The killing of the African lion anthropomorphized as “Cecil” continues to make news. cbsnews.com reports that Zimbabwe authorities are asking the U.S. to send Dr. Walter Palmer, the Minnesota dentist who removed Cecil from the gene pool, back to Zim to face poaching charges. Whether or not that’ll happen – the U.S. and Zimbabwe have a [so-far-unused] 15-year-old extradition treaty – remains to be seen. In the meantime, the press has been unearthing details of the now world famous hunt. Turns out that Cecil wasn’t finished off with a rifle after the first arrow failed to do the deed . . .

Palmer’s guide, Theo Bronkhorst, said the hunt went “wrong from the beginning.”

“We were never meant to hunt on the land where this lion was shot,” Bronkhorst said.

Bronkhorst said an elephant carcass was “dragged and moved into the long grass and used for bait.”

He claims Palmer shot an arrow at Cecil but wasn’t sure if the beloved lion was hit. The next morning, the injured animal was found, and Bronkhorst said Palmer finished him off with a second arrow.

The cbsnews.com update removes this lamentable story from our wheelhouse – save for the already discussed link between firearms-based big game hunting and African game conservation. We now return you to your regularly scheduled information truth about guns.

60 Responses to CORRECTION: Cecil the Lion Was Killed With an Arrow

  1. Well, when the anti’s use this story in their ‘evil kitty murdering gun owners’ schtick, we can gently point out that this was done with good old (circa AD 1000) bow technology.

  2. The cat was killed on or around 7/1/2015. The story broke around 7-28-2015. Why such a delay? This an emotion provoking story designed to distract from clinton’s crimes, the iran sanctions lifting “deal” among other things. It’s all psyops guys.

  3. Or maybe Iran deal was done just to delay Cecil story release, which in turn came just in time to cover Hillary email, which….

    • Seriously there seems to be no end to the things that “need” a news diversion.

      I heard this for the first time the other day, that “No Clinton was ever taken down by a scandal”. They must count in the dozens by now.

      Not so tough is this dentist. Imagine if they went after Hillary they way they did for this guy for the many that die surrounding her “job responsibilities” and business endeavors?

  4. I’ll be sure to be just as gentle as the antis. What a bunch of sloppy reporting – the media couldn’t even initially identify if the weapon used was a bow and arrow or a gun. Cecil will probably still be pointed to as a victim of “gun violence.”

    The facts are pretty slim on this one. It definitely looks like poaching, but the fault could easily rest entirely with the guides. Regardless, the media has the perfect scapegoat. A straight, white “evil” man who dared shoot a lion more valuable than the victims of ISIS.

    I find it more disturbing that people are so upset about this when compared to a myriad of issues that are more serious. For example, there are deaths in the south side of Chicago every weekend and nobody seems to care.

    • “For example, there are deaths in the south side of Chicago every weekend and nobody seems to care.”

      Suburban housewives like lions, re: “The Lion King”. Those same housewives about south side Chicagoans? Not so much.

      Maybe Disney should make a cuddly feel good movie about south side chiraq?

      • Eventually Cecil would have died. Do we need to track every named wild animal and have a wake when they pass?

        • Nothing in Africa dies from old age. Generally, things get sick then get eaten alive. Where’s the outrage over hyenas eating (alive) all those sweet animals?

  5. I heard early this morning on some radio update that there were two arrows involved, one to wound and allow to track via blood trail and harry, then the second shaft for the kill when he was exhausted.

    • I would encourage you to get your news from a source familiar with dangerous game hunting. Clearly you and your radio source are not.

  6. Can somebody please tell me why they don’t just kill off the lions and eat the damn gazelles themselves? This whole conservation thing seems like a lot of trouble to save something that would frikin RIP YOU LIMB FROM LIMB if it had the chance.

