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Cecil's death not in vain if it helps save our wildlife

If ever an animal could be said not to have died in vain, it was poor old Cecil the Lion.

His sad end at the hands of a wealthy hunter has focused attention on the plight of endangered wildlife worldwide - and not just the fate of rhinos, tigers, lions, pandas and hippos.

The whole issue of recreational killing of wildlife has come under the spotlight as people vent their outrage at the sadistic and calculated way that Cecil was made to suffer for "sport".

In Spain and some South American countries, animals are stoned to death at certain fiestas, goats are thrown off high buildings, and the horns of bulls are set alight.

That's if there isn't a bull-fighting session on to amuse, or occupy, bloodsport fans.

Bears are still baited in Pakistan and Afghanistan, dogs ripping into their flesh and inflicting a slow death in scenes that Shakespeare would have been familiar with in Elizabethan England, but that some humans seem to crave in the 21st century.

From the mighty lion to the brooding bear, the wily fox to the humble hare, these creatures form part of the world's imperilled wildlife heritage.

Thanks to the "Cecil factor", this treasure that graces our planetary eco-system may yet survive the effects of man's inhumanity.


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