Death of Zimbabwe’s Best-Loved Lion Ignites Debate on Sport Hunting

Zimbabwe’s most well-known and much-photographed black-maned lion, affectionately named Cecil, was killed by sport hunters just outside the nation’s premier wildlife park, Hwange, last week.

Wildlife enthusiasts say Cecil, possibly Hwanges’s largest lion, was a favorite among visitors to the park as he was relaxed around safari vehicles.

Conservationists are concerned that the killing of the 13-year-old big cat may leave as many as a dozen cubs vulnerable to infanticide by males that assume leadership of his prides. Males commonly kill the cubs of ousted pride leaders so that they may sire their offspring with the females they inherit.

According to Jonny Rodrigues of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force (ZCTF), a charity which focuses on the conservation and preservation of wildlife in the southern African country, Cecil was shot with bow and arrow by a Spanish hunter in the Gwaai concession about a kilometer [1,100 yards] from the national park.

Skinned and Beheaded for Trophy

Rodrigues says that Cecil did not die immediately;  it took two days to track the lion and finish him off with a rifle. The big cat was skinned and his head removed as a trophy.

The Zimbabwe Professional Hunters and Guides Association (ZPHGA) confirmed in a statement last Monday that Cecil was killed outside the park on a safari on private land. The professional hunter on the hunting permit was a ZPHGA member, the organization said, adding that there was an ongoing investigation.

A source familiar with the situation, who wishes to remain unnamed, says big cats may be lured out of protected areas into hunting concessions with bait. It “indicates to me a level of desperation by the hunting operators. No big male lions remain in their hunting concession areas, despite their claims of ‘sustainable’ hunting practices,” the source added.

Hunters posting in online forums insist there was nothing illegal about the hunting of Cecil.

Widespread Condemnation

Legal or not, the death of Cecil, who has been a wildlife icon in the area for years, has been condemned both locally and internationally. Many people have taken to online media to express their horror and denuciation of the hunt. The condemnation comes in the immediate wake of the controversy surrounding Hwange’s parks authorities capturing and exporting 23 baby elephants to China.

Cecil’s death has also caused deep concern among many conservationists and has re-ignited the ethics surrounding lion trophy hunting, especially near protected areas.

In a press release, Beks Ndlovo, CEO of the African Bush Camps group of companies, a private, owner-run African-based safari company, stated: “In my personal capacity… I strongly object and vehemently disagree with the legalising and practice of hunting lions in any given area. I will personally be encouraging Zimbabwe National Parks and engaging with Government Officials to stop the killing of lions and with immediate effect.”

Cecil was wearing a GPS-collar installed by a team of researchers in Hwange National Park. The researchers have been conducting an ongoing study on behalf of the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit at Oxford University, a scientific group specializing in wild carnivores.

From 1999 they began an ongoing ecological study of African lions in Hwange to measure the impact of sport-hunting beyond the park on the lion population within the park, using radio-telemetry and direct observation.

The research found that 34 of 62 tagged lions died during the study period; 24 were shot by sport hunters. Sport hunters in the safari areas surrounding the park killed 72 percent of tagged adult males from the study area. This caused a decline in numbers of adult males in the population.

Knock-on Infanticide

Dr. Andrew Loveridge, one of the principal researchers on the project, says that “hunting predators on the boundaries of national parks such as Hwange causes significant disturbance and knock-on effects” such as infanticide when new males entered the prides.

Cecil was in coalition with another male lion, Jericho. Between them they had two prides consisting of six lionesses and about a dozen young cubs. Loveridge says, “Jericho as a single male will be unable to defend the two prides and cubs from new males that invade the territory. This is what we most often see happening in these cases. Infanticide is the most likely outcome.”

Loveridge states that a more recent study conducted on the socio-spatial behavior of lion population following the perturbation by sport hunting, shows “there is also growing evidence that lion populations that are socially disrupted may be more prone to coming into conflict with human communities on the boundaries of protected areas. This is largely because movement patterns become erratic and lions are more likely to leave the park.”

“These cats are complex”, explains Loveridge, “which is why disturbance of their social system has such far reaching knock-on effects.”

Loveridge also noted that “there were other irregularities in the hunt which are being investigated.” He says such examples include the fact that “in the Gwaai Conservancy no lion hunting quota was issued for 2015” and that the “GPS collar we had fitted on the lion was destroyed by the hunters.”

