A viral video of a trophy hunter killing a lion and receiving applause has resulted in a global appeal for information about the identity of the hunter.
The horrible shooting of the lion reminds viewers of Mufasa’s death in award winning film - The Lion King. In the movie, Mufasa, (Simba’s father) is pushed into the path of stampeding wildebeest by Scar. The emotional scene was named the most iconic death scene in film.
Early this week, a video of a hunter killing a lion was posted on Twitter by @protect-wildife on Monday 18th March 2019. The Twitter account belongs to an animal rights advocacy organisation based in the United Kingdom.
In the horrifying video, a lion is seen sleeping and the hunter, a Caucasian man, points his rifle at the animal and fires several shots. The lion wakes up in pain and after a few minutes succumbs to the bullets. What follows is applause as the hunter’s accomplices approach the lion to confirm it is dead.
The scene of the cruel shooting is yet to be confirmed but the scenery indicates that it could be a park in Africa.
In Africa, game hunting is legal in four Southern African countries – South Africa, Botswana, Namibia and Zimbabwe. This practice continues despite the acknowledgement that hunting is inhumane and hazardous for the animals and the environment.
“This "hunter" sneaked up on a SLEEPING #Lion and killed it! How brave, how sporting - HOW C**TISH!!!,' the tweet which included the video read, prompting thousands of responses in outrage over the spectacle.” Reads the Tweet that has gone viral with over a thousand retweets by Tuesday afternoon.
Lion population declining
The declining wildlife in the African continent is a growing global concern. Kenya has banned trophy hunting since 1977. However, wildlife ranching is permitted. This is a conservation tool in countries such as Namibia and South Africa.
According to Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS), Kenya loses 100 lions every year owing to the growing human settlements, increasing farming, climate change and disease.
During the World Lion Day on 8 August 2018, KWS said Kenya had only about 2,000 lions left compared to 2,280 in 2004.
Further, every year, Kenya is losing an average of 100 lions due to growing human and wildlife conflict, poisoning of carcasses and loss of prey.
In 2018, there was a proposal to allow game hunting in Kenya. Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary Najib Balala launched a task force in March 2018 to assess and advice on modalities for implementation of wildlife utilization in Kenya as set out in Section 4(f), Section 72, and the Eighth Schedule of the Wildlife Conservation and Management Act, 2013.