Miss Cecil the lion? End trophy hunting

Story highlights

  • The world is outraged that Cecil, the beloved and iconic male African lion, was hunted down by an American
  • Wayne Pacelle: We fully condemn trophy hunting and the senseless headhunting of animals for self-gratification

Wayne Pacelle is the president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

(CNN)This week, the world has expressed outrage at the story of Cecil, the beloved and iconic male African lion, who was lured out of the protected confines of a national park in Zimbabwe so that a Minnesota dentist, Walter Palmer, could slaughter and mutilate him.

The outrage is justified. This hunt was, in practical terms, a "guaranteed kill" arrangement. Cecil's tragic story comes all too soon after another pay-to-play hunt that made headlines. Earlier this year, a Texas man also sparked indignation when he paid $350,000 to shoot a highly endangered black rhino.
    These incidents have put a spotlight on the ugly and often highly transactional world of international trophy hunting -- where wealthy elites spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on globetrotting to slaughter some of the world's rarest animals.
      The United States is the world's largest importer of African lion parts for hunting trophies and commercial purposes. Between 1999 and 2013, the United States imported the trophies of about