When American dentist, Walter Palmer, hunted and killed ‘Cecil the Lion’ in Zimbabwe, it became an international media sensation. Gun and hunting advocates have been pitted against animal rights groups like PETA. But many experts see this incident as an opportunity for a larger discussion on what’s really endangering lions and other large mammals. We’ speak with Bruce Patterson, curator of the Integrative Research Center at the Field Museum of Natural History. He specializes in “several topics in evolutionary biology, focusing on the diversification, distribution and conservation of mammals. Patterson believes that humans are the greatest danger to lions like Cecil, but for reasons that go well beyond big-game hunting.
(Photo: Flickr/Vince O'Sullivan)