Bryan Orford, a professional wildlife guide who worked in Hwange and filmed Cecil many times, says the lion was the park’s “biggest tourist attraction. Not only a natural loss, but a financial loss.” Orford calculates that with tourists from just one nearby lodge collectively paying U.S. $9,800 per day, Zimbabwe would have brought in more in just five days by having Cecil’s photograph taken rather than being shot by someone paying a one-off fee of U.S. $45,000 with no hope of future revenue.

An investigation by the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Authority, ZPHGA and the safari industry at large has been initiated and a meeting has been called for all stakeholders to discuss the incident and find a resolution.

Adam Cruise has a philosophy degree in environmental and animal ethics from the University of Stellenbosch, South Africa. He specializes in wildlife conservation and wildlife crime and has traveled throughout the continent documenting and commenting on the key conservation issues and crises that face the continent.


  1. Arno schmitt
    August 5, 2015, 9:08 am

    Agora falamos de (01) leão, que era famoso… quantos mais
    serão mortos até que alguma cousa seja feita!

  2. Celso Vasconcellos
    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
    July 31, 2015, 5:37 pm

    Let’s do a campaign to boycott this dentist Walter James Palmer. If Americans no longer use their professional services, he will not have money for new hunting.

  3. Pamela Lapier
    July 31, 2015, 2:46 pm

    To Mike, I agree with your last sentence. The rest is crap. You are correct that humans are destroying habitats left and right but that wrong doesn’t make the destruction of Cecil and other wild creatures right. There’s no purpose at all in these hunts. They’re not even for food. Outlaw them and prosecute the ones who do them.

  4. Pamela Lapier
    Schenectady, NY USA
    July 31, 2015, 2:21 pm

    I don’t understand why big game hunting, especially trophy hunting, is allowed at all?

  5. sidnei sanches
    July 31, 2015, 2:14 pm

    All hunters are cowards. I hate they.

  6. Manu
    July 31, 2015, 1:03 pm

    Hunting should be banned as barbarian and cruel practice.
    There are also other animals killed for “pleasure” in fact pure cruelty and pleasure to hurt. This hunters deserve a good beat (or maybe a few beats) to see on their own skin how it is to be hunted.. that’s the only way they can understand.

  7. Sharon
    July 30, 2015, 4:03 pm

    What a barbaric act of cruelty this poor excuse of a human being inflicted on this magnificent animal. All sport involving killing these animals should be stopped now. These animals are already endangered so why allow these acts of pure evil. I hope this awful person gets the sentence he deserves and soon before he gets the chance to kill any more innocent animals.

  8. Tahmina
    July 30, 2015, 3:15 pm

    I cannot believe that hunting, in other words, killing and beheading other species is legal and considered as a sport. Its absolutely disgusting. Its a shame that the African Government is taking this matter so lightly. One of our Iconic cats was murdered by some heartless individual, who has replaced his humanity with money. I hope you get what you deserve, You Coward.

  9. really
    South Africa
    July 30, 2015, 2:39 pm

    What a complete load of crap.
    Here we have a racist, hateful, bigoted president of Zimbabwe that belongs in jail for the all the innocent white farmers he has killed, that is eating protected species for his birthday. But let a foreigner shoot an animal that they may have not even known to be protected, and everyone pees in their pants. Clearly, of the two, Bob has more friends in the right places. You are all hypocrites.

  10. Janet Bowden
    united kingdom
    July 30, 2015, 1:25 pm

    I agree with all the comments above, despicable piece of psycopathic blood thirst good for nothing piece of scum!
    Too much money to waste on killing God’s creatures who are just the same as us humans…. Why couldn’t he use his money to help the poor and needy instead of blood thirsty cowardly killing…. I want to scream!!!!!!!

  11. Eugene
    July 30, 2015, 3:07 am

    As despicable this act is to most of the world, WHY DONT ALL OF YOU START TO SHOUT FOR THE PROTECTION OF ALL THE WHITE RHINOS THAT ARE BEING POACHED???????????. Dont just single out 1 person BUT DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE RHINOS too – PETA and a lot of celebrities are fast to condemn this man but do vitually ZERO for the Rhinos being poached. Why are all of you jumping on the bandwagon when this happened but do ZERO about poaching – stop being hypocrites.