    • “…Can somebody please tell me why they don’t just kill off the lions and eat the damn gazelles themselves?…”

      I’ve always wondered why so few African tribes were smart enough to raise their own cattle for food. That it took the arrival of Europeans to show Africans what a wheel could do has always amazed me. Ditto with digging their own wells. Seriously, asking them to think for themselves is beyond their comprehension.

      • >> I’ve always wondered why so few African tribes were smart enough to raise their own cattle for food.

        You should read “Guns, Germs and Steel” to get a very answer to that question, complete with numerous charts and tables grinding all the numbers.

        The short story is, none of the sub-Saharan African wild species that would be useful when domesticated are actually possible to domesticate for various reasons, and geographic features prevented the spread of domesticated cattle from other, more lucky regions, until very late in the game (basically a couple hundred years before Europeans came).

        Native Americans didn’t have domesticated cattle for the same reason. And this also applies to agriculture.

        • “.. And this also applies to agriculture…”

          Uh-huh- that’s why we don’t have any corn or squashes or tomatoes nowadays. Cf: Navaho, Powhatan, and others.
          However, I will agree with the “domesticated” animal bite, to a degree. My opinion is that Native Americans were the original environmentalists in that they lived closely with the earth and didn’t waste anything of their kills.
          Then, enter the white man, especially Abraham Lincoln’s desire to eradicate the buffalo herds in efforts to control the “red man”. Guess what happened to the Native American’s herds.

        • >> Uh-huh- that’s why we don’t have any corn or squashes or tomatoes nowadays. Cf: Navaho, Powhatan, and others.

          Look up at the timeline of their domestication, and how the original wide specimen looked like compared to what we grow and eat today. Then do the same with wheat. Observe the difference.

          I really don’t want to get into the lengthy argument here, because it would basically just involve me retelling the content of “Guns, Germs and Steel”, which is a several-hundred-page book. You can trust me when I say that the author goes in very minute detail about every crop worth discussing, and why exactly some were much easier to domesticate than others – and his arguments (backed by tons of numbers) are very convincing. Or you can just go and read the book, and judge for yourself. It was written precisely to answer questions like yours. Maybe you’ll still disagree with the argument laid out in it, and that’s fine. But at least you’ll do so with the full knowledge of fact.

          P.S. As part of my long-standing debate policy, when I reference a book as part of making a point in an argument, and you haven’t read it yet, I’ll buy & gift it to you if you express such a desire. My email is in my profile.

    • >> Can somebody please tell me why they don’t just kill off the lions and eat the damn gazelles themselves?

      Killing off a major species is very likely to break the existing food chains, which can easily result in a dozen more species dying out, and another dozen overbreeding. The effects are very hard to predict. When it happens naturally it’s not much of a problem because die-outs are gradual (even with cataclysmic events like K-T, it takes thousands of years), and so the ecosystem adapts slowly. But if you make the change in the matter of years or decades, the disruption is very strong. And chances are good that it will bite you in the ass when it affects some other species that you depend on (might not even be animals, plants can also be affected that way).

    • Lions are part of the local ecology. Remove one species from the food chain, and the environment will change. For good or better, it’s hard to say. But it’s definitely no small matter.

    • “They”, at least those in a position to make that decision, need US Dentists’ money more than they need tough, shitty gazelle meat.

  7. Wait, isn’t there a law about poaching?

    Maybe they should designate some poaching free zones? A couple signs and Bazam! All the poachers will magically disappear and they can start that unicorn ranch.

  8. If the antis are/were using this story just as an additional anti-gun event they would be worse than I know them to be. At least some of them.
    This is a distasteful story of idiocy of a bunch of idiots hunting the wrong animal at the wrong time and for all the wrong reasons.
    It has nothing to do with guns or firearms, even if a firearm had been used.

    This is just one of the many stories of (certain) humans being complete idiots. It applies to armed and unarmed human beings.

  9. Where in the Hell did the Elephant carcass come from ? Who killed that should be the story instead of Cecil the Lion.

    • One of the papers got an interview with the guide. He said he’d never even heard of the “famous” lion prior to reading its name in the paper. They also interviewed a local Zimbabwean who basically said; “cecil who? Where was the American outcry when the lions killed villagers?”

