Dr. Blackwell's BLOG

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Humane Society of the United States President Wayne Pacelle Responds to Murder of Cecil the Lion

Filed under: Animal Welfare — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 18:31
Keywords: stock, lion, cecil, poaching, hunting, wildlife     Cecil, the Hwange lion wakes up from a deep sleep

Cecil the lion, pictured above, was widely photographed and somewhat habituated to a non-threatening human presence in Hwange National Park. Photo by Brent Stapelkamp

HSUS President Wayne Paccelli responded today to the disgusting, senseless, and brutal murder of famed Zimbabwean lion Cecil by Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer. His words sum up the horror and unacceptable hunting of animals perfectly:

American Public Roars After It Gets a Glimpse of International Trophy Hunting of Lions

by Wayne Pacelle, HSUS President

July 29th, 2015:

Cecil the lion is dead because Walter Palmer the dentist is a morally deadened human being.

The man traveled clear across the world – from the suburbs of Minneapolis into the pay-to-slay world of Zimbabwe, where dictator Robert Mugabe sells off hunting rights and other natural resources to the highest bidders – for the chance to kill the king of beasts. In this case, the victim was a lion who has been widely photographed and somewhat habituated to a non-threatening human presence in Hwange National Park. The hunt was a “guaranteed kill” arrangement, where Palmer paid about $50,000 to hire professional guides to help him complete the task. The local guides knew exactly what they were doing. In the dark of night, they lure a famed, black-maned lion from an otherwise protected area, with a dead carcass as bait. Palmer then stuck Cecil with an arrow.

Even though he’s used that weapon to kill countless other rare animals all over the globe – from leopards to black bears to Argali sheep – Palmer didn’t deliver a killing shot. He wounded the animal, and because he did it at night, I bet he didn’t have the courage to track the animal at that time. So he waited, while the lion tried to live minute to minute and hour to hour after receiving the stab wound from the arrow. At some point, Walter and the professional guides resumed the chase. It took them nearly two days to find him, and then they apparently shot him with a firearm. The killers then removed a radio collar nestled around his neck – because Cecil was also the object of a study by Oxford researchers. Some reports say they tried to disable the signal from the collar, unsuccessfully. The team took the customary pictures of the westerner guy standing atop a beautiful, muscled animal, and then they decapitated and skinned him, as keepsakes for Palmer’s global crossing in order to conduct a pointless killing.

The lion is one of Safari Club International’s Africa Big Five, along with elephants, rhinos, leopards, and Cape buffalo, and the idea of killing each of them motivates thousands of wealthy people to do it. It’s one of more than 30 hunting achievement and “inner circle” awards you can get if you become a member of Safari Club – including Cats of the World, Bears of the World, and Antlered Game of North America. If you win all of the awards, and there are plenty people who do, you have to shoot more than 320 different species and subspecies of large animals. In the process, you spend millions of dollars, in addition to spilling an awful lot of blood and spreading a lot of death.

Partly because of the dramatic decline in lion populations, and also to stop heartless and selfish people like Palmer from meting out so much pain and suffering, The HSUS and HSI filed a petition four years ago to protect lions under the terms of the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Last October, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, to its credit, proposed a rule to list the lions as threatened.

The United States is the world’s largest importer of African lion parts as hunting trophies and for commercial purposes. Between 1999 and 2013, the United States imported about 5,763 wild-source lions just for hunting trophy purposes; this averages to 378 wild-source lions per year. Worse, this number has increased in recent years. That’s a lot of Walter Palmers doing ugly things.

The Oxford University study Cecil was part of was looking into the impact of sports hunting on lions living in the safari area surrounding the national park. The research found that 34 of 62 tagged lions died during the study period. Of these, 24 were shot by sport hunters.

When we think of Bengal or Siberian tigers, we think of big cats nearing extinction. We should think the same way about lions, since their populations have been plummeting. They are in danger of extinction in the foreseeable future.

For most of us, when we learn they are in crisis, we want to help — to protect them from harm, because we empathize with their plight.

But for one subculture in the U.S., when wildlife are rare, that means they want to rush in and kill them precisely because they can do something that few others can.  It’s like the rush of trophy hunters to Canada to shoot polar bears when the United States announced it planned to list them. “Let me shoot a polar bear before they are all gone!” They want to distinguish themselves from others who live in the world of competitive hunting.

