As many of you know, I am no fan of such trophy hunts. I often hike in remote spots to see bears and other animals in their natural habitat. We have previously followed the controversy over the shooting of “Cecil the Lion” by an American dentist Walter Palmer from Minnesota as well as subsequent controversies of an Idaho hunter taunting animal advocates and killing giant elephants or giraffes or famed wolves or mountain goats or hundreds of hippos for trophies. Now, a disgusting videotape has emerged of a trophy hunter shooting a sleeping lion and then celebrating as the lion writhes in pain.
The Twitter clip on @Protect_Wldlife shows a guide referring to a “Mr. Goney” or “Mr. Gooney” as he talks about how this is a “nice lion.”
The video shows the lion sleeping when the trophy hunter shoots him once. The lion wakes in pain and seems to look around from what happens. The hunter however is a far distance away with a high-powered rifle. After celebrating over the first shoot, the hunter shoots the lion two more times.
The guide keeps saying “a very nice lion” as he makes sure that it is dead.
I will say it again. I cannot understand the joy of killing one of these animals or the challenge of shooting them with a high-powered rifle. I seek out these animals and take pictures with the same ease it would be to kill them. Yet, many feel a tremendous release in killing these animals and posing with their dead bodies. As an avid hiker, I often go many miles to see such animals in their natural habitat. The idea of then pulling out a rifle to kill one of them is as foreign a notion for me as would be cutting a painting out of its frame at a museum to possess it.
There is some perverse thrill kill in shooting a lion at long distance while it sleeps. That is treated as some type of weird accomplishment.