Thursday, October 15, 2009

How a single bullet killed 25 lions (short version)

How a single bullet killed 25 lions

When I was in Africa a couple of decades ago, I camped for a stretch in the territory of a lion pride comprising 3 males, 10 females and 22 cubs.

The 3 pride-males, named Agamemnon, Achilles and Hector (AAH), were about 6 years of age and very much in their prime. Their 22 cubs were thriving under their protection - protection against predators,

and the coalition of four 4-year-old prideless bachelors, who had been loitering in the neighborhood.

Due to the superior fighting prowess of AAH, they had been kicking the butts of the Gang of Four (GOF), so far. If the GOF drove out or killed AAH, they would kill all their cubs so that the lionesses would have cubs bearing their genes. AAH would be able to repel GOF for another couple of years, which was a fairly stable long term scenario in lion terms. What was unforeseen was that a trophy hunter killed Achilles.

Now with only Agamemnon and Hector holding the fort, they were no match for the GOF. Valiantly, AH tried to defend their offspring, but it was a matter of fighting to the last cub before they both were killed. The 10 lionesses became the spoils of war. And so, a new leonine dynasty was born. But through it all, 25 lives were lost, all due to one single bullet fired by one egomaniacal trophy hunter. Shame on Safari Club International! And shame on you Mr. President, for support hunting.

Anthony Marr, founder and president
Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE)

No comments: