A well-known American ex-marine turned “poacher hunter” has announced this morning that she would personally “hunt down” the poachers responsible for the death of Cecil the lion.
Kinessa Johnson from Yelm, Washington State, works for the Veterans Empowered to Protect African Wildlife (VEPAW), training park rangers to catch and detain the wildlife killers. The organization was founded by an ex-Marine and is made up of former soldiers who signed up post-9/11.
“My intention is usually not to harm anyone; I don’t take pleasure in harming or killing poachers, but ultimately, it is the most efficient way to prevent poaching” she told local reporters.
The Afghanistan veteran and specialist in intelligence operations says the murder of Cecil has tremendously affected her.
“I have met Cecil the lion a few times in recent years while helping Hwange National Park guards devise anti-poaching tactics. Cecil was like a family member to me, so this time, it’s definitely personal” she explained, visibly outraged by the whole affair.
The female veteran that has 27 poachers to date on her trophy list admits the case of hunting down Walter Palmer will be harder.
“As long as he is hiding in the US, there is not much that can be done, but poaching is punishable by death in Zimbabwe which relies heavily on the tourism industry. If we can get an international arrest warrant on his head and get full cooperation by American authorities to extradite him back here, you can trust me that Cecil will be avenged” she acknowledged.
Walter Palmer, a 55-year-old dentist from Minnesota was identified by the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, the Safari Operators Association of Zimbabwe and police as the American facing poaching charges for the crossbow killing of Cecil, a well-known lion. The killing of endangered species is punishable by death in Zimbabwe since the Endangered Species Act (ESA) was passed in 2009.