The killing of Cecil the lion by a trophy hunter in Zimbabwe has brought the plight of wild animals–and the ongoing sport of trophy hunting even the most endangered species–to the forefront of U.S. consciousness. Now the public outrage is beginning to take the form of action: the professionals who set up the hunt are being prosecuted in Zimbabwe for poaching, and the dentist who hired them may be extradited from the U.S. for trial.
Cecil’s killing is just one of many such hunts that take place around the world. If you want to turn your anger into action, there are a number of well-regarded organizations that need financial help (even a little bit).
A post by The Dodo (via Big Cat Rescue) outlines some of these organizations, such as the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit at Oxford, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, or the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force.
And while some say online petitions don’t work, the public outcry has spurred four U.S. senators to introduce a bill in Congress, the CECIL Act, which if passed will “extend current U.S. import and export restrictions on animal trophies to include species that have been proposed for listing as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act,” according to the Huffington Post.
And you can help big cats here at home: nonprofits like Big Cat Rescue care for big cats that were held in captivity or bred in captivity here in the U.S., and are actively working to introduce legislation to prevent private owners from importing non-native cats like lions.