Not All Dentists Are Lion Killers, Sign Outside Arkansas Clinic Reminds Us — PHOTO
Over the past couple of weeks, the typically noble profession of dentistry has taken some public relations losses. As I'm sure you've heard by now, it was a dentist from Minnesota, Dr. Walter Palmer, who paid a handsome sum of money to wound and ultimately kill the now-world famous African lion, Cecil. The slaying has spurred a lot of uproar (and, regrettably, even death threats), and apparently one of Palmer's dental brethren has decided to take advantage — not all dentists kill lions, as one Arkansas clinic's sign is reminding us.
Dr. Curtis Hagerty runs a dental practice out of Russellville, Alabama. He wants you to know, in the face of all the blaring news coverage, that he does not hunt lions. In fact, he wants you to know this so badly, he said as much on the sign that sits outside his office: "By the way, I don't hunt lions." It's a wry, tongue-in-cheek way to get a few more eyeballs on his clinic's signage, I'd reckon, as well as sticking up for his profession a bit, lest they all get a wrongful reputation as macabre, safari thrill-killers. Here's what the sign looked like, in all its glory.
Obviously, you can look at this different ways. On the one hand, it's a clever way to draw some attention while making it clear that you're a kind, gentle breed of dentist, perhaps with a healthy respect for the natural order of things.
On the other hand, you could argue that it's also being a bit exploitive of Cecil's memory. All fun aside, nobody with a clear head or an even keel really believes dentists have a unique predilection for trophy hunting. It's not really a dentist problem so much as a "bored thrill-seekers with too much money for their own good" problem. According to the Huffington Post, Hagerty's favorite college football team is the Auburn Tigers — at least he's keeping it in the big cat family, huh?
According to Arkansas Online, Tisa Hagerty, a dental hygenist and the dentist's wife, clarified that they have "nothing against hunters or people who don't hunt," which also complicates matters a wee bit — if you don't have an issue with people who hunt, then the level of backlash against Palmer is a little odd, to say the least. But the signage clearly isn't meant as any kind of trenchant statement. Rather, as she told them, "It's been positive. People aren't taking it too serious."