The Lion King came out when I was in elementary school. I can remember watching that movie over and over and over again. I can still recite the entire movie and sing along with the characters as they venture through Africa becoming their own animal. The Lion King was one of the reasons I began to be fascinated with these mighty felines. Lions became almost majestic to me.

I remember going on my first trip to Las Vegas and I got to see Leo the lion and other lionesses. I think we parked in front of their enclosure in the MGM for a good while watching them pace and rest. Something about the way they held themselves was amazing. These animals are truly regal. I still cherish the pictures I’ve taken of these animals and my time in Las Vegas.

My love for large cats didn’t stop there. My sister and her husband were once stationed in Kansas. We went to visit them and they took us to Sedgwick County Zoo. I will never forget that place because there was a petting zoo there and those darn goats attacked me. Only me mind you. It was an experience of a lifetime. Part of that experience was being able to see the great lion. I can see my brother-in-law so proud to be taking a picture next to the lion as the lion stared toward the camera. It is a picture for the ages.

Then there was the beloved White Tiger Namaste who was a main stay in the Hilo Zoo. While Namaste is no longer with us I remember wanting to go to the zoo just for him. And yes, I know, I know, I know. Namaste was not a lion. However, he was still a beautiful cat that fascinated me. I remember my mom would take us to the zoo for family day and I just had to see Namaste. Something drew me to him.

Cecil, mighty king of Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe
Cecil, mighty king of Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe
I’m sharing all of this because of Cecil the Lion. You see, as I have explained before there is something about a lion that touches us somehow. Look at Leo the Lion and how at a single roar of the opening movie he has captured our attention. Look at Richard the Lionhearted who was the revered king in Robin Hood. What about the cowardly lion in the Wizard of Oz? Even he was depicted to be a character of strength. Or Aslan, the larger than life god-like figure in the Chronicles of Narnia, he exhibited grace, mercy, wisdom and strength. Lions aren’t just some big cats. Not for me at least.

Now I go back to Cecil the Lion. It saddens me to see how such a popular and beloved creature in Zimbabwe had his life taken from him.

Sorry in advance, but, here comes my vent.

First of all, who in their bloody right mind wants to kill something just for sport? Forgive me here because I know many people do. However, I think it inhumane and cold hearted. While there is now regulation and seasons to hunt things, I still can’t even imagine that. Maybe because I see an animal and my heart instantly already loves them? But, to know you are on a protected reserve, bait an animal to travel out of that protection to shoot him with a bow? What makes this worse is the fact the bow didn’t kill him. Instead, for forty hours Walter Palmer and his goons hunted Cecil then finally shot him to bring him down. They removed the collar that helps signify that he was protected, then skins Cecil. Skins him! You cruel sorry excuse for men. Cecil wasn’t your trophy to have. You are not above the law. While you, Walter Palmer,  have left Zimbabwe before you could be obtained by their officials I hope you truly understand the gravity of what you have done and pay for your actions. While I don’t believe people should act in violence toward you, I do believe karma is a b*tch. And you will get what you deserve for your cold heart and cruel character.

While I have never met Cecil I know that he will be truly missed. To you Cecil, the mighty king of Hwange National Park, may you rest in peace knowing we are fighting back for you.