Theo Bronkhorst, the guide who took Walter Palmer hunting on the fateful day they shot a lion named Cecil, breaks down on camera.
Even though he is still awaiting his trial, Bronkhorst says that all the negative press has ruined his life and placed his employees and their families on hard times, as well.
Cecil, a collared lion serving as a research subject, was killed by Palmer in July of this year. The killing took place on or near the Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe.
Palmer has been cleared of all charges, which does not necessarily mean that Bronkhorst is innocent. In Zimbabwe, poaching can carry a prison sentence of up to 15 years. Whatever the outcome of the criminal charges, however, the public outrage has been far beyond reasonable.
Palmer received countless death threats over this issue, and it seems that Bronkhorst has been in similar amounts of irrational hot water. According to him, this has “destroyed my family, my business…”
I’m not defending Palmer or Bronkhorst; if they are poachers, they should be brought to justice. However, the details of whether or not they actually poached are unclear. Besides, even if they did poach the lion, can’t we have a reasonable reaction? Death threats certainly do not qualify as “reasonable” in my book.
The news reporter’s language is part of the problem. Here she refers to the lion as a “national treasure” and “iconic.” However, this Zimbabwe native has a different take, calling Cecil’s killing “one lion fewer to menace families like mine.”
Lions are beautiful, awesome creatures. However, perspective is key in dealing with these issues.