I wonder how many people thought about Cecil the Lion this Father’s Day?
In a few days it will be the anniversary of a cruel event that made Cecil the “father” of the movement to end the importation of wildlife trophies into the U.S. and many other nations. On July 1, 2015 a rich dentist from the U.S. paid $50,000.00, lured the lion out of a protected reserve and shot him with an arrow. It then took him 40 hours to find Cecil and gun him down.
Some good things came of this, including Delta, American and United Airlines, along with many others, making it their policy to NOT transport big game trophies on their flights. 1.2 million people signed a petition called “Justice for Cecil”, which asked the Zimbabwe government to stop issuing hunting permits for endangered animals.
Five months after the killing of the Cecil, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service added two species of lions, in India and western and central Africa, to the endangered species list. The listings would make it more difficult (though not impossible) for US citizen hunters to kill these protected lions.
All are good measures, but nothing will bring back Cecil to his pride.
I’m writing you from the airport in D.C. where we just spent the weekend at the Taking Action for Animals conference and then had meetings non stop, all day long, with legislator’s aides about our federal bill. It’s called the Big Cat Public Safety Act and it will ban the private possession of big cats. It will end the suffering, some as awful, and much more prolonged than what Cecil endured.
The timing couldn’t be better for you to email AND CALL your members of congress because they have been hearing about the bill all day. All they need now is to know that people in their district actually care. We have learned that they ignore petitions, and pretty much disregard form letters. They want real letters and calls from their district and no one can do that but you.
Please take a moment out of your busy day to remember Cecil and to do what you can to end the suffering of big cats in the U.S. by sending those emails and making those calls. We make it easy at BigCatAct.com where we hope you will change the wording a bit and also make the call when the zip code locator brings up your Senator and Member of Congress.
The beautiful image here was used by permission of Dean Russo Art. I love it because it immediately made me think of Cecil, the most beloved lion to ever live in the wild. http://www.deanrussoart.com/#!dream-sequence-series/lydhk
Sales of the piece do not benefit Big Cat Rescue, so if you want to help us continue our work to protect big cats, please donate here: https://bigcatrescue.org/donate
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