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Congresswoman Betty McCollum

Representing the 4th District of Minnesota

Congresswoman McCollum Statement on the Illegal Killing of a Zimbabwe Lion

July 29, 2015
Press Release


Washington, DC – This morning, news broke of a Minnesota dentist, Walter Palmer, accused of paying tens of thousands of dollars to poach a protected lion while touring Zimbabwe.  This well-known lion, named Cecil by local residents, was lured from a protected Zimbabwean National Park, hunted with a bow and arrow, skinned and beheaded.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed that the African Lion be listed as a protected species under the Endangered Species Act.  Congresswoman Betty McCollum (D-MN) issued the following statement:

“To bait and kill a threatened animal, like this African lion, for sport cannot be called hunting, but rather a disgraceful display of callous cruelty. For those of us committed to ending poaching of iconic African species I strongly believe the U.S. Attorneys’ Office and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service should investigate whether U.S. laws were violated related to conspiracy, bribery of foreign officials, and the illegal hunting of a protected species or animal.  I will also continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to pursue laws that protect iconic, threatened and endangered animals around the world from barbaric ‘sport hunting’ at the hands of ultra-wealthy elites.”

Congresswoman McCollum is the co-chair of the International Congressional Conservation Caucus, the ranking Democratic member on the Interior Appropriations Subcommittee and the Democratic co-chair of the Native American Caucus.