  12. judy thorpe
    united states
    July 30, 2015, 2:34 am

    Let’s see… Zimbabwe they failed to protect the world’s largest great magnificent Satao, one of Zimbabwe’s main attractions, loved by millions from around the globe and followed by tourists from everywhere. They brutally captured and sold 23 baby elephants with future plans on selling more and now Cecil another great tourist attraction has also been brutally taken away. All this has gone down in a very short period of time. For a country that specializes in having the most beautiful and amazing wildlife animals ever on the planet, you would think that they would go through any and all great lengths to conserve and protect them but sadly greed and skulduggery has taken over.

  13. Mike
    July 29, 2015, 10:09 pm

    This man has been made a villain for hunting. He should be left alone. People need to examine the real issues with conservation and realize that if not for sportsman’s dollars the world would not have the wildlife we have. Your suburban sprawl homes have done much more damage to wildlife than killing this lion.

  14. not me
    North America
    July 29, 2015, 3:50 pm

    Did Cecil ever murder any cubs in order to mate with lionesses? That is in a male lion’s nature, and it is despicable. I don’t like trophy hunters one bit, they suck. Fry all 3 of them including the convicted felon dentist – how was he ever allowed to continue his practice? But as a male lion, Cecil might have been a cub murderer early on or later. Do we know how innocent or guilty Cecil was of such instinctive but horrible crimes against the young of his own species?

  15. Anne W Giddings
    July 29, 2015, 10:19 am

    A pox on these canned hunts! The $$ gained from hunting permits will never restore these magnificent animals. Taking old or sick animals from zoos or circuses & killing them as they’re released from cages or crates is in the same wicked vein. May these sick hunters & their accomplices rot in hell!

  16. Denise Merkle
    July 29, 2015, 9:48 am

    All involved knew what they were doing was immoral and illegal; they did not (and do not) care.

    They should all be incarcerated and serve lengthy jail time.

    International law must prohibit trophy hunting and importation of trophies.

  17. Luis
    July 29, 2015, 9:13 am

    Sorry but it was not a Spaniard who killed the Lion, it was Walter James Palmer, Minnesota, EEUU. Further evidence of the Anglo-Saxon marketing contrary to Spaniards. England lobbys will never forgive the moral superiority of the Spanish Empire (1500 – 1898) where slavery was legally prohibited, there was not racism and the Indians can access to universities, we founded more than 30 Universities at América. The English just 5. Some time they accuse the Spanish of racist, but we are a mixture of many cultures, we know that the sum of all never subtracted, just add. I question my self, who invented the Aprartheid? Even in South Africa (English former colony) until 1992. Sometimes they accuse of extinction of Native American tribes, where native tribes now? For over 200 years Texas, Florida, California, Nevada, Alabama, Mississippi, Arizona … was part of the Spanish Empire and we got agreements with the native Indian tribes, we lived together in peace. What happened to them after our departure? In less than 100 years a large part extinguished or marginalized. And now with a Lion, to remember how bad the Spaniards. Well, you see, they fail. Our moral superiority is just because law was inspired by Christ Jesus moral. If something truly excel in the world about the Spaniards is to bring the light of Jesus Christ. See, to fight us English even create their own Church, the Anglican.

  18. Daisy
    July 29, 2015, 5:35 am

    i am so upset, why to media show these photos of slaughted inocsent creatures

  19. Chez Santander
    July 29, 2015, 4:12 am


  20. PD
    United States
    July 29, 2015, 12:14 am

    It is a tragedy that this magnificent being was murdered, mutilated and beheaded. Why is the name of the alleged murderer, Dr. Walter J Palmer, a dentist from Minnesota not mentioned in this article? His name is all over the Internet as the person responsible for this act. The psychological profile of trophy hunters is very close to that of serial killers – it makes no difference if one is legal and the other not.

  21. delphi alvarado
    salt lake city, UT
    July 28, 2015, 6:30 pm

    I would like to see this despicable sports hunting banned and I would like to see this frackin Dr Palmer arrested, convicted and imprison for murdering this beautiful, innocent creature. What a coward and lowlife being this dr Palmer who has to use bait tied behind a vehicle to lure this beautiful critter. I don’t understand why these African countries allow these scums to come into their countries and murder their wildlife. I understand this affluent, sick American paid a lot of money for this, but how does the community benefit from this and how much of this money is paid into conservation? This lion was protected and the hunters who assisted this bastard should be imprisoned along with dr. Palmer. I would like to live long enough to see this horrific sports hunting banned. I would like to ask the people of Minnesota to protest and boycott this s.o.b dentist in MN so we can show our support for Cecil and all other beautiful critters who deserve to live. They are just like humans and all they want to do is live free and have a family. This killer Palmer has ruined it for all animal lovers who wanted to see Cecil and shoot him with their cameras and now the park has lost a lot of revenue due to this senseless egomaniac Palmer and others. I hope you rot in hell Palmer and others who assisted you.

