Weekly insights into our crazy world.

Friday, September 18, 2015



Bad news from Minnesota. Earlier this week, the despised Lion Killer Dentist returned to work in suburban Minneapolis. Escorted by security, Walter Palmer calmly strolled past a dozen protesters and a handful of journalists. Not exactly the conclusion environmentalists were hoping for. They wanted new dialogue on animal preservation. Unfortunately, it took only one month for the American public to forget about the entire issue and move on to a new topic. Well, we here at the DUNER BLOG will gladly carry the torch for LION RIGHTS. There's a lot to discuss..

As a child, I often wondered: Why do lions figure so prominently in our society? They are only found in Africa! That may be the case today, but three thousand years ago Panthera Leo was more prevalent. Lions were plentiful throughout Southern Europe, the Middle East and even India. Since this is the also the same region where the world's religions, literature and culture began, LIONS figured in prominently in all fields. Hence, today, we still have lions appearing in everything from Children's stories to figures of speech to mascots for our sports teams.

Unfortunately for lions...for the next 3,000 years...their species didn't evolve as rapidly as their natural enemy: Homo Sapiens. Continual advances in weaponry spelled the eventual end of their once vast habitat. In fact, the last wild lion...north of the Sahara Desert...was shot in Morocco in 1920. See, lions and people have always struggled to coexist. Today, ranching conflicts have led to the most lion deaths. They pose a huge threat to livestock and have been erased from much of the Sahel. Today, lions only really exist in protected reserves and national parks.

While this may seem like good news, a study from Canada's McGill University recently shed light on the new "Natural Law" found in these confined areas. Although prey is plentiful, lion populations are on the decline. It appears Darwin's Laws don't work in these small areas. When confined, predators change behavior patterns and reproduce at lower rates than their free-range counterparts. The scary part of this study: Since there are hardly any free-range lions left, this means the species is doomed to eventual extinction.

All of which brings us back to Cecil. He was a great example of what an average lion is today. As we all know, Cecil was lured out of the national park when Palmer tied an antelope carcass onto his jeep and slowly drove to the exit. There he was legally killed, rendering Zimbabwe officials powerless to prosecute. In summary, humans really need to rethink our attitude towards lions. It will be so confusing to future generations. Lions will only exist on the helmets of professional football players from Detroit!

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