Walter Palmer and Cecil the lion have dominated headlines in recent days, after the American dentist shot the animal dead, and with Palmer using the excuse that he thought it was perfectly legal to shoot the creature.
While the validity of his defence is best left for another debate, it does beg the question, just why it is legal to hunt and kill endangered wild creatures.
I had no idea that the lion I took was a known, local favourite, was collared and part of a study until the end of the hunt.Advertisement
According to critics, the level of enforcement when it comes to hunting across Africa is poor, with hunting being banned in countries such as Kenya and Botswana, because of the level of income the countries receive from using the animals to attract tourists who go on safari, but still legal in South Africa, Namibia and Tanzania.
Zambia have also announced that they have lifted the ban on hunting lions and big cats, with only 30,000 lions in the wild in sub-Saharan Africa remaining, and given around 600 are killed legally each year, it is hard to see that figure dwindling any time soon.
A study showed that $200 million is generated in African communities from trophy hunting, but given that is a minor part of the total tourism revenue earned in Africa, critics are calling for a total ban on the hunting of endangered wild animals, and it is hard to blame them.