If you spend any time on social media, you’ve probably already learned about the death of Cecil the Lion, a well-known pride leader in Zimbabwe. If you haven’t heard about it yet, please check out this CNN article since I would rather not recount the gory details on this blog. I might write about weird and creepy things, but this situation is too much even for my usually cast-iron tolerance.
Poaching is a tremendous problem around the world, but it’s particularly devastating in Africa where so many of the game have been hunted to near extinction. Even legal trophy hunts are a complicated issue with some in the scientific and conservation communities in favor of it while many others remain firmly against the practice. But whichever side of the argument you’re on, everyone should be able to agree that illegal poaching is among the greatest threats to awe-inspiring creatures across the globe.
If you’re like me and want to help lions like Cecil, then consider donating to National Geographic’s High Five, Give Five, Save Big Cats campaign. In honor of World Lion Day on August 10th, National Geographic is asking big cat lovers to donate five dollars (or more) to the Big Cats Initiative. Once you’ve done that, then share a big cat-themed photo on social media with the #5forBigCats hashtag, and tag five of your friends so they can learn more about the Big Cats Initiative and possibly make a five dollar donation themselves. Although social media fundraising campaigns aren’t nearly enough to stem the devastating poaching problem, at least this is something positive that can move us in the right direction.
Have another favorite conservation charity where you donate? Please share the information below, and let’s continue the cycle of preserving wildlife for many generations to come!
Rest in peace, Cecil. May you roar forever in the great savannah beyond.