    • Of course not. It still isn’t/wasn’t. It’s progressives we are talking about, after all. Their handlers are telling them the PC thing to do, is cry lion tears. So they do. Like any well behaved drone would.

  10. A leftist story filled with misinformation, emotional tirade, and irrational reaction. Hmm, yep, belongs here on TTAG! (that’s a supportive statement of TTAG BTW).

  11. Seriously, Folks- who gives a sh1t about some stupid lion that’d already lived 12 of his average 13 years? There’ve been more than 50 million children murdered by doctors in the U.S. alone, and people bitch about one friggin wild animal. Screw every one of those Gaia worshiping tree hugging commie liberals

  12. I do have to say that using a bow and arrows to take a game that big is very irresponsible, and is the antithesis of humane kill hunter ethos. It’s one thing when the hunter is doing it for food or other parts of the animal that they actually need to survive, or to bring down an animal that is dangerous to them or their herds. But a trophy hunter doesn’t have such an excuse.

    • I’d say you don’t know much abut modern bows, which hit with more force than a .30-06 and have tremendous penetration. Most dangerous game is hunted with solids, which do not deform, so an arrow leaves a larger wound track than a bullet. The only deficit is in range accuracy, not killing power.

      • What “tremendous force”? I may not be a bow hunter, but I can look up numbers online. According to them, the best modern composite bows are around 100 ft lbs, and more typical figures are in the 70-80 range. For comparison, this is about the same as a .22 LR bullet, and .30-06 has almost 30x as much energy. Which, of course, makes perfect sense, since any bow is ultimately limited to the energy that can be produced by your muscles, while firearms don’t have such a limit.

        Yes, I understand that KE is not the only metric, and there’s also the diameter of the projectile. However, there are many large-bore rounds designed specifically for big game hunting, and they will leave a much deeper wound, exposing more tissue to bleeding. Not to mention the shock wave produced by projectile entering and disrupting flesh at such velocities. There’s absolutely no way an arrow wound would be more lethal on average, or a reliable single-hit killer the way a well-placed shot with a bullet works.

        And, of course, it is far, far easier to make a well-placed shot with a rifle than with an arrow…

        Note that in this case, it took 40 HOURS for the animal to expire. And then they still had to shoot it the second time to get there in the end. QED.

      • Sorry, fellas (not really, but it’s polite before putting in the ‘sting’), each of you has a point, but each of you is incorrect.
        Being a bow hunter (and rifle hunter), I’m going to speak from that perspective.
        “…int19h says: August 1, 2015 at 16:08 I do have to say that using a bow and arrows to take a game that big is very irresponsible, and is the antithesis of humane kill hunter ethos…”

        Int19, it’s only “irresponsible” according to a) those who do not hunt, or b) to those who think only guns kill, or c) tree hugging Gaia worshipers who think abortion is birth control.

        “…Mark N. says: August 1, 2015 at 18:57 I’d say you don’t know much abut modern bows, which hit with more force than a .30-06 and have tremendous penetration. Most dangerous game is hunted with solids, which do not deform, so an arrow leaves a larger wound track than a bullet. The only deficit is in range accuracy, not killing power…”

        Sorry, Mark, you’re pretty much way off on all accounts. Modern bows have the killing power of a 30-06, but do not “hit with more force”. True, arrows do have tremendous penetration, but no more so than most common hunting calibers, and most often less. Also, the wound track is not necessarily larger. No, “most dangerous game” is definitely not hunted with solids- do a quick scan of any ammo maker and look at their “dangerous game” bullets.

        Int19h comes back to say, “…There’s absolutely no way an arrow wound would be more lethal on average, or a reliable single-hit killer the way a well-placed shot with a bullet works…” as well as comparing a .22 caliber bullet to a 30-06, which is totally off the subject.

