Statement of Jane Goodall about the killing of Cecil the lion

This is Dame Jane Goodall’s statement about the well publicised and discussed shooting of Cecil the lion, a 13-year-old head of pride who was famous and a tourist attraction. Jane Goodall is famous as the world’s leading expert on chimpanzees having studied them in the wild in Gombe Stream National Park, Tanzania for 55 years.

Dame Goodhall and Lion
Dame Goodall and Lion
Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles:- Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

“I was shocked and outraged to hear the story of Cecil, Zimbabwe’s much loved lion. Not only is it incomprehensible to me that anyone would want to kill an endangered animal (fewer than 20,000 wild lions in Africa today) but to lure Cecil from the safety of a national park and then to shoot him with a crossbow…?

I have no words to express my repugnance. He was not even killed outright, but suffered for hours before finally being shot with a bullet. And his magnificent head severed from his wounded body. And this behaviour is described as a “sport.” Only one good thing comes out of this – thousands of people have read the story and have also been shocked. Their eyes opened to the dark side of human nature. Surely they will now be more prepared to fight for the protection of wild animals and the wild places where they live. Therein lies the hope.”

Yes, well said Jane Goodall. It does publicise the activities of trophy hunters. It may help to reduce their activities. It publicises the way they operate and the way they love to kill animals for the fun of it no matter how grisly and upsetting it is to all the decent people of the world. In this instance Dr Palmer was obsessed it seems with the aim of killing the largest and most magnificent ‘big game’ he could find or pay people to produce these creatures. He tried to pay for the killing of a huge elephant after he was involved in killing Cecil but the Zimbabweans could not find one big enough so he flew home.

It appears that Palmer selected Cecil or the guides selected him based on his demands for a big male lion with a dark mane (I am speculating). Dark maned lions are more popular with lionesses than other males. They are seen as better in the task of fathering offspring.

The Jane Goodall Institute

5 thoughts on “Statement of Jane Goodall about the killing of Cecil the lion”

  1. Michael_Such a shame that killing an animal to hang on the wall and show off the Human prowess/ Human shame is considered a sporting game. I see no pride in this killing for trophies_ the lioness has lost her pride by this barbaric act of cruelty and greed. Cecil the majestic Lion, can never be replaced.His genetic makeup died with him. Cecil was gorgeous and deserved to live out his senior years in peace. And now another Lion has been murdered following his death.

    • Hi Eva, hope you are okay. There are conflicting reports coming out of Zimbabwe about the other lion Jericho. Some said (or still say) that he was not killed. I’ll check it out again today if I have time.


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