Cecil the Lion


Cecil the Lion Famous memorial

Death 1 Jul 2015 (aged 12–13)
Matabeleland North, Zimbabwe
Burial Animal/Pet, Specifically: Buried at an undisclosed location in Zimbabwe's Hwange National Park
Memorial ID 149902136 View Source

Celebrated African Lion. 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. He was described by The Guardian as "one of Africa’s most famous lions". On July 1, 2015, he was shot to death by an American big-game hunter. Cecil and a lion believed to be his brother were noticed in Hwange National Park in 2008. 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. 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 1999 and his movements had been followed since 2008. Cecil was one of fewer than 20,000 lions in Africa. Zimbabwe in 2013 exported 49 lion "trophies" (killed hunted lions). In July 2015, the American game hunter reportedly paid $50,000 to a professional hunter 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 carcass was found by park investigators, his tracking collar was missing. The Daily Telegraph reported on July 28, 2015 that its journalists had "seen a copy of the relevant hunting permit". According to the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, a local charity, the hunt was illegal. Neither Bronkhorst nor the landowner, Honest Ndlovu, on whose property Cecil was believed to have been shot had the appropriate permit for a lion. The two Zimbabweans were arrested by Zimbabwe police and accused of assisting the American in the killing. The two appeared in court at Victoria Falls and were charged with poaching offences for not having the required hunting permit. Both men were granted bail at $1,000 each and have been ordered to appear back in court on 5 August. The American hunter returned to the United States, then issued a statement that he "relied on the expertise of my local professional guides to ensure a legal hunt" and "deeply regret that my pursuit of an activity I love and practice responsibly and legally resulted in the taking of this 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, i.e., infanticide. Johnny Rodrigues, the head of Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force believes that Cecil's six cubs will be killed by the new dominant male in the pride. Cecil's death created an outrage among animal conservationists, prompted responses from politicians and many other people. The death of Cecil sparked a discussion among conservation organizations about a proposal for bills banning imports of lion trophies to the US and European Union as well as discussions about ethics and the business of big-game hunting, including calling African countries to ban bow hunting, lion baiting, and hunting from the hunting blinds.

Bio courtesy of: Wikipedia

Family Members



In their memory
Plant Memorial Trees


See more Lion memorials in:


How famous was