Welcome to Cecil the Lion's Rainbow Bridge Memorial Residency
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Memories of Cecil the Lion
We failed you Cecil. We are so sorry. Man and his greed are cruel. Rest in Peace.

Cecil was a male African lion who primarily lived in the Hwange National Park in Matabeleland North, Zimbabwe. He was a major attraction at the park and was being studied and tracked by Oxford University as part of a larger study. Cecil and a lion believed to be his brother were noticed in Hwange National Park in 2008 .

Cecil became famous in Zimbabwe and was identifiable by his black-fringed mane and a GPS tracking collar.The lions in the park, including Cecil, have been studied by scientists from the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit at Oxford University as part of a scientific project that has run since and his movements had been followed since 2008.

In July 2015, Walter Palmer, an American dentist and recreational game hunter from Minnesota paid US $50,000 to a professional hunter,Theo Bronkhorst, to enable him to kill a lion.

Cecil was allegedly lured out of the sanctuary where he was shot and wounded with an arrow He was tracked and approximately 40 hours later, he was killed with a rifle. He was then skinned and his head was removed. When his body was found by park investigators, his tracking collar was missing.

He was named after the British businessman Cecil Rhodes (as was Zimbabwe itself, when it was known as Rhodesia).

In 2009, Cecil and his brother encountered an established pride, which resulted in a fight in which Cecil's brother was killed and both Cecil and the leader of the pride were seriously wounded. Cecil retreated to another part of the park where he eventually established his own pride which had up to 22 members.

Zimbabwe National Parks have stated that neither Bronkhorst nor the landowner, Honest Ndlovu, on whose property Cecil was believed to have been shot had the appropriate permit for a lion.

When one or more new male lions oust or replace a previous male(s) associated with a pride, they often kill any existing young cubs, a form of infanticide.

Both the Oxford University study and Johnny Rodrigues, head of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, have indicated that that they believe Cecil's six cubs will be killed by the new dominant male in the pride.

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