Sadly, Cecil’s story is not unique – American hunters kill hundreds of African lions each year and are contributing to the steady decline of the species.  Today we sent a letter to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which recently took steps to protect chimpanzees and African elephants, urging the agency to make final its regulation to upgrade the legal status of lions, to restrict people from trekking to Africa and bringing back their parts for no good reason. Not for food.  For vanity. For ego gratification. And because they are morally deadened.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Amazing Schnauzer Rescue

Filed under: Animal Welfare,National and International News,Tragic News and Events — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 00:28

Amid the horrific destruction from the Oklahoma tornadoes, this ray of hope emerged. An onlooker happened to see some movement in the disaster zone behind Barbara Garcia, who was being interviewed about her survival. Buried inside the rubble that was once her home, Garcia found her beautiful miniature schnauzer who she thought for sure had perished in the storm. Take a look at their touching reunion below:

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Ke$ha: First Global Ambassador for Animals

Filed under: Animal Welfare — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 01:48


Pop superstar Ke$ha has joined forces with Humane Society International to bring awareness to the serious issue of animal welfare on a global level. She is the Humane Society’s first-ever Global Ambassador. And she’s starting her efforts with the following PSA bringing awareness to the issue of street dogs. Take a look below:

Thursday, August 4, 2011

A Beluga Whale Gets Serenaded by Mariachis

Filed under: Animal Welfare,Comedic Relief — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 00:59

A beluga whale residing in the Mystic Aquarium in Mystic, Connecticut was treated to a serenade from a Mariachi band performing in a wedding at the aquarium today. And from the looks of it, he was awfully appreciative. Take a look below:

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Dolphin Slaughtering Occurring in Brazil

Filed under: Animal Welfare — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 01:39

An unfortunate set of events is coming to the surface in Igarpe Do Costa, Brazil. While the pink dolphin has been indigenous to the Amazon River basin for hundreds, if not thousands, of years, local folklore and mythology have painted them as magical and perhaps evil creatures. Now, they are being slaughtered in record numbers. Fisherman are using dolphin meat to attract a popular species of catfish which can earn them thousands of dollars. Their meat supposedly carries a strong scent that attracts the fish, which is then sold in Bogota, Columbia for a premium price. Below, the New York Times covers the the horrendous situation in Brazil.

Dolphin Slaughtering Occurring in Brazil

Thursday, August 26, 2010

This Bulldog Loves The Family Guy

Filed under: Animal Welfare,Comedic Relief — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 01:14

This is a hysterical must-see! This English Bulldog appears to be at-ease relaxing on his couch watching The Family Guy. This video is absolutely adorable and hilarious. Take a look:

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Cub Caught in Fishing Net Assisted by Momma Bear and Citizen

Filed under: Animal Welfare — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 03:42

A touching video appeared today on the Associated Press Web Site showing a cub who became trapped in a fishing net in Anchorage, Alaska. A concerned citizen provided some much needed assistance to the mamma bear and the cub is eventually freed. Take a look:


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Disturbing HSUS Report Shows Slaughter of Innocent Polar Bears

Filed under: Animal Welfare — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 01:36

  The Humane Society of the United States, of which I am an avid member and donor, has released a sad and disturbing video showing American hunters murdering innocent polar bears for sport in Canada. Although the United States strictly prohibits hunting of the endangered bears on American soil, policy restricting the bringing of polar bear hides and heads for “trophy” was lifted in 1994. Below, Dr. Naomi Rose discusses the disgusting practice of hunting these majestic creatures and even shows American hunters, who paid over $35,000 to kill an innocent animal, celebrating their “victory.” There is NO excuse whatsoever for this type of inhumane behavior and American laws should be enacted to punish anyone who commits such a sickening atrocity.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A Very Touching Reunion

Filed under: Animal Welfare — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 23:14

Very reminiscent of the story of Christian, the Lion, this video shows a very touching reunion between Damian Aspinall and his gorilla Kwibi, after 5 years of being apart. The Aspinall Foundation rehabilitates endangered gorillas and then reintroduces them into the wild. Here, Damian Aspinall is reunited with Kwibi, after 5 years:

Thursday, February 25, 2010

HSUS Releases Statement About Tragedy at Sea World

Filed under: Animal Welfare — Dr. Christopher Blackwell @ 01:18

 After the death of a whale trainer at Sea World Orlando Wednesday, The Humane Society of the United States released a statement re-confirming their stance that whales and dolphins should not be confined to show-aquariums and amusement parks. Naomi Rose, Ph.D, and marine mammal scientist with The Humane Society of the United States, made the following statement in response to the death:

“This is a terrible tragedy and our hearts go out to the family of the trainer. Tillikum, the SeaWorld orca, has now been involved in the deaths of three people. Using these animals in entertainment is not good for animals or people. Sadly, we’ve seen evidence of that again today. Whales and dolphins are large, intelligent, long-lived, socially complex predators who often hunt cooperatively and are capable of swimming a hundred miles in a day. They are unsuited to permanent confinement, often exhibiting neurotic behaviors in these settings. Capture methods are also inhumane, and often not adequately managed or overseen. ”

The Humane Society of the United States is the nation’s largest animal protection organization — backed by 11 million Americans, or one of every 28. For more than a half-century, The HSUS has been fighting for the protection of all animals through advocacy, education and hands-on programs. Celebrating animals and confronting cruelty — On the web at humanesociety.org.

Older Posts »

Powered by WordPress