There’s been lots of controversy over the fatal death of Cecil, the southwest, African lion shot by an arrogant Minnesota dentist named Walter Palmer, causing a ripple effect across the world. There’s a picture of the kill, the slayer standing over him I can’t bring myself to post.
“He never bothered anybody. He was one of the most beautiful animals to look at,” said Johnny Rodrigues, the head of Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force.
Cecil lived safely at Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe, Africa before Palmer bribed wildlife guards to lead the lion off the premises where he stalked him with a bow and arrow till he was sufficiently wounded enough to shoot him.
Now it’s been reported in 2006, he illegally killed a black bear in Wisconsin offering guards 20.000 for their silence.
Men, do they all have their price?
When I expressed upset over what Palmer did, a friend of mine said, “But your hero, Teddy Roosevelt, wouldn’t have acted any differently.” Okay…here’s where I’m weighing in.
Teddy, who by the way hated being called that preferring Theodore, died in 1919. That’s 96 years ago when hunting animals was all about your manhood, like a notch on your belt. Instead of philandering you shot the shit out of an elk. It was a different time.
So I said to my friend who may be off my Xmas list, that frankly, if Teddy, I mean Theodore, were alive today, he might very well feel, and therefore act, in another manner.
After all, as one of our first conservationists, he signed the Antiquity Act in 1906 giving a president power to create a National Park. When you go to Sagamore Hill, his home in Oyster Bay, Long Island, right across the road is an aviary named after him called, The Theodore Roosevelt Sanctuary and Audubon Center near where he’s buried in Young’s Memorial Cemetery.
Teddy (I mean Theodore) clearly had mixed feelings about killing and protecting.
Feeling I know him the way I do, I think for instance, if he were president during 9/11, he would have struck back harder than George Bush ever could because we, the United States of America, were attacked, since you don’t do that to us and get away with it. Saddam Hussein would have run for his life weapons of mass destruction or no weapons, with Bin Laden bringing up the rear cowling like a calf.
He also stood by the innocent who couldn’t fend for themselves, so he’d be very active in children’s rights, same as the father he was named after who founded Manhattan’s Children’s Aid Society.
I believe he would advocate passionately for the homeless.
He would have defended the police and fire departments.
And, would have been appalled that someone killed this beloved animal whose brother stepped up to care for his cubs. Nature ingrained responsibility in all her creatures, but quite often the four-legged do better than the two. As someone said, “The pride has pride.”
We mustn’t forget the origins of the Teddy Bear. TR came upon a black bear cub tied to a tree he just couldn’t bring himself to shoot, cementing the image of a baby bear being let go into the wild. Truth be told, the poor little guy was suffering so, TR requested he be put out of his misery…an act he himself could not do.
Like I told my friend, Theodore (I mean Teddy) even in death, would have stood as Cecil’s chief crusader because what Palmer did was just plain wrong.
And, believe me, there would have been hell to pay.