If you are wondering what can make a grown man cry, for late night host and comedian Jimmy Kimmel, it’s talking about the tragic ending to the life of Cecil the lion during his late night show last July 28.
In his show “Jimmy Kimmel,” the host showed his audience past videos of the late lion, explaining how the lion’s movements has been regularly tracked via a GPS collar as Cecil is part of an Oxford University research project. And as Kimmel explained, “During that time, Cecil became like a local favorite amongst the tourists and the guides who’s always around. People love to see him on safaris until early this month when a tourist on a hunting trip shot him for sport.”
He also said that he was a bit relieved to initially learn that it was supposed to be a Spaniard behind the shooting of the much beloved lion, but then he soon learned it was actually an American behind the cold killing of Cecil. Facing his audience, Kimmel said, “It was one of us. It was a dentist from Minnesota who paid $50,000 to shoot the lion.” CNN reported that the said dentist was Walter Palmer.
According to Kimmel, the hunting group lured the lion to a spot where they could kill him, using the carcass of another animal. Initially, Palmer shot Cecil with a bow and arrow but when the lion did not die, they shot him some forty hours later. And they had said that it was too late by the time they had realized they killed a lion that was wearing a GPS tracker.
Kimmel also said the Palmer is currently in hiding. He also delivered the dentist’s statement to his audience, where Palmer is claiming that to the best of his knowledge, his hunt was legal. To this, Kimmel remarked, “The big question is, why are you shooting a lion in the first place? I’m honestly curious to know why a human being would feel compelled to do that. How is that fun?”
Moreover, the comedian spared no punches when he added, “Is it that difficult for you to get an erection that you need to kill things that are stronger than you? If that’s case, they have a pill for that. It works great. Just stay home and swallow it and you save yourself a lifetime of being the most hated man in America who never advertised Jell-O pudding on television.”
Meanwhile, the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU) is determined not to let Cecil die in vain. The organization said, “Despite our sadness, as scientists, we seek to learn from this event, and to find some benefit from it.” Moreover, they added, “We are working hard to study the consequences of Cecil’s death on his pride and their neighbours, so that we learn as much as possible. This requires hard work, manpower and expensive equipment, as does our wider work on lion conservation in Zimbabwe and elsewhere in Africa.”
The WildCRU believes that Cecil’s death can spur what is known as a perturbation effect or ” the cascading effects on the surviving lions of the death of one of them – in brief, we have found that when a male lion is killed, because of the way their society works, a likely consequence is the overthrow and death of other adult male members of his weakened coalition (normally of brothers), and the subsequent infanticide of his cubs by the incoming new coalition of males.”
WildCRU’s Director David Macdonald is also grateful to Kimmel for taking time to talk about Cecil on his show. He said, “Jimmy Kimmel implored his millions of listeners in the USA to make donations to support our work on lions, and conservation more widely. We are so grateful for this and for the up-welling of support for our work worldwide.”