Exposing the Big Game


Cecil the lion was a renowned figure in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park.

Earlier this month, however, American dentist Walter Palmer paid roughly $50,000 (£32,000)for the chance to kill the popular animal, although he says he was unaware of Cecil’s fame and reputation.

That prompted revulsion from many on social media, with tens of thousands signing a petition calling for Cecil’s killer to be brought to justice.

But what is the difference between hunting an animal and poaching?

What is poaching?

The crucial distinction to be made between poaching and hunting is where each sits in the eyes of the law. Put simply, poaching is hunting without legal permission from whoever controls the land.

Hunting lions is not prohibited per se in Zimbabwe, and indeed in many other countries in Africa. Hunting is regulated by the government, and hunters must obtain permits authorising them to kill certain animals.

Tourists who…

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