How Cecil the Lion should have been shot

Nick Brandt – Lion in Shaft of Light © Nick Brandt

It takes more guts, knowledge and skill to shoot a great picture of an animal, than it does to shoot it for a kill. This is what would have saved Cecil the Lion.

There are two things that are really disturbing when it comes to the killing of Cecil the Lion;

Firstly, he was lured out of safety, to a cruel and disrespectful death with no meaning. Meaning being protection, wild life preservation or for food for locals…

Secondly the witches hunt of the dentist. As soon as we have a face on the coward, we go for the kill, while the problem remains and will remain long after he has moved to set up his practice in another state. People will always need their teeth bleached….

I mean, rhinos, lions, bears, cats, wolves, buffalos etc. are being hunted all the time- and we just sweep through these facts without much notice. But when the masses can sink their teeth (!) into one dentist, then we are suddenly caring deeply, showing that we are politically correct. But do we have the stamina to really solve the problem?

I get it. I hate the story as well. I dislike trophy hunting. But I feel it has lost its direction. Masses of protesting neighbors now want to put him and his family out of business, whilst few focus on the real problem. Is this the face of our society?

We still buy furs, “medicine” made of rare animals, trophies etc. Alas continuing to support the trade.

We point fingers at others, lack self-judgment, and seek popularity and likes.

I appreciate those that use this horrible story to lift and share real solutions, one being which organizations to support (I will) others which changes can be made.

This is what I will do: I’ll tell those I know that trophy hunt, that I’ll choose not to support their business anymore. I’d welcome you to do the same. My dough is not going to support that. I’ll put it into protection instead, to those that protect wild life. And believe me, hunting is not the big problem. Deforestation, farming and urbanization are. And I really don’t know my position yet; on the way wild life-care is financed by wild-life kill. It should be financed by love and perhaps photography.

It takes more guts, knowledge and skill to shoot a great picture of an animal, than it does to shoot it for a kill.

Secondly, I’d welcome ideas on how we could start influencing on a broader and larger scale against bear bladder, tiger whisker and bones, elephant tusks, rhino horns etc. being used for anything else than intended. By its original carrier.

Cecil should have been shot, in beautiful colors, in light of the sun, in his freedom- with a camera and a very long lens. His life should not have been disturbed.

-Picture by Nick Brandt – Lion in Shaft of Light © Nick Brandt

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