        So I have to ask Int19h this: If an arrow wound is not a “reliable single hit killer”, why is it so many animals are taken every year, even in Africa, with a single arrow? True, a bullet has hydrostatic pressure to work with where an arrow has only hemorrhage, but each are viable tools used in the hands of someone who diligently practices. Yes, it would be easier to make a good hit with a rifle, and at a greater distance. But that isn’t what bow hunting is about, nor why someone would want to bow hunt.

        • A rifle round is limited by the shooters “strength” as well. By way of recoil. I wouldn’t be surprised if an arrow carried about as much momentum as a 30-06 round. And has a larger “caliber.” Hence, may well have a larger “Taylor Knockout Value.” Which, while certainly just another synthetic measure only very tangentially related to “killing power”, is no worse in that regard than “energy.”

          Hunting rounds generally work by bleeding the animal out, unless major bone is broken or CNS is hit. A good hunting round, really ought to exit. With enough velocity to create a fairly large exit wound. That way the animal will bleed out much quicker, and be easier to track. An arrow is doubly bad, as it not only rarely exits, but the shaft actively plugs up whatever wound channel there is. Having an arrow shaft sticking out of it’s body, may well end up aiding in the ultimate killing of an animal, but the mechanisms by which it does so, is inherently pretty cruel.

          In summary, for a large (human sized and above) animal, if shot by hunters with equal “skill”, the animal shot with a proper rifle caliber and projectile, will more often than not die quicker (more “humanely”?) than one shot by a bowfired arrow. There are precious few, if any, at least good, shot placements where the arrow will “win.” Yet plenty where it would “lose.”

        • >> By way of recoil. I wouldn’t be surprised if an arrow carried about as much momentum as a 30-06 round.

          It’s probably in the same ballpark. Again, I’m not an archer, but looking up numbers online for typical arrow weights & velocities, we’re talking ~10x more weight here and ~10x less velocity for arrow vs bullet.

          FWIW, the amount of destruction in tissue (assuming both projectiles don’t exit the body and so dump their full energy into it), will be roughly proportional to KE rather than momentum.

        • >> So I have to ask Int19h this: If an arrow wound is not a “reliable single hit killer”, why is it so many animals are taken every year, even in Africa, with a single arrow?

          The question that I have to ask in response is: how many animals aren’t? Reliability is, by definition, a matter of percentages: out of all arrows that were fired and hit their target, how many result in quick one-shot kills? I honestly don’t know, but perhaps you’d be able to say.

          I’ve also noticed one other thing that you’ve omitted, that being how instantaneous the death is. Take this lion for an example, He was initially wounded by one arrow, then finished with the second when they basically ran it down after 40 hours. Would the first arrow be lethal? And, in general, if the animal is shot and than collapses due to blood loss over the time period of several hours (as opposed to seconds, minutes at most with a typical non-botched rifle shot), does it still count as a humane one-shot kill? I don’t think so. And how many of those kills with a single arrow that you’ve referenced are like that? Again, I don’t know, but it’s an important question in this context.

          Ultimately, I do not doubt that a sufficiently proficient archer can perform humane single-shot kills with his bow more often than not (and even all the time). But the degree of proficiency required to establish this seems extreme to me, and I doubt that many people possess it. The guy who hunted this lion obviously didn’t, for one. So in practice, bow hunting translates into many cruel, prolonged kills, and this is more likely with big game for obvious reasons. In comparison, hunting with a rifle is a fairly basic skill, and does not require a significant level of instruction and practice to get the hunter to the point where they are, if not always successful, consistently produce much more humane kills.

          Then again, I also come from the perspective of not getting the entire “hunt for fun” idea, anyway. I understand hunting as means of acquiring provision: food (and I’m not one of those people who say stupid things like “it is only moral to hunt if you can’t get your food elsewhere – so long as you eat it, it’s obviously put to good use); leather, fur, feathers, musk etc from it; pest and population control, putting down dangerous or diseased animals, self-defense etc. But all of these are utterly pragmatic, and as such, an instrument that’s strictly better at doing the job is always to be preferred – and that is the rifle (and for a few very special occasions, the handgun).

