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In July 2015, a wealthy American hunter and his local guides lured Cecil, a well-known and beloved lion, off his nature preserve so that the lion could be killed for sport.
The brutality and heartlessness of this act has thrown into light the disgusting reality of trophy hunting and the devastating impact it has on animals and conservation efforts.
So long as the world's wealthy can pay to kill wildlife, whom conservationists work so hard to protect, there will continue to be more cases like Cecil. More animals will die just to stroke the vanity of rich hunters. People should not be permitted to kill Zimbabwe's spectacular wildlife for their amusement. It's sick and wrong.
It doesn't have to be this way.
If Zimbabwe stopped issuing hunting licenses, countless animals would be saved from untimely deaths.
Sign the petition asking the President of Zimbabwe; the Ministers of Environment, Water and Climate; the Permanent Secretary of Environment, Water and Climate; and the Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry to work together to ensure trophy hunting is banned forever in Zimbabwe.
To the President of Zimbabwe; the Ministers of Environment, Water and Climate; the Permanent Secretary of Environment, Water and Climate; and the Minister of Tourism and Hospitality Industry,
The murder of Cecil, a beloved and well-known lion, is the most recent case in a long line of trophy hunters coming to Zimbabwe to kill your nation's spectacular wildlife.
While there were many aspects of this case which makes this so-called hunt appear more like a case of poaching, there is one fact that cannot be disputed: that the man who killed Cecil paid $55,000 for a hunting permit, to undertake the hunt of a lion, which was granted to him by the government of Zimbabwe.
Cecil's tragic death has shown that hunters will use any tactic necessary to kill the animals they want while maintaining a veneer of legality. Cecil was lured out of his preserve by a greedy and heartless hunter. This cannot be the first time something like this has occurred.
The Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation (ZIMASSET) states that people have the right to use environmental goods and services for their benefit, but also have the responsibility to look after the environment to ensure that future generations are able to derive similar benefits. Trophy hunting violates the ZIMASSET because the barbaric practice does not safeguard Zimbabwe's natural resources for future generations. Trophy hunting is not sustainable. It is not good for the animals or the people of Zimbabwe, as countless studies have proven that wildlife is much more beneficial alive than slain for one person's amusement, even if the cost of hunting licenses are high.
The only way to truly protect Zimbabwe's wildlife and stand in solidarity with the conservationists working alongside you to protect what is, undeniably, your nation's biggest tourist attraction, is to stop issuing permits for trophy hunting at once.
You have the power to do this. You can turn Cecil's tragic death into a catalyst for positive change.
Only by taking this hard stance can you send a clear and powerful message: Zimbabwe's wildlife is not for sale, not at any price.
Thank you for your time,