Working in conservation toughens you up rather. Well especially the causes that I choose to get involved with, such as wildlife crime on Malta. I have seen some horrific sights and not shed a tear. Instead I just become ever more determined. Ever more insistant that everything is wrong. Everything has to change. Humans just cannot keep doing what they are doing. To biodiversity, to the soil, to the air, to the ocean. Honestly, our species could stop the decline and degradation of everything quite easily and quite quickly, if only we all cared enough.
So, like the rest of the world, I read about Cecil the lion’s outrageous and unnecessary death this week. I was angry, but not particularly surprised nor exciteable. Lions killed – it’s a regular occurrence in Africa. They are an endangered species, but nobody seems to want to take much notice of that.
Yes, if all the pride’s males are gone, the females and their cubs are extremely vulnerable. If new males find them they WILL kill any un-weaned cubs, so that the lionesses will soon come in to season, and the new males can then sire their own cubs. But this does not distress me. It’s sad but it happens in the wild all the time. This even happens in the lives of feral moggy cats. What does distress me is that it has taken so long for the world to wake up and see this outrage, canned hunting, poaching. Another glorious lion had to die for their plight to be noticed.
I am really hoping that Cecil and his family, and their now international fame, will make the difference. Lets not allow him to die in vain. We’re not in Africa, and we’re not trophy hunters nor poachers, but we can do something. Just a few minutes surfing the net will bring up all sorts of petitions. And probably an abundance of new ones over the coming weeks. Sign them all! It really does make a difference.
Bizarrely, this all reminds me of Madeleine McCann, the little girl who went missing in Portugal. The world was rightly outraged. And even more so when we heard about how many little girls had already been going missing for years in Portugal. Every now and then the media will grasp hold of one character, and the world suddenly listens.