Like so many today, I had a strong reaction to the death of a lion - killed by an American, a dentist, who paid $50,000 to shoot it with a bow and arrow. He cut its head off for a trophy.
I shared the following with the news media in a press release this afternoon and have done one interview so far, and have a few more set for tomorrow.
"This tragic killing and the reaction to it reflects a sad truth: for many of us animals like the African lion are objects of nature, something nice to have but not essential to daily life. Then something like this happens, transforming the animal into a living breathing creature whose survival depends entirely on us. Only then does the loss of species that is happening on a daily basis, one animal at a time, become real. We are all contributors.
We are in a mass extinction of animals because of human actions, including hunting and poaching, but also climate change, habitat loss, and agriculture. Everything each one of us does on a daily basis impacts the lives of animals all over the world. I have seen this first hand in my work as a veterinarian and conservationist. The good news is we know how to save species. We just need to do more. I hope this horrible event motivates more people to support wild animal conservation any way they can. We are in a race against time."