I love how so many people have highlighted the tragic death of Cecil the Lion and that’s exactly what one man has done in California. Restaurant owner Mayur Pavagadhi originally from Kenya commissioned this 14ftx12ft mural of Cecil the Lion to be painted onto his restaurant wall to raise awareness of canned/illegal hunting of wild animals in Africa.
Pavagadhi said he had wanted for some time to have a mural painted on the wall, but hadn’t found a subject that moved him.
“Then, of course, this news came out about Cecil,” he said. “It was heartbreaking to (learn) about the massacre of this beautiful animal. I thought, wait a minute, here is the time to put Cecil on the wall.”
Pavagadhi owns a popular restaurant called 83 Degrees situated near the corner of Carlsbad Village Drive and Roosevelt Street, his floor manager Juncal said “Most of the response has been overwhelmingly positive, but there has been some negative reaction from people who think another cause may have been more worthy of the spotlight. Maybe there are other causes that are more important, and they will have their moment, but maybe it’s just the right time for this one.”
Nick Wheeler, general manager of 83 Degrees, said that although most regular customers love the mural, he has also heard some complaints. I’ve been ridiculed and yelled at on the phone,” he said, and at least one person told him they were never coming back to the restaurant. It’s not always clear why people are angry, but some seem to think the lion is not worthy of a mural, or maybe that someone such as a military service member would be more appropriate.
How people can give out to someone who has put his own money into highlighting a very serious problem in Africa is beyond me. We need more people like this man in the world. His mural is now famous across the globe and in many years to come when people ask “Why is there a memorial painting of a Lion on that wall?” most people will be able to answer that question “Why…. that’s the famous Cecil the Lion” and will be able to tell the story of what happened to him.
(Sorry the pictures not great,but it was the only one I could find on the internet.)