On July 4th , Cecil the lion’s wireless tracking collar went silent. Oxford University’s WildCRU (wildlife Conservation and Research Unit) had been following Cecil’s every move for eight years, as a study on his pride. When rumours that a male lion had been killed near Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park, WildCRU founder David MacDonald feared their study’s patriarch had been killed.
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They were right, as it turns out. American-born dentist Walter Palmer, with the help of hunting guides had hunted and killed Cecil, spurring international outrage.
Cecil The lion’s death went viral, and created a call for more support for wildlife and especially lion conservation.
As October of 2015 came to a close, WildCRU had received over $1 million in donations, thanks to the outrage and even a plea on national television from talk show host Jimmy Kimmel.
Ions spoke with David MacDonald in 2015 about he impact of Cecil’s death on WildCRU’s work. You can read that interview in its entirety here:
There’s 99 more stories from 2015. Check out the Best of 2015 series here