practice is overloaded with venomous input from patients he will never meet. And he has been forced to close his office altogether due to the numerous protesters, phone calls, hate mail, and even personal threats that he has received.
Photo courtesy of: sltrib.com
What’s more, Zimbabwe has moved to extradite him to be tried for his crimes, PETA is calling for a hanging, and Palmer, his family, and his home now require 24/7 police protection. If he isn’t forced to serve 15 years in a Zimbabwanese jail, then he’ll most likely be facing bankruptcy, and will live, for quite some time at least, as a social pariah.
To top it all off, social media is in full-throttle internet lynching mode.
Graphic courtesy of: twitter.com
Too many Facebook sites to count have been created to honor Cecil and to pummel Palmer.
Real posts like these abound:
– We need to send him back to Zimbabwe, fatally shoot him with an arrow and leave him in a field of hungry lions to see how he feels about the legality of it all…..just my opinion.
– Can we remove the dentist’s skin and head and leave his carcass near the outskirts of the White House?
– Pull out his teeth one by one and then feed him to Cecil’s cubs.
As a means of comic relief I suppose, one commenter spread the word that Palmer had decided to go into hiding: that he had changed his name to Bartman, and had moved to Chicago because he would be safer that way.
So the guy got what he deserved, right?
Well, maybe, except since when do we get to decide what punishment a wrong-doer deserves? Since when did sinking to this villain’s level become acceptable? And since when do two wrongs make a right?
I understand feeling outraged, but death threats? Wanting to literally throw him into the lion’s den?
As vile as his act was, it’s also disgusting to me to see the American public become a unified pack of cyber bullies: social media vigilantes with an intent to harm and, according to the words of some, even to kill.
Meanwhile, during the same week of online Palmer lynching, NINE people have been shot dead with guns in Chicago alone.
I repeat. Nine PEOPLE were shot dead.
Where’s the outrage about that? Why are we immune to the killing of humans, but not to that of lions? Why aren’t people clamoring to get the guns off the street as loudly as they are to rip out this dentist’s teeth?
An unarmed black man who was sitting in his car in Ohio was shot point blank in the head by a cop the other day. Why aren’t folks raising the roof over that atrocity?
Five U.S. Marines were shot and killed at a military recruiting base in Chattanooga two weeks ago, but that’s old news, right? Veritable water under the bridge.
Teachers, coaches, parents, and priests are molesting children left and right, and we play the shell game shuffling them off to another school or family or parish.
Nearly 15.8 million children in our very own country have insufficient food and are inadequately clothed, yet we generally accept this fact as if it was the most natural, expected, unavoidable occurrence.
Photo courtesy of: tumblr
Worldwide, one child dies every 10 seconds due to malnutrition, and we hardly blink an eye.
But illegally shoot a lion, and you’d better change your name, don a fake nose and glasses, and buy a one-way ticket to Borneo, bucko, ‘cause, otherwise, we will damn well skin you alive!
I don’t get it.