Why Cecil Still Matters

Dr Sarah Boston
6 min readAug 14, 2021

I wrote this in 2015. So much has changed since then, but some things have stayed the same. I am reposting this because there has just been another Cecil, a lion named Mopane. Mopane was killed almost exactly the same way. Lured out of the park and killed by an American hunter with a bow and arrow. This has to stop.

Photo Credit Luke Tanis, Unsplash

Why can’t I let it go? It was one dentist and one lion, very far away and this incident happened almost two months ago. Jimmy Kimmel’s tears have long since dried and the news has mostly gone on to the other horrific events going on around the globe. But still, when I hear about #WalterPalmer going back to work, I feel sad-mad all over again. #WalterPalmer is the now infamous dentist and big game hunter, who allegedly paid $55 000 and with the help of his guides (who have been charged and are awaiting trial) lured Cecil off of his game preserve at night, shot him with a bow and arrow, mortally wounded him and then finished him off 40 hours later. #WalterPalmer recently emerged in a single TV interview and corrected the press that he did not eventually kill Cecil with a gun. He eventually killed Cecil with another bow and arrow. OK, you tracked him down and killed him in a much more barbaric way than a humane bullet. It’s even worse than we thought. Thanks for clarifying that for everyone.

This story is infuriating and the world has responded with internet rage. Rage at the utter heartlessness and senselessness. The entitlement. The image of a rich white American, with perfect white Chiclets, heading over to Africa to “take”, as #WalterPalmer said, a lion. With no thought of where this money will go and how this will impact the people and animals in Zimbabwe. All for the thrill of killing a beautiful animal and having his dead head stuffed and mounted. Twitter rages on. #WalterPalmer went underground. Avoiding the news and protests and cyberbullying, not to mention possible extradition to Zimbabwe to face charges for poaching. There second wave of rage came when Walter Palmer went back to work recently. Making more money to pay for more hunts and holiday properties in Florida.

Claims that he did not know this hunt was illegal are likely a lie, and even if they are true, it doesn’t matter. He should have known. If you go to another country and pay tens of thousands of dollars to kill their animals, you should know the…

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Dr Sarah Boston

Dr Sarah Boston is a veterinary surgical oncologist,author(Lucky Dog,House of Anansi Press),cancer survivor & comedian https://drsarahboston.com @drsarahboston