Internet Enraged; Killer of #CeciltheLion Forced to Close Shop

Cecil the Lion was an iconic and well-loved figure of the Zimbabwean savannah. He walked the grasslands of Hwange’s National Park, was the head of his own pride, and reared cubs to carry on his lineage. Cecil sported an unusual black mane, and visitors would always keep a charismatic eye out for him.

Until most recently, it was believed that a hunter paid a local man $55,000 to lure Cecil out of the protection of the grounds so he could be hunted “legally” on a local resident’s land. The lion was injured by a crossbow shot, tracked for 40 hours, and was later decapitated and skinned. It was also said that the hunter had failed to remove and hide Cecil’s tracking collar.

After thorough investigation, the Zimbabwe Tourism authority have named Cecil’s killer to be a certain Walter Palmer, a big game hunter who also holds a dental practice in Minnesota.

The findings drew the ire of the Internet. Ricky Gervais and a host of other celebrities expressed their disgust of the whole affair on Twitter.

There’s been so much backlash on social media against Walter Palmer, that it seems he’s elected to close up shop for the day. Or infinitely. No one one’s for sure, but it does seem no one’s home at all.

Local people have turned up, leaving animal plushies and flowers to remember Cecil.

Other Twitter users also decried the practice of big game hunting and mourned the majestic lion. #CecilTheLion became one of the most volatile hashtags this week on Twitter.

Cecil has left behind 24 of his own cubs, which may likely be killed by rival prides with the absence of their Alpha.

At present, an online petition has been set up as a call for President Mugabe to finally ban big game hunting and to cease issuing hunting permits.

UPDATE: Jimmy Kimmel reveals that Cecil was part of a 13-year-long Oxford University research program. Watch him break down into tears over Cecil below:


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