"As the world mourned Cecil the lion, five of Kenya’s endangered elephants were slain"

“While the killing of the lion in Zimbabwe has attracted the world’s attention, the death of the five elephants has received almost no coverage, even though elephants are under a far greater threat from poachers than lions.”

When I expressed skepticism about the internet outrage at Walter Palmer, this is why. Not because I condone what the asshole did, but because most of the people who are furious about it don’t actually care about animal welfare or endangered species unless they’ve got a clear victim and villain they can slot into the narrative. These elephants didn’t have human names, their killers were faceless locals, so the internet outrage machine is silent.


I am not convinced that what gets media coverage and what the public are interested in overlaps very much. Also, FWIW I doubt if generating emotional “outrage” actually does anything to help elephants. Ecology isn’t merely another human story, that’s the whole point.

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