The story of Cecil’s death has become front page news, dominated social media, and has resulted in an avalanche of ethical questions about trophy hunting. How was Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer allowed to kill this iconic lion in Zimbabwe? The Wildcat Sanctuary dealt with over 13,000 comments on its Cecil Facebook post alone and has over 2 million Facebook followers that are outraged and want to take meaningful action.
“I think it’s clear from the public response that killing an animal only for sport and personal gain is not acceptable,” said Tammy Thies, founder of The Wildcat Sanctuary.
Thies and big cat advocates are hoping, in light of this tragedy, policy changes will be made to protect future animals.
Home to over 100 rescued wild cats, The Wildcat Sanctuary’s volunteers and staff know the sad plight of so many lions, tigers and cougars in America, too. Many kept as pets, others abused and neglected by dealers and roadside attractions. The Wildcat Sanctuary advocates to end atrocities like private ownership, over breeding, canned hunting and trophy hunting – all causes that fuel the illegal trafficking of big cats.
Thies says, “The only possible silver lining is that the outrage from the public about Cecil’s tragic death, and with so many uniting on this issue, will cause positive change to protect future big cats.”
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is considering listing the lions as a threatened species. “Lions are not yet considered endangered species and this is why this was able to occur. That has to change,” says Thies.
Now, experts are also concerned about what will happen to the dynamic of Cecil’s pride. It isn’t unusual for another male lion to come in and kill all of Cecil’s cubs, and possibly their protective mother, too. “That is a very real fear, and would make a horrible situation even worse,” Thies adds.
“The future of trophy hunting and Cecil’s pride is unknown. But we will continue to advocate for what is right for these magnificent animals and their future and we hope the public continues to pressure for change as well.”
The Wildcat Sanctuary stands united with all those across the globe mourning the big cat’s senseless death and believe positive changes is needed in order to honor Cecil’s legacy.
The Wildcat Sanctuary (TWS) is the only accredited, non-profit sanctuary in the Midwest. TWS provides a natural sanctuary to wild cats in need and inspires change to end the captive wildlife crisis. Combining natural and spacious habitats with a life free of exhibition, TWS allows all residents to live wild at heart. As a true sanctuary, we do not buy, breed, sell or exhibit animals. The Wildcat Sanctuary is accredited by the American Sanctuary Association and the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries. More information can be found at WildcatSanctuary.org