          Whereas archery is basically about making the hunt more challenging for the sake of excitement, and as an inevitable side effect it would seem to make kills much less humane on average. While I’m not normally averse to challenge for challenge’s sake, when it comes at the cost of suffering of a conscious living being and is unavoidable without it, is where I draw the line between “okay” and “ugh”. If you want an analogy, it’s kinda like those local culinary practices in some part of China where they basically beat dog into a pulp with sticks before skinning it still alive and then cooking it like that, because it supposedly improves the taste. If you want to eat a dog, I’m not going to object to it (a steak is a steak, I like mine too, and I’m not a hypocrite); but torturing an animal to make it taste better is repugnant to me.

          (BTW, I am aware that in some states, hunting with a bow presents fewer legal and licensing issues, or different hunting periods that allow for a more successful hunt; and some people do it solely because they need that food and it provides a better ROI for the time and money they have to invest. Obviously, all this does not apply to them, regardless of how humane their kills are.)

        • Int19 writes. “…Ultimately, I do not doubt that a sufficiently proficient archer can perform humane single-shot kills with his bow more often than not (and even all the time). But the degree of proficiency required to establish this seems extreme to me, and I doubt that many people possess it. The guy who hunted this lion obviously didn’t, for one…”

          I think you’re referring to time spent practicing and relevant accuracy with this. Of course there are many who would not be accurate with a bow, some even after decades of practice. But not this doctor. According to the club he shoots at, friends interviewed, and several pieces written about his years hunting with a bow, this doctor is capable of putting 8 of 10 arrows into a five inch target at 100 yards. So to conclude “this guy who hunted this lion obviously didn’t” is erroneous.

          How many animals aren’t taken with an arrow each year? Gazillions- not all animals are hunted every year, even by archers or subsistence hunters. Of those that were hunted, shot at and hit, there were very few instantaneous deaths- arrows kill by bleeding out, not shock as with bullets (disregarding Stuki’s assertion above).

          I agree- torturing animals is degenerate, just as is an abortion, and those behaving in such manner deserve to have the same done to them. (Not trying to sidetrack the issues.)

          In conclusion, “…(BTW, I am aware that in some states, hunting with a bow presents fewer legal and licensing issues, or different hunting periods that allow for a more successful hunt; and some people do it solely because they need that food and it provides a better ROI for the time and money they have to invest. Obviously, all this does not apply to them, regardless of how humane their kills are.)…”

          Being from the northern tier of states, hunting license are easy to get for residents of a state whether for bow or firearm. Of the two, some areas restrict archery hunting to those who can pass an archery skills and tracking test, thereby making the bow license more difficult to obtain. As to the ROI for hunting, for the most part with most hunters I know, there isn’t any ROI. Once costs are tallied, beef from the grocer is less expensive. For many, killing or getting meat isn’t the reason to hunt. It’s camaraderie with like minded souls and family bonding.

          Yes, there are oft times different time periods for hunters. As a norm, archery is earlier than gun seasons due to the animals not being so spooked by having so many people in their bailiwick.

  13. Nobody in the US except maybe a handful of lion zoologists even knew about “Cecil”. Pretending to give a sh!t now is just stupid.

  14. “…Grindstone says: August 1, 2015 at 16:43 Nobody in the US except maybe a handful of lion zoologists even knew about “Cecil”. Pretending to give a sh!t now is just stupid…”

    Amen. And to worry about “Jericho” is putting icing on the Stupid Cake. All of a sudden these lions have “Christian” names? Piss on Gaia.

  15. Cecil was allegedly killed by a Minnesota dentist named Walter Palmer. Officials mistakenly reported Jericho was also murdered Saturday night, but confirmed Sunday it was a different lion.

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