Better East Texas: The story of Cecil the lion - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Better East Texas: The story of Cecil the lion

(KLTV) -

There is a lot of high emotion surrounding the killing of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe.

It turns out that Cecil was a sort of national treasure and lived on a game reserve. Cecil also had a tracking collar and, it is reported, was used to seeing humans nearby. While still wild, has was a veteran with human interaction.

It is easy to jump on the bandwagon and point out all the mistakes and apparent criminal actions but logic seems to be missing from the entire trophy hunt discussion. Trophy hunters will tell you that much of the trophy hunting fees go towards the conservation efforts of the animal species that is being taken. But this formula is not working with lions and other high prize targets.

Thirty years ago there were an estimated 250 thousand lions on the African continent, today, estimates put that number at 15,000, that's 250,000 down to 15,000. That is a 96 percent reduction in the lion population.

You just can’t say that the lion population is not in rapid decline. American trophy hunters alone take a reported 600 lions per year.

So you can do the math and see that if the hunting of lions is not eliminated, or at least slowed, our grandchildren will see lions only in Disney animated movies. There may be a way to manage it but the current approach is not working and American hunters are part of the problem.

Thankfully Zimbabwe has put a halt to the hunting of lions but they have not offered a solution to this rapid decline and that is a tragedy for the former king of the jungle.

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