Until July 2015 few had even heard of Cecil the lion, but once the photos of the deceased lion spread through social channels and a biased media, the uproar commenced.
Overnight anti-hunters filed petitions, picketed, and propagated anti-hunting rhetoric through every possible means. Calls for the death of Walter Palmer, the hunter who killed the lion, were rampant. Even so-called hunters raised questions such as, "should we be hunting lions in the twenty-first century?"
Killers or Conservationists?
Biologists, conservationists, and the 'less excitable and more educated' tried to squelch the emotional based frenzy, but the faint voice of logic was difficult to hear amidst the commotion. Even those with firsthand knowledge of Africa's economics and ecosystem were dismissed as 'killers' and 'heartless.'
These senseless and sensational responses toward hunting completely ignore the impact hunters have had and continue to have on habitat restoration and wildlife preservation. From increased wildlife populations to anti-poaching efforts, hunters are a mainstay in worldwide conservation efforts.
Contributing billions of dollars on an annual basis, hunters cannot be taken lightly. As Brent Stapelkamp, the Oxford based researcher who spent nine years tracking Cecil said, "€¦hunting can be such a conservation tool, so we had better be careful with that."
The Real Question
While it is true that a lion died outside a national park in Zimbabwe, a lingering question remains alive and well: Is hunting a reasonable and sustainable form of conservation? Historically the answer is, yes. But not everyone agrees.
On Wednesday, May 4th 6:45-8:30 PM the motion: "hunters conserve wildlife" will be addressed in the form of a live debate. The motion will be presented and the debate moderated by ABC News Correspondent, John Donvan.
Four well-know panelists will debate the issue at hand: Anthony Licata Editor-in-Chief, Field & Stream and Catherine Semcer, COO, Humanitarian Operations Protecting Elephants will both speak in favor of the motion.
Opposing the "hunters conserve wildlife" premise, are Wayne Pacelle, President & CEO of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) and Adam M. Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA and Born Free Foundation.
Watch it Live
Petersen's HUNTING is a strong proponent of the research and historical evidence that support the motion at hand. We encourage you to join us as we take part in supporting our sporting heritage.
Feel free to visit this page on Wednesday, May 4th to watch the debate live. The player at the top of the page will be display a static image until the debate begins. Tell your friends and join us.