The brutal slaying of Cecil the Lion by a Minnesota dentist has allowed many public figures to come out and speak on the effects of illegal big game hunting, one of them being television personality Jimmy Kimmel.
Kimmel took a chunk of time out of his show’s monologue Tuesday to discuss his feelings about the beloved lion and the man who was named to have killed him, Walter Palmer.
Palmer, an American dentist, was named by The Telegraph Tuesday as the man who allegedly paid $50,000 to hunt and kill Cecil earlier this month. He is said to have lured the lion out of the Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe with bait before shooting him with a bow and arrow.
After the lion did not die, the man and two local guides tracked, skinned and decapitated him.
“The big question is, why are you shooting a lion in the first place?” Kimmel asked. “I mean, I am honestly curious to know why a human being would be compelled to do that — how is that fun?”
Kimmel ended the segment by asking viewers to donate to the Wildlife Research Conservation Unit at Oxford University, an organization that specializes in the study of African lions in the wild and the same one that was monitoring Cecil up until his death.
Palmer has maintained that he did not know the lion’s fame when he shot him and has gone into hiding since his name was revealed to the public.
“I had no idea that the lion I took was a known, local favorite, was collared and part of a study until the end of the hunt,” Palmer said in a written statement. “I relied on the expertise of my local professional guides to ensure a legal hunt.”
His place of employment, River Bluff Dental, has been locked down, their Facebook page has been removed and many negative comments have been left on their Yelp page.
Professional hunter Theo Bronkhorst and farm owner Honest Ndlovu have been arrested and charged with poaching offences for not having a required hunting permit in Cecil’s killing.
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