I've been super depressed about Cecil's death all week. During my obsessive Googling, here's what I've learned about Cecil-the-Lion... 💔
  1. Cecil was 13 years old and was recognizable because of his black-fringe mane.
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  2. Lions are the only social member of the cat family, living in prides that consist of about 15 lions. Cecil lived in a pride with his male friend/brother, Jericho.
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  3. Dr. Palmer (or probably more accurately his guides) cut off Cecil's head and skin as trophies after gunning him down. They left his carcass to the hyenas and vultures who picked at it for about a week before he was found.
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    Cecil lived for an estimated 40 hours after he was initally wounded. His death was protracted and most likely painful.
  4. The guide and the landowner are being prosecuted for their roles in Cecil's illegal death. Zimbabwe has requested that Dr. Palmer be extradited to face charges. Meanwhile, at his dental practice in MN...
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  5. Cecil was the 12th lion killed illegally near Hwange National park in recent years. Zimbabwe is investigating another illegal lion killing from April 2015.
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  6. The lion population is approx. 25-30,000 today, down from 200,000 a century ago, according to the New York Times. The main reason for the decline is loss of habitat and not sadistic dentists.
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    I still hate Dr. Palmer.
  7. Cecil was part of a lion study conducted by Oxford University in the Hwange National Park which began in 1999. Of the 62 lions tagged at the start of the study, 34 have died.
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  8. The approximately 10 lion cubs that are associated with Cecil's pride could be killed by his predecessor. This is a standard part of the lion social structure. The hope is that Jericho will maintain the pride and protect them.
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  9. News outlets reported that Jericho was also killed last week. He is reportedly not dead after all and was last seen devouring a giraffe carcass with a lady friend on Saturday, August 1 according to The Guardian.
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  10. WildCRU, a conservation unit within Oxford University's School of Zoology had received £300,000 in donations following Cecil's death which will be used to study the ramifications his death has on his pride.
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