  22. Brandon
    July 28, 2015, 5:47 pm

    It always disturbs me that Hunters always have an excuse and an “explanation” for their Actions. No matter what the story – they’ll always tell how it’s not that bad – and they’re helping Conservation blah blah blah – isn’t it sad that People get so much Joy out of Killing – needless Killing – just for Fun. As the Late Great George Carlin also said – “We are the only Species on Eart that Kills for Fun” – and I have to admit – that makes us a pretty Sick Species.

  23. Save Cecil's Cubs
    July 28, 2015, 4:08 pm
  24. James
    United States
    July 28, 2015, 3:16 pm

    The amazingly ironic thing is many of the people here making the comments about how horrific this man was are also pro-abortion (killing).

    Not condoning what he did, but just think the hypocrisy is laughable.

  25. Jeannie
    Gibsonia, PA
    July 28, 2015, 2:25 pm

    I am deeply saddened to learn about the brutal, self-glorifying hunt and killing of Cecil in Zimbabwe. The hunter needs to be brought to justice for his actions. So sad that he wouldn’t concern himself with the fact that Cecil is a living creature just living in his habitat.

  26. ginger
    Costa mesa CA
    July 28, 2015, 2:07 pm

    He is a dentist. Boycott him.
    I would love to wear his teeth on a necklace around my neck.
    10851 Rhode Island Ave S
    Minneapolis, MN 55438-2393

    July 28, 2015, 2:03 pm


  28. Gary
    July 28, 2015, 12:51 pm

    My first attempt at leaving a comment about this disgusting lowlife dentist was blocked, being deemed too strong. That gives you some idea how I feel. I really really hope that many really nasty things happen to this scumbag lowlife. Maybe someone in the USA will do what I’d like to do to him. Hey big brave white hunter!! Come to the UK-if you dare, no I doubt you have the balls, I take it you have a pair?

  29. Gary
    United Kingdom
    July 28, 2015, 12:01 pm

    What a disgusting low life scumbag. I hear this lowlife is a dentist. I think someone should tie him down a pull every one of his teeth out with a pair of pliers slowly. Then remove his tackle and shove it down his throat. Then if that doesn’t finish him off, leave him to the Lions. This should happen to everyone acting in this way.

  30. Selveda
    Santa Barbara, USA
    July 28, 2015, 11:44 am

    This is absolutely disgusting. It has made me sick to my stomach. How can a person be so cruel and at the same time have a family? Hunting is no sport. It is legalized murder. As a mother of a six month old baby it breaks my heart and brings tears to my eyes to think of what will happen those poor cubs. I just don’t understand how a father would be so cruel. Aparantly he is father to two kids. I just can’t comprehend that.

  31. Martin
    July 28, 2015, 9:53 am

    Celcil’s killer, a wealthy dentist and “renowned” big game hunter from Bloomington, Minnesota in the USA, should be charged with murder and the crime prosecuted as a capital offence.

  32. Mike Cox
    July 28, 2015, 8:12 am

    The killer is named on as Walter Palmer, a dentist from Minnesota. This was no accident, he knew what he was doing. I hope he gets made to see the error of his ways on social media and boycotted by customers. I wouldn’t trust him with my teeth. From the photographs he looks a pathetic runt, big man..not!

  33. wes
    July 27, 2015, 8:26 pm

    So Sad, The most majestic of all of the big cats and then left headless. Indeed @Joe, so disgusting, what say we put out a bounty for the person who took Cecil’s life, and just neuter the hunting guides who helped the hunter , and let the guides go back to their wives and say , ” oh , not tonight dear …..”
    Lions, Tigers and even the lowest of species are being exterminated by fools who think they are ‘tuff- stuff’.
    I would gladly reverse time to have Cecil back again and let him face his killers when they were not carrying weapons

  34. E
    July 27, 2015, 8:23 pm

    Hunting is not a sport. Regardless of insane commentary to the contrary.

  35. Vivek
    Albany, NY
    July 27, 2015, 3:27 pm

    It’s a great idea to ABOLISH all types of hunting of Lions period. Let’s not make these great cats go extinct.

