Cecil the Lion: Do Paid Hunting Permits Help Save Wildlife

The answer is a mix of both, said Kathleen Garrigan, a spokeswoman for the African Wildlife Foundation, a nonprofit group headquartered in Kenya that promotes the protection and conservation of wildlife in Africa.

An American dentist who shot a famous 13-year-old lion, named Cecil, in Zimbabwe spent about $54,000 in permits to kill the top carnivore, according to news sources. Money from sports-hunting permits can fund protected parks that shelter wildlife and engage local communities in animal management, but does paying such exorbitant fees actually help or hurt wildlife conservation?

The answer is a mix of both, said Kathleen Garrigan, a spokeswoman for the African Wildlife Foundation, a nonprofit group headquartered in Kenya that promotes the protection and conservation of wildlife in Africa.

In Cecil’s case, Dr. Walter Palmer, a dentist from Minnesota, traveled to Zimbabwe to hunt big game. [In Photos: A Lion’s Life]

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