Other Animals

This American Trophy Hunter Shot a Sleeping Lion

A few years before Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer infamously killed the beloved Cecil the lion, another pathetic American trophy hunter did something as despicable: he shot a lion in Zimbabwe that was sleeping in the sun.

Although this happened in 2011, a disturbing video of the killing recently went viral after Protect All Wildlife, an animal advocate in the United Kingdom, posted it on Twitter March 18.

Photo credit: Timo Luege/Flickr

In the graphic video, you can see Guy Gorney of Illinois using a rifle to shoot the sleeping lion once. As the lion woke up in agony, Gorney shot him two more times before a guide told him to stop…and then congratulated him.

Because of hunting, poaching and loss of their habitat, African lions could become extinct in aslittle as 30 years, the African Wildlife Foundation warns.

Their population was about 200,000 a century ago, but that number has now dwindled to fewer than 23,000.

That number is likely to shrink even more as long as trophy hunting remains legal in Zimbabwe and South Africa.

Of course, trophy hunters like Gorney couldn’t care less. In fact, he’s extremely proud of all the African animals for which he’s forked out plenty of money to kill. In a 2015 interview with CBS Chicago, Gorney boasted that he’d made nine hunting trips to Africa and killed over 70 animals, including the “big five”—an elephant, lion, leopard, rhino and buffalo.

“I have a hard time understanding, if you have a picture of somebody with a deer, nobody seems to care. But if it’s an elephant, it’s a big problem. If it’s a lion – especially now – it’s a huge problem,” Gorney said. “But to me, either way, I’ve stopped a beating heart.”

How chilling is that? Like many trophy hunters, Gorney is convinced he’s doing a good thing by helping with conservation and denies that he’s really killing animals for the demented thrill of stopping all those beating hearts.

“I love zebra, so shooting a lion probably saves 70 zebra a year, give or take,” he told CBS Chicago. “There’s all these kinds of balances in nature.”

Huh? Shooting a lion in his sleep does nothing to balance out nature or help with conservation. A 2016 study by the House Natural Resources Committee (HNRC) found that much of the money made by trophy hunting agencies that was supposed to go toward conservation efforts never reached its intended targets.

Gorney hasn’t yet made any comments about the 2011 video that’s resurfaced. Could it be because he no longer gets a kick out of stopping beating hearts? It’s doubtful, but let’s hope he’s taken up a hobby that doesn’t involve killing defenseless animals.

Take Action

Please join more than 159,000 people who have signed this Care2 petition urging Zimbabwe’s Minister of Environment, Water, and Climate to ban Gorney from ever hunting in that country again.

This article was first published by Care2.com on 29 Mar 2019.

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