The Herald reports:
Zimbabwe has called for the American dentist who shot Cecil the lion dead on a hunting trip to be extradited to Africa to face poaching charges, which could carry a lengthy prison sentence.
Dr Walter Palmer could also face a five-year jail term in the US and a US$20,000 fine for breaching the Lacey Act, which enforces the legal protection for endangered species.
Zimbabwean environment minister Oppah Muchinguri said Palmer was a “foreign poacher” who had financed an illegal hunt of Cecil, an “iconic attraction” in the country’s famed Hwange National Park.
I’m no fan of hunting, or of Dr Palmer. But this is all getting over the top.
He paid for a legal hunt. He had no knowledge or idea the lion was protected.
Zimbabwe allows lion hunting. They sell licenses for it. They also kill lions themselves – Mugabe had some killed for a feast not too long ago.
Zimbabwe makes $20 million a year from game hunting, which is 3.2% of their tourism revenue. They could ban it, as they for several years did a few years ago. But when it is legal, it seems hypocritical to then try and prosecute Dr Palmer because unknown to him, they killed the wrong lion.
Now again I have no time for hunting of lions, and personally find it appalling. But this is not the crime of the century. I wish more focus went on the thousands of humans being killed in Africa, rather than one lion.