Blumenauer Leads Call to Administration to List Threatened African Lions Following Tragic Killing of Cecil the Lion

July 30, 2015
Press Release

Washington, DC– Following the tragic killing of Cecil the lion, Representative Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Co-Chair of the Congressional Animal Protection Caucus, and Representative Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-03), Ranking Member of the House Natural Resources Committee, and 48 other House Democratic members urged the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to finalize its proposed rule listing the African lion as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

Currently, the African lion is not listed as a threatened or endangered species under the Endangered Species Act. It is thereforelegal to import lion trophies into the United States, which is now the world’s largest importer of these trophies. Big-game hunters often pay tens of thousands of dollars to kill endangered animals for trophies and sport. In 2013, former Representative Jim Moran and Representative Blumenauer sent a letter to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service urging protections for the African lion under the Endangered Species Act. The agency proposed listing the African lion as threatened in 2014, but has yet to finalize the listing.

“The killing of the beloved Cecil the lion is tragic and an outrage, and is part of a much larger peril facing African lions,” said Representative Blumenauer. “It’s time for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to finalize its rule and list the African lion as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. We must improve conservation of this iconic species and send a strong signal that we will protect the African lion.”

Click here to watch a video statement by Representative Blumenauer.

"The Fish and Wildlife Service should immediately provide Endangered Species Act protections for African lions. Trophy hunters like Walter Palmer should no longer get a free pass to kill lions by the hundreds, especially now that these great cats are barely hanging on in so many parts of their range,” said Wayne Pacelle, President and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States.

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