Scarface the beloved and collared grizzly bear from Yellowstone National Park was shot and killed by a big game hunter six months ago. Cecil the black-maned lion was shot and killed last year. In real life, they died once. In the Cabela video game, Big Game Hunter Pro series, Scarface and lions along with multiple other animals can be hunted and shot a million times with no loss of real iconic animal lives.
Killing endangered species is ok?
Is it really ok to have a game out there that teaches young adults and kids that it is just fine to shoot endangered species? The Fish and Wildlife Service, (FWS), oversees the hunting in state lands in the USA and hunting is a common occupation for many outdoorsmen. Sport–hunting in conserved areas has been part of the American lifestyle since the concept of sustainable utilization of wildlife was first coined. Perhaps this is why the death of Scarface the elderly grizzly bear killed by a hunter in the USA is not going to rocket into the headlines as Cecil the Lion did.
Not enough people know or care about hunting issues.
Despite many activist organisations fighting to put out the message that animals are sentient beings, America is a society where the majority of people either do not know or care sufficiently about hunting issues in their own country. This might explain why there is no massive outcry against the Cabela Big Game Hunting video-game series. A simple group search on Facebook reveals many wild animal lover groups, ranging from 48 to around 30,000 members. That sounds like a lot of people until you search for music or showbiz groups and the numbers rocket into the hundreds of thousands of active group members. SEO, work from home opportunity groups, and technology search results put animal conservation in the pin-pick realm of internet interest.
If most people don’t care, how can we explain celebrity, Cecil?
The It’s a Tea Party Y’all blog site theorized that the USA public went crazy over the death of an African lion because nobody really wanted to watch current events reporting babies being chopped up and sold for body parts. This may be a good point given that it is kind of disgusting to read that at the breakfast table, but the movie industry probably had much more influence on the outrage generated by Cecil’s death. The Ice Age and Lion King are well-beloved movies about lions and mammoths. Their cute antics and noble natures reached out and touched what is left of humanity in our species. The movies may have been far removed from reality and were hardly correct in the way they portrayed real animal behaviour, but they left everyone with a feel-good emotion. Who doesn't want to feel good? When Cecil died, all the feel-good bled away in an instant, or so you would think.
Psychologically happiness can arise from tragedy.
Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick, Ph.D. researcher involved in a study on what tragic movies can make people happy, explained to Psych Central, that “People...use tragedies" as a way to reflect on "important relationships.” Although tragic movies and media reports are sad, people tend to think of what they love when they watch or read them. Comparatively thinking about what they have not lost can make people happy. She later said that this helps to explain why “tragedies” are actually “popular with audiences.” Perhaps this is one reason for the massive Cecil outrage. Everyone loved the Lion King. Everyone was riveted by what they perceived to be the tragic death of that Lion King. Sorry Mr. Grizzly bear, but there are just not enough big-name movies out there for people to relate to why your death should make them feel weirdly happy. When Zimbabwe lost Cecil, the people of the country referred to him as just another dead lion. To most Americans, Scarface too will probably end up being just another dead bear of minor hashtag interest.