Hollywood celebrities have taken to social media to denounce the death of Cecil the Lion, who was shot and killed earlier this month by an American hunter.
The Wrap reports Cecil, who was well-known in Zimbabwe, was found skinned and decapitated outside a national park on the outskirts of Hwange after Walter Palmer, a Minnesota dentist, reportedly paid $50,000 to shoot him with a bow and arrow.
A favorite resident at the Hwange National Park, Cecil wasn’t just known for his good looks.
He was also a participant in a study backed by Oxford University that required him to wear a GPS collar.
“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,” said Palmer in a statement released Tuesday. “I relied on the expertise of my local professional guides to ensure a legal hunt.”
CNN reports two Zimbabwean men will appear in court Wednesday over the killing of Cecil, and authorities say they plan to seek an investigation against Palmer.
According to Zimbabwean officials, Cecil was lured out of the park by Palmer, who then shot him with a bow.
Palmer’s arrow was not enough to kill Cecil, who survived another 40 hours before being tracked and shot again by Palmer.
“I deeply regret that my pursuit of an activity I love and practice responsibly and legally resulted in the taking of this lion,” Palmer concluded in his statement, also saying he would assist authorities in Zimbabwe with any inquiries.
Palmer is now being condemned by animal lovers around the world, as well as many of those in Hollywood.
(See tweets below)
ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel also weighed in on the incident during his monologue Tuesday night, eviscerating “jack hole” Palmer’s possible sexual motivation for killing Cecil.
“Is it that difficult for you to get an erection that you need to kill things?” asked Kimmel.
Watch the video below:
#WalterPalmer is Satan. I don't know how anyone could go to this man for dental services after this. He is a killer. Beware!
— Sharon Osbourne (@MrsSOsbourne) July 28, 2015
— Ricky Gervais (@rickygervais) July 28, 2015
Ohh the dentist "had no idea" the lion was famous. Because had he known, he would never have murdered it without asking for a selfie first.
— olivia wilde (@oliviawilde) July 28, 2015
— Mandy Moore (@TheMandyMoore) July 29, 2015
This asshole. Why would anyone want to kill a lion for fun? What is wrong with people?
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) July 28, 2015
— Debra Messing (@DebraMessing) July 28, 2015
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) July 29, 2015
We will never learn of the damage we have done until there is nothing left. #CecilTheLion
— Theo Rossi (@Theorossi) July 29, 2015
Zimbabwe's Most Famous Lion Found Decapitated Outside National Park http://t.co/hcYhdNehWI What a loss… Why would you anyone do this?
— ian somerhalder (@iansomerhalder) July 28, 2015
— Ricky Martin (@ricky_martin) July 28, 2015
— Kevin Negandhi (@KNegandhiESPN) July 29, 2015
I understand hunting over-populated or invasive species. But hunting a threatened animal, that is deplorable. #CecilTheLion
— AshlanGorseCousteau (@ashlancousteau) July 28, 2015
This #WalterPalmer is a poor excuse of a human being!
— Cara Delevingne (@Caradelevingne) July 28, 2015
Hunting is not a sport. In a sport, both sides know they're in the game. #CecilTheLion
— Nicky Rothschild (@NickyHilton) July 29, 2015
— Chad Lowe (@ichadlowe) July 29, 2015
— Sophia Bush (@SophiaBush) July 29, 2015
— Nancy Sinatra (@NancySinatra) July 29, 2015