  36. Sandra BL
    July 27, 2015, 5:47 am

    Hunting is NOT a sport. It should be forbidden. I is just a bunch of cowards hiding behing a weapon…. Shame on you!!!

  37. Craig
    July 27, 2015, 4:23 am

    What is to be expected when the president of the country has a lion killed — to demonstrate his almighty power over “the king of the jungle” — to feed guests at his birthday party?

  38. Tom
    July 26, 2015, 7:27 am


  39. Paul Tully
    July 26, 2015, 6:09 am

    Good solid article from Adam.

    What surprises me and others is that the hunters’ “assurance” and “convincing argument” to governments etc, that to conserve, you must kill .. isn’t met with such ripostes as this article. Governments, park authorities, reserves and conservancies alike, must start to think ethically and what they can do to better protect wildlife.

    The future of conservation is eco photographic tourism, which coincidently is already a far great income generator than the hunting industry. People just need to realise that.

    Emotions must also be a factor, we’re human, and with this hunter-esque mentality that emotions shouldn’t play a role, is absurd. Emotion and ethics is fundamental to conserving wildlife appropriately .. without the need to murder for sport.

    Hunters are not about conservation, they’re about the sport .. an age-old past-time of years gone by – it is not the future, it’s an outdated unnatural human mentality that benefits only one person – the hunter.

  40. Randy
    July 25, 2015, 10:30 pm

    THE scumbag who shot this great animal really is a true corrupt old millionaire scumbag of the highest order.. ! Ti was the Ex Spanish King Juan Carlos..! That is the rumor anyway. He is notorious for his expensive Big Game Hunts, Loves to Kill Elephants most… but he is able to shoot anything because of his payments to the officials. He can kill people and get away with it that’s how much of a waste of life this jerk is..! God I really want to get this guy… I I wish I lived in Spain. ! I swear Cecil’s killing is infuriating to me.

  41. Luciana
    July 25, 2015, 7:49 pm

    Please, lets start a campaign NOW!! #IAMCECIL #STOPSPORTHUNTING

  42. Cheles
    MADRID Spain
    July 25, 2015, 2:16 pm

    Like an spaniard I feel a huge shame
    Only want to know the name of the hunter
    Because many people in my country want to know who kind of people can do this terrible thing to a beautiful and marvelous CECIL

  43. Tasio
    July 25, 2015, 1:16 pm

    I am really sorry for Cecil, but nobody talks about the assassin Mugabe!!!!

  44. Franz Tassi
    July 25, 2015, 11:52 am

    Do you really want to hunt a lion? Ok here is your knife, good luck.

  45. Randy
    July 25, 2015, 5:16 am

    Here’s the jerks who run this horrible guide service. these jerks have KILLED every Lion in 50 miles except for the ones in the nearby park. Cecil’s park… So when the guy running this freak show gets a call from one of his wealthy clients who likes to come hunt but is just a fat, white, poorly sighted, city slicker from Spain who wants to kill something. This guy decides he has to jump on this money and so he takes the contract and he baits as near the park as can get away with with a carcass. He did not try and get Cecil but all the biggest healthiest cats are there so he sets this guy up with his big new slick double arrow crossbow 175lbs tension and when Cecil comes walking in so used to humans he was not scared at all this idiot must have jumped up he was so excited…and we are talking about a guy who can’t get his owns dick to fire straight and an arrow goes into Cecil’s belly and he walks around with it and suffers until this guy from Spain finally kills it with a gun this time. He then acts outraged that he was given a Lion that had a radio collar… ! Yep Cecil was tagged.. but his outrage is only because he got caught, he is as sleazy as this guy running the guide company… and they tried to bury the collar nearby what little was left of Cecil’s giant old body. I hope Cecil’s story and the thousands of magnificent photographs will help keep his story alive and his killing can change the laws that need to be changed so desperately. Cecil will live his tale and our collective memories for years and years. Far longer than anyone will remember or care who those jerks were when they go. Cecil will get the last laugh. But for taking his dignity and the crimes these men have committed by killing so many great animals regardless of the legal rules… I would like very much to see them hunted and shot. They did not deserve to take that cats life. He was more of a king than any man I have ever known or heard of.

  46. Shanaz
    July 24, 2015, 1:56 pm

    The least the so called hunter could do is return Cecil’s remains ESPECIALLY his head and Skin to National Parks for burial and hopefully National Parks would erect an epitaph in Cecil’s memory.

