The government of Botswana, neighbor to Zimbabwe and the Hwange National Park, from where famed and revered lion Cecil was lured and killed earlier this month, has confirmed a nationwide ban on trophy hunting. The news follows a wave of international outrage over Cecil’s slaughter at the hands of American hunter Walter James Palmer.
Spokesperson Jeff Ramsay reported, “It is our stern belief that safari hunting of threatened species such as lions has the potential to undermine our regional anti-poaching efforts as it encourages illegal trade which in turn promotes poaching. To this end, individuals partaking in such sport hunting expeditions will not be welcome in Botswana.”
Just last week, Zimbabwe officials released a statement calling for Palmer’s extradition back to the southern African nation to answer for his crime. There has been much discussion on how nations which are home to these hunted species are cracking down on what is called “canned hunting,” or exporting wild animals to other countries to be hunted down for sport, and Botswana is proud to stand against such activities. Let’s count this as a win for endangered animals’ rights and conservation of our precious wildlife parks.