We would encourage all of you to read through this entire blog. You will be amazed at what is taking place right now in our beloved Zimbabwe. We were vacationing in Italy when I received word of Cecil’s slaughter three years ago this week. Having spent time with Pamela filming and photographing Cecil a year earlier, I was devastated. I couldn’t bring myself to share this horrible news with Pamela until we returned home later in the week. Our world, our lives have not been the same since. What was it about THIS lion? After all, we saw dozens of lions during our time in Zimbabwe and Botswana that August. What was it about this lion named Cecil that caused the igniting of a global firestorm? In retrospect, Cecil was not so much a lion as a galvanizing symbol of all that is wrong with Human Greed. The kind of greed that would have a convicted poacher feel that this lion should belong to HIM alone, and that the thousands who came to see Cecil every year should… well, they should just understand. The kind of greed that deforests wide swaths of land with no concern for the effect on […]
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Two years ago on this date, an old male lion was killed in Africa… So what?? Lions have been getting killed by hunters in Africa for centuries. What was it that made this killing any different than the killing of any other lion? What caused this event to coalesce groups and individuals from around the world to decide that this would be the event that launched a worldwide uproar? That lion was nearing the end of its life anyway. And why should someone care about a lion when there are so many issues of greater concern in our own backyards, neighborhoods, cities and countries? And what has happened in these two years as a result of this event in a place so far away and remote and inaccessible to so many? These are some of the questions we’ve been asked in the two years since this Facebook Community was born out of compassion, outrage, conviction and the demand that things must change when it comes to the so-called “trophy hunting”, more accurately the slaughter of Africa’s endangered and threatened species. Why Cecil? Why did HE matter to so many? We live in a society where a battle rages on between […]
Yes. Zimbabwe! Since the Cecil Safari event in August of 2017 was announced, we have had an amazing response. There are still a few openings for those lucky enough to be able to join us. In addition to the enthusiastic responses we’ve received to providing the opportunity to visit Cecil’s territory, see his pride and the other magnificent game at Hwange National Park, we’ve had a number of Community members question our decision to go to Zimbabwe. After all, we’ve heard (i) the government there is corrupt, (ii) they do little to protect their own threatened and endangered species and in fact sell them to be shipped abroad, (iii) hunting is a significant part of the economy surrounding Hwange and (iv) they let both Palmer and Bronkhorst get away with killing Cecil. All true. Very regretfully true. So what, you might ask, would make us return to Zimbabwe and invite others to join us? Why would we promote tourism to a country with such a dismal record in animal welfare? How could we encourage travel there? We are happy to have the chance to address these questions, as our return is the direct result of all of the above truths. […]
“It is said that the male lion will often sacrifice itself for the good of the pride. Lions live in a very spiritual world” – Somalisa Concession guide’s words to Mark and Pamela Robinson, August 2014 in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe. And so began our introduction to Cecil the Lion and pride on a warm afternoon on Day One of our visit to Africa and Hwange National Park. Words that have taken on far greater significance in light of events that took place less than a year later. We were relaxing in Italy after a friend’s wedding in the beautiful Piedmonte region when we received a text informing us that Cecil had been killed. We had spent two afternoons the prior summer filming and photographing Cecil and pride. We were absolutely crushed. We still are. Of all the memories of three amazing weeks traveling in Africa, none had the impact that our time with Cecil had. On the first outing, Cecil’s partner Jericho was roaring in the distance and Cecil, resting while the females lay behind him with the cubs hidden under a large branch pile, got up to see what Jericho was up to. Slowly he walked from 100 […]
He replied to the questions on the page. Brent Stapelkamp: Hi everyone, sorry for the delay but I am on some well deserved time off after several weeks of mayhem and didn’t see this post till now. I am aver whelmed by all the questions and can’t possibly answer each independently but thanks to you all for your asking. In order to cover as many as I can perhaps a little essay! Hwange is Zimbabwe’s largest park and is part of the worlds latest transfer-frontier conservation area. The lions and every other animal here are wild and free ranging and so we study them wild and with as little bias and interference as possible. Jericho is just a kilometre or so from Cecil’s cubs and the three lionesses today and is with cathy. The two prides won’t mix but for the first time since Cecil died Jericho may be with that pride soon. I will keep you informed. I am a Zimbabwean and my absolute passion and commitment is to lions. Having said that I am here on the ground where I see all of the complexities that conservation in Africa faces and therein lies the seemingly contradictory statement you […]
It is typical on any given day to get dozens of comments about the frustrating lack of news or progress with regards to Dr. Walter Palmer, the American dentist who slaughtered Cecil the Lion. We also live with this frustration. As such, we thought it would be helpful to share what we DO KNOW today about this saga. A trial is scheduled to begin in Zimbabwe on September 28th. Palmer’s guide, Theo Bronkhorst has been charged with “failing to prevent an illegal hunt”. The trial has been postponed once at his lawyer’s request until the 28th. The landowner on who’s “farm” Cecil was shot by Palmer, Honest Ndlovu, has been charged with allowing Cecil to be baited and lured onto his property. Ndlovu’s property borders Hwange National Park. He is scheduled to appear in court to answer these charges on September 18. Dr. Palmer has not yet been charged with any crime, either in Zimbabwe or the U.S. While it has been reported that the Zimbabwean government asked U.S. officials to extradite Palmer to face charges, the necessary documents to commence a formal extradition request have not been submitted. Keep in mind, Palmer has not actually been charged with a […]