Here is another article about things going on around Rochester.
Over the last few weeks, animal rights activists, environmentalists, celebrities and the general public alike have expressed their outrage over the July 1 killing of Cecil, the beloved and protected lion who primarily lived in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park.
Despite this widespread outrage and criticism toward big game hunting, one Canandaigua pizzeria owner said he still plans to display a lion he hunted in the same African nation — along with other animals he has hunted around the world — inside his restaurant.
According to 13 WHAM News, Dominic Bocanelli, owner of Pudgie’s Pizza Shop, said Walter James Palmer, the Minnesota dentist who killed Cecil, is a scapegoat for the individuals who actually arranged the hunt.
“I think the guy is getting a bad rap,” said Bocanelli. “It’s the people who arrange the hunt, I believe they’re the ones at fault.”
Bocanelli also maintained that he hunted the male lion in his restaurant legally. In addition to the lion, Pudgie’s Pizza Shop has a zebra, mountain goat and antelope on display, along with several other animals.
“The arrangements were all made, we had to go through the government, get a special permit and everything else,” he said. “The lion I shot was a nomad lion, he was already kicked out of the pride.”
Bocanelli’s statement came just days before vandals targeted Palmer’s Florida vacation home. According to the Washington Post, the vandals wrote “Lion killer!” on the home’s garage door and left pigs’ feet on the driveway. While Americans spend $1.4 billion on teeth whitening products and procedures, making dentistry more in demand than ever, Walter was forced to close his practice in the wake of the scandal.
The presence of these animals seems to be having the exact opposite effect on Pudgie’s Pizza Shop’s customers, however. Bocanelli said he plans to keep his animals on display as they help attract business — and because very few customers actually complain about their presence.
“Very seldom does someone come in and say, ‘I’m not going to eat here because of the animals,’ that doesn’t happen,” he said, noting that parents frequently bring their children to the restaurant just to see the animals. “They take pictures with the lion, as a result, it brings me a lot of business.”