  47. Shanaz
    July 24, 2015, 1:51 pm

    At least the “hunter” should have the decency to return Cecil’s head, skin and the rest of his remains to National Parks Authorities so that it can be buried and an epitaph erected in Cecil’s memory.

  48. Paule
    United States
    July 24, 2015, 11:02 am

    Sports hunting should be illegal.
    Would love to behead those.

  49. Amanda Ezell-Mapp
    United States
    July 24, 2015, 6:13 am

    Mother Nature is hard on her children. Anytime an animal survives several years and grows to be very strong and virile, not only is it beloved by The Creator, but it should be revered and respected by humans! Harming any animal is wrong and is evidence of a weak character and lack of morals, but these men should be punished as murderers! Not just for the heinous crime of killing Cecil but for the terrible upset and imbalance this will cause among the other lions. Which will lead to more lions dying! They have done a terrible,terrible evil with many vile repercussions to come.

  50. Cross
    United States
    July 24, 2015, 12:11 am

    How could a hunter using a bow and arrow NOT see a GPS collar. After tracking and finding Cecil the hunter must have realized that he was a tagged lion. Why didn’t they try to rescue him instead of “finishing” him off with a rifle…the man who did this is not a true hunter who values nature and the sport but an egotistical person.

  51. Cross
    United States
    July 24, 2015, 12:07 am

    This is disturbing. The person who considered himself a “hunter” should have seen Cecil’s GPS collar due to the proximity that he would have been in to use a bow and arrow. Even if he made a mistake, after tracking and finding Cecil he would have then been able to see the collar. If he was a TRUE sportsman, he would not have been appalled and not “finished” off and taken the life of an animal that wasn’t truly wild. He would have tried to save Cecil. This “man” isn’t a true hunter…true hunters have a sense of admiration for nature and exhibit true sportsmanship.

  52. Shawn Crowley
    Seattle WA
    July 23, 2015, 11:42 pm

    Want to bet the hunters were tracking Cecil via his collar to know exactly when he was outside the park boundary? It’s happened with radio collared wolves. Biologists need to re-think the use of tracking devices with endangered animals.

  53. Lindsey
    July 23, 2015, 10:53 pm

    What a beautiful cat. I’m so sorry his life was taken by someone wanting to put his head on a wall. Crazy. And how unfair to others that have been deprived of seeing his magnificence.

  54. william huard
    July 23, 2015, 9:36 pm

    An update on the killing of Cecil, the famed Hwange lion.

    The PH, Theo Bronkhurst, and the concession “owner”, one Honest Mpofu, were arrested and appeared in Hwange Magistrate court on the charge of illegally killing a lion. According to sources, there was no permit for lion on their hunt, and the concession area (Antionette) does not have any lion on quota. They have been remanded out of custody until August 6th. so Parks can continue their investigations.
    Cecil was shot at night, no doubt after being blinded with a spotlight, undoubtedly over a bait which would have been dragged along the Parks boundary (supposedly for a leopard!) – indicative of the poor ethics and the poor quality hunter that we see too often these days. Undoubtedly, the PH intended to do a “quota transfer” where Cecil would have been recorded as shot in another area which had a quota and permit – the satellite collar blew the plan ( although Bronkhurst apparently tried to destroy the collar and all evidence of the dead Cecil). Had this lion not been collared, Bronkhurst probably would have got away with this crime, and I very much doubt this is the first dodgy episode in his hunting career.
    Lets hope that corruption does not prevail and the full force of the law falls on both these characters – we do not need these types operating in Zimbabwe.
    I will keep posts up when the trial commences in Hwange Magistrates court. This update from the Bhejane trust Zimbabwe. Bushman Safaris would have escaped the crime if not for Cecil’s collar. Trophy hunters hate it when we give animals like Cecil names. He was a massive revenue generator and he was clearly worth way more alive than dead. Hunters hate that!

  55. Deborah Crocker
    Cordova, TN
    July 23, 2015, 8:52 pm

    why can’t the government of Africa understand these beautiful creatures are what bring tourist to their country. Rest in peace

  56. Susan
    Ottawa canada
    July 23, 2015, 8:09 pm

    The hunting of wild animals MUST BE STOPPED NOW OR WE WON’T HAVE ANY LEFT!!!! How would they like to be hunted down for thier male gentiails????!

  57. Teresa Walsh
    Chico, CA
    July 23, 2015, 6:53 pm

    The murder of Cecil is as tragic as any human murder. His loss will easily impact his pride and the overall area more than the loss any one of most of us humans. For Zimbabwe to continue to allow lions to be hunted is despicable, irresponsible and indefensible. That any one would want to kill a lion shows they are disgusting and weak. I’m heartbroken for the other lions in that pride, the people in the area who will likely be harmed from the lions anticipated increased wandering, for the people who need the tourism dollars that will be lost due to Cecil’s absence and for the cubs who may lose their lives due to predictable infanticide that is entirely the fault of that heartless hunter.

  58. Lady A
    southern California
    July 23, 2015, 5:53 pm

    What will they start hunting when all the animals are gone? Anyone who has killed one of these magnificent animals should be available as prey when there are none left.

  59. Derek Branum
    Pasadena, Ca. USA
    July 23, 2015, 5:47 pm

    I am so glad that I read this tragic article . It’s a great rebuttal to sports hunters that always use the justification for killing these animals as an economic windfall to the region. The article quoted that hunters paid a one time fee of $45,000 to kill a lion whereas had the lion been allowed to live a continued windfall of $9,000/day could have been realized. And let”s not forget about the ensuing havoc on the pride inflicted by roaming males eager to claim new territory. The loss of one dominant lion goes way way beyond what the hunters narrow mindedness can calculate. Will this madness ever cease ?

  60. Pam
    Werribee Victoria
    July 23, 2015, 5:07 pm

    This is disgraceful and disgusting sport hunting should be banned everywhere in the world I am to angered and sickened by the thought that these hunters are allowed to lure the lions off the protected reserve so they shoot them just to have trophy on their wall.

  61. Kathy Gasper
    Carnegie, Pennsylvania
    July 23, 2015, 4:57 pm

    This has to be stopped! These people have not feelings. How would they like to be hunted for sport and end up on someone’s wall?

  62. Dina
    July 23, 2015, 4:56 pm

    Shame. Shame. Shame.

    We should hunt these criminals. That would be the only hand I would like to participate in. Of course, I would keep the trophy in my living room!!

  63. Chris
    July 23, 2015, 4:50 pm

    I hold a PhD and am a university lecturer. Yet I have ne thought that can be voiced publicly (the others are far worse): I hope the low-life who cruelly killed Cecil for pleasure suffers the same fate one day. Justice to this scum of the earth.

  64. Tim
    July 23, 2015, 4:48 pm

    It disgusts me to even call it sport hunting. Hunting with rifles is merely murder. Try attacking a lion with a knife and maybe we will call it hunting. You sick killers; I hope karma will come down on you like a thunderstruck.

  65. Stephen Mckeehan
    July 23, 2015, 4:48 pm

    Terrible. Soon there isn’t going to be any animals left.

  66. Jenn
    July 23, 2015, 4:12 pm

    Big game and sport hunting of any animal is uncalled for and should no be permitted no matter how much money you have or who you are! These animals are losing enough habitat and food for themselves as it is. The only need for hunting is overpopulation of a species and for absolute survival. There is no other reason or need for this stupidity! These people make me sick and should be hunted themselves, see how they like it! Our planet and it’s creatures are suffering enough at our hands, there is no need to hunt them as well.

  67. Craig Riley
    Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
    July 23, 2015, 7:34 am

    Hi Everyone.

    Such a disaster about Cecil. I have been following the story and here is some useful information


  68. desree turnbull
    July 22, 2015, 10:53 am

    Sickening and heart breaking. Hope this idiot suffers a long and painful death. What a magnificent creature. Am devastated by his horrific death.

  69. Julie
    July 22, 2015, 8:35 am

    Any hunting of wild animals is a disgrace. This beautiful lion killed. It is heartbreaking. These iconic animals must be protected by law and very severe punishment given to those who kill our wildlife for their own greed, and selfish behaviour. They are destroying our planet’s magnificant wildlife. What sort of people do this and allow it. A disgrace.

  70. Elizabeth
    July 21, 2015, 9:12 pm

    This should ignite outrage-not debate.

    How can we stop this from happening again???

  71. Joe
    July 21, 2015, 3:53 pm

    You are nothing but cowards!! Disgusting cowards who should be shot for allowing this to happen. I’m sick to my stomach thinking that I am in the same species as you who let this happen to such amazing majestic animals who are rapidly disappearing.