The ecologist and author has spent 30 years researching the overhunting of lions in Africa and is deeply pessimistic about their future. Here he talks about dishonest hunting operators, the urgent need for global money, why he takes issue with animal groups – and what we’ve learned from Cecil

Craig Packer likes sticking his shaggy academic head into dangerous places. He’s had death threats, confronted megalomaniac politicians, been run out of countries and mugged. But the man who has spent 30 years trying to study and save lions came close to real fear last month.

As the world’s media worked themselves into a tizz over the American dentist who paid $50,000 to shoot Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe, Packer happened to have severe toothache, which forced him to seek treatment in Minneapolis, where he directs the Lion Research Centre at the university.

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Source: Guardian Environment