By now, you’ve likely heard about Cecil the Lion. If not, here’s a quick synopsis:
Last month, Walter James Palmer, a dentist from Minnesota, reportedly paid $50,000 to hunt and kill a lion in Zimbabwe. Although not currently listed as an Endangered Species, last October the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed to list lions as “threatened” as they continue to face serious threats to their survival. Unbeknownst to Palmer, this particular lion happened to be part of a 13 year Oxford University study and was a beloved fixture at the Hwange National Park.
Palmer had received all the necessary permits, but legality was not the issue here. People were disgusted by his actions and were very vocal about it (or whatever the equivalent to “vocal” is on the Internet).
With media coverage of Cecil still going strong, Marco Rubio expressed disappointment that it has elicited stronger reactions from the public than the recent Planned Parenthood controversy:
Although Rubio didn’t mention it specifically, many responses to the tweet refer to a YouTube video entitled “Human Capital.” The documentary-style video accused Planned Parenthood of selling fetal organs on the black market for a profit. It has since been reported that they were actually discussing donating the organs to research laboratories, which is perfectly legal and valuable to medical researchers and those they benefit. The compensation that they discuss is simply reimbursement for their services to allow them to break even, not make a profit.