The PJ Tatler

For Zimbabweans, Outrage Over a Dead Lion Is a 'First-World Problem'

In the United States, the shooting of one lion is vastly more important than the trafficking of baby parts by a taxpayer-funded abortion outlet. According to Newsbusters, broadcast news shows spent more time in one day on Cecil the lion than they did on the Planned Parenthood videos in two weeks.

The lion story is also garnering more attention than the icky Planned Parenthood story on social media. (Perhaps people are taking their cue from Planned Parenthood and the White House, who argue that the story is a phony scandal about “selectively edited” videos. Of course, when questioned by Breitbart’s Charlie Spiering Thursday, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest freely admitted that he was getting his talking points directly from Planned Parenthood!)

In Zimbabwe, the untimely passing of Cecil the lion has not set off what anyone would call a media firestorm, a brushfire, or even a spark in a trash can. In fact, the story has gone largely unnoticed.

“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.

Meanwhile in suburban Minneapolis, the dental practice of this week’s “Emmanuel Goldstein” is under siege:

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.

Police are also investigating death threats against Palmer, who has apparently gone into hiding.

His dental practice was closed when reporters went to knock on the door and a note on the father-of-two’s home address referred all callers to a public relations firm in Minneapolis, according to the Star Tribune.

Radio Equalizer’s Brian Maloney wonders where the outrage is over Zimbabwe dictator Robert Mugabe’s treatment of endangered animals? 

While a social media mob has Dr Walter Palmer fearing for his life, it was only five months ago that Zimbabwe dictator Robert Mugabe was served a lavish feast that included lion meat and a mass slaughter of baby elephants and other endangered animals.

It was also described as a “lion trophy” and its age described as “old”, according to state and independent press reports.


Mugabe, of course, is also known for his deplorable human rights abuses — not that the outrage mob actually cares about that.

The hapless dentist admitted to killing the lion with a bow and arrow on July 1 near Zimbabwe’s Hwange national park, but he claims he hired “professional local guides with the required hunting permits and believed the hunt was legal.”

For most people in the southern African nation, where unemployment tops 80 percent and the economy continues to feel the after-effects of billion percent hyperinflation a decade ago, the uproar had all the hallmarks of a ‘First World Problem’.

“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?”

Another Zimbabwean asked, “Why are the Americans more concerned than us? We never hear them speak out when villagers are killed by lions and elephants in Hwange.”

More: 

White House Preparing Response to Petition to Extradite Lion-Killing Dentist to Zimbabwe