Though it’s seemingly impossible to discuss the tragic tale of Cecil the lion without invoking a comparison war, there is an entire part of this story that those with their hair ablaze forgot to consider — what do Zimbabwean’s think?
It appears I’m not the only one pondering the African perspective.
As this avalance of Cecil stories reaches its peak, I think there's a real possibility somebody may actually talk to a Zimbabwean
— Tom Gara (@tomgara) July 31, 2015
While Americans are calling for the extradition of the dentist who killed Cecil the lion and the hashtag #lionlivematter was trending on social media, Zimbabwe had one question — what lion?
“What lion?” acting information minister Prisca Mupfumira asked in response to a request for comment about Cecil, who was at that moment topping global news bulletins and generating reams of abuse for his killer on websites in the United States and Europe.
The government has still given no formal response, and on Thursday the papers that chose to run the latest twist in the Cecil saga tucked it away on inside pages.
One title had to rely on foreign news agency copy because it failed to send a reporter to the court appearance of two locals involved.
In contrast, the previous evening 200 people stood in protest outside the suburban Minneapolis dental practice of 55-year-old Walter Palmer, calling for him to be extradited to Zimbabwe to face charges of taking part in an illegal hunt.
If ever there was an example of “first world problems,” the outrage over Cecil the lion is it.
“Are you saying that all this noise is about a dead lion? Lions are killed all the time in this country,” said Tryphina Kaseke, a used-clothes hawker on the streets of Harare. “What is so special about this one?”
As with many countries in Africa, in Zimbabwe big wild animals such as lions, elephants or hippos are seen either as a potential meal, or a threat to people and property that needs to be controlled or killed.
…According to CrocBITE, a database, from January 2008 to October 2013, there were more than 460 recorded attacks by Nile crocodiles, most of them fatal. That tally is almost certainly a massive underrepresentation.
“Why are the Americans more concerned than us?” said Joseph Mabuwa, a 33-year-old father-of-two cleaning his car in the center of the capital. “We never hear them speak out when villagers are killed by lions and elephants in Hwange.”
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