The Predator Next Door

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I’m not talking about the type of predator we see on the 24 hour news, the type the befuddled neighbors describe as “quiet, pleasant, helpful, normal” as his atrocities are revealed. I’m talking about this loser, one of the current most hated people in a large part of the world.

Walter Palmer is a predator. He’s a trophy “hunter” willing to drop 55K to spotlight a lion and then track the injured animal for two days before finally putting Cecil, the well-known lion, out of his misery.

Maybe this is one of those situations where we should only say Cecil’s name and not that of his torturer and killer.

Cecil’s torturer and killer spent over $50K to kill him. Imagine that. Imagine having $50,000 and no morals and no conscience. Imagine, instead of donating to charity or helping family or friends in need, using that money to go to another country, lure a 13 year old lion out of a wildlife park, and being such a terrible “hunter” that your first shot wounded the animal and it took your dumb Great White Hunter ass 40 hours to track the lion and end his suffering. And THEN, imagine discovering that the lion wore a GPS collar.

Did Cecil’s torturer and killer immediately go to the authorities and say, “I’ve done a terrible thing.”?

He did not. He attempted to destroy the GPS collar. He is, as of this writing, in hiding, attempting to lay the blame for the torture and murder of Cecil at the feet of his Zimbabwean guides.

The Great White Hunter. The dentist. The predator next door.

Several similar predators have found themselves under public scrutiny recently. Some have been young women. All of them seem to derive a decadent thrill from posing with the corpses of lions and leopards, even hugging the corpses as if they were in love with the evidence of their cruelty, their immorality, their sociopathy.

My father grew up dirt-poor in the Ozarks. As a teen, he had to hunt and fish to feed his mother, grandmother, and sister. As an adult, he remained an avid bass fisherman, but refused to ever hunt again. “Fishing is a sport,” he said. “You have to outwit the fish. There’s no sport in hunting.”

We also grew up poor, and all that fish supplemented our diet so we at least did not grow up hungry.

In North Carolina, spotlighting deer is illegal. If a game warden catches you in the act, you will lose your hunting license, pay a substantial fine, and possibly do jail time.

Remember the Ugly American, the $50,000?

These are the last seconds of Cecil’s life before it was cut short by a demented sociopath:

I smell a fresh kill and follow the odor. Suddenly the sun is in my eyes even though it’s night. I can’t see, but I feel the sudden pain that I know means the end of my life–

–but they won’t leave me be to crawl away into the brush and die.

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