Chris Packham on the legacy of Cecil the lion killing

Chris Packham said that Cecil's killing of the lion had become a "iconic symbol" of the "grotesque waste of wildlife" thanks to the worldwide hunting trophy.

The 59-year-old Winterwatch host said that legal hunting and brachy should both be put in 'the dustbin of history.'

Cecil was a 13-year-old lion killed in 2015 by a US big game hunter and dentist in Zimbabwe, when he was the focus of Oxford University's long-term research program.

His death has sparked outrage from lawmakers and conversationalists and marches in Minnesota outside the hunter's dental office, Walter Palmer.

Packhom, who recounts a national geographical animal documentary, said: "The Council is still an iconic emblem of the hideous waste of animals by man when so many people are battling to protect the earth biodiversity and a tiny psychopathic group is already inextricably happy to slaughter them.

"It's a shameful anachronism that should be placed in the dustbin of history."

Activist Packham has emphasized the importance of preserving the world's larger cat colonies.

He said: "I think all of us ought to maintain our optimism that fragments of our planet remain intact, undamaged and even pure as a wilderness.

"And for these habitat areas to persist, they would require functioning eco systems and you would need keystone predators for eco systems to work.

"None of our large cats are popular and fine.

If there's no tiger fire in the night forest that's going to be a really long and boring night for the human race."

He said it was "thinkable" but "abjectly miserable" if large cats were to be extinct at the present rate of decline, and encouraged people to do whatever they could.

"Surely all people are related to the main challenges," he said.

"Mainly biodiversity destruction because our rising population rapidly needs farm space.

"Secondly the rivalry between human and animals that people and predators fight for food.

"And, last and most importantly, we must address immediately the direct impact of poaching and trophy hunting if there is a hope that our large cat species will continue to prosper."

Chris Packham says Cecil: The Lion King, part of the National Geographic WILD Big Cat Week, which takes place from 1 to 5 February.

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