Cecil the Lion was the most famous lion in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park – but now he’s dead, and his killer may not even face any jail time.
Reporters are working to confirm the horrifying details of Cecil’s death. Here’s what sources are saying: this month an American dentist named Walter James Palmer used bait to lure Cecil out of the park, then shot him with a bow and arrow. Cecil spent hours alive and wounded before the hunters found him, killed him and beheaded him.
Wildlife researcher Dr. Andrew Loveridge says that Cecil and another male lion named Jericho led two prides with a dozen young cubs – and now that Cecil is gone, Jericho won’t be able to protect them all and the cubs will likely die.
The authorities are investigating the case, but even though Palmer admits he killed Cecil, he might not be punished for this awful murder because he paid the government $55,000 for a hunting permit.
Lion populations have dwindled by 92% in the last 30 years, in large part due to poaching and hunting. It’s outrageous that the government of Zimbabwe is still encouraging people to purchase permits to hunt lions for sport.
We have a chance to help if we speak out right now: Cecil’s death and the outrage it has sparked is going viral. His death is being covered by BBC, CNN, The Guardian, CBC News, and hundreds of other outlets. Some outlets are already covering Ruth’s petition.
This exact moment is our best chance to get justice for Cecil, but also to call for the protection of other lions – like his young cubs – by asking Zimbabwe to stop issuing permits for lion killing.
Ruth started a petition demanding justice for Cecil’s death – click here to add your name. Together, we can mourn Cecil’s death, demand justice, and prevent more innocent lions from a cruel death.
Thank you for speaking out for the animals,
The Care2 Petitions Team