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Attitude to wildlife is 'arrogant'.

Byline: Ben Eccleston News reporter ben.eccleston@trinitymirror.com

THE killing of a beloved lion in Zimbabwe by an American dentist has sent shockwaves across the world.

Walter Palmer has been in hiding ever since being named as the man who shot and killed Cecil, Zimbabwe's most famous lion, earlier this month.

Protests have been held outside his clinic in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Dr Palmer's actions have been condemned from all sides.

The American is believed to have shot the lion with a crossbow - with the help of a hunting guide and farm owner from Zimbabwe - before the wounded cat was tracked for 40 hours and Dr Palmer fatally shot him with a gun.

And now Eric Jensen, an associate professor in sociology at University of Warwick, has had his say on the big cat's shooting.

Mr Jenson says that Cecil was "a victim of deep-rooted and persistent arrogance towards wildlife" while writing for theconversation.com He said: "The killing of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe has brought fresh attention to an entrenched, ongoing crisis in wildlife conservation.

"As unsustainable global consumption and population growth continue to roll back the space for wild animals around the world, many species are on the edge of extinction.

"This crisis has deep roots in Western societies, although the effects are often felt most acutely in developing nations.

"The fact that in 2015 people are still travelling thousands of miles to kill exotic animals and bring back trophies shows deeply rooted cultural problems in Western societies, where such behaviour should be unthinkable.

There are global efforts underway, for example through the UN Decade of Biodiversity, to promote pro-conservation social change in the protection of plant and animal species.

"This programme's first goal is to affect the way people view the diversity of plant and animal species. This has certainly not yet been met, as the level of understanding about biodiversity varies substantially around the world.

"Appreciating the intrinsic value of biodiversity is important. But the case of Cecil the lion shows that a great deal more needs to be done to promote changes in attitudes, while also ensuring there are effective legal sanctions in place.

"The fact that there is any interest in killing these animals among wealthy visitors also suggests that there needs to be a major change in how animals are viewed. Animals are widely understood simply as objects to be used by humans as they see fit. This way of relating to animals is unsustainable."

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Cecil pictured at the Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe

Protesters gather outside Dr Walter James Palmer's dental office

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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Jul 31, 2015
Words:434
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