In Zimbabwe, Lions are Objects of Terror

By: Paul O

Goodwell Nzou, a doctoral student in molecular and cellular biosciences at Wake Forest University, is turning some heads with his recent op-ed in the New York Times — and perhaps generating just a little bit of cognitive dissonance — because he’s decidedly unsympathetic toward those outraged at Cecil the Lion’s demise.
When Nzou heard the news about Cecil, he said “the village boy inside me instinctively cheered: One lion fewer to menace families like mine.”
Did all those Americans signing petitions understand that lions actually kill people? That all the talk about Cecil being “beloved” or a “local favorite” was media hype? Did Jimmy Kimmel choke up because Cecil was murdered or because he confused him with Simba from The Lion King?

image“In my village in Zimbabwe, surrounded by wildlife conservation areas, no lion has ever been beloved, or granted an affectionate nickname. They are objects of terror,” states Nzou.
He went on to tell how a prowling lion made life hell for him and his family, how one injured his uncle in an attack, how the predator “sucked the life out of the village: No one socialized by fires at night; no one dared stroll over to a neighbor’s homestead.”
Recalling the point at which the lion that menaced his loved ones was finally killed, Nzou didn’t hold back. “No one cared whether its murderer was a local person or a white trophy hunter, whether it was poached or killed legally,” Nzou wrote. “We danced and sang about the vanquishing of the fearsome beast and our escape from serious harm.”
While he acknowledged wild animals garner near-mystical significance from Zimbabweans, it’s never kept his people from hunting them or letting others do so. Not that it matters to Americans who habitually “jump onto a hashtag train” and transform what’s a normal — and necessary part of life — into an “absurdist circus,” he wrote.
Nzou concluded his critical column by saying, “Zimbabweans are left shaking our heads, wondering why Americans care more about African animals than about African people. Please, don’t offer me condolences about Cecil unless you’re also willing to offer me condolences for villagers killed or left hungry by his brethren, by political violence, or by hunger.”
Original Story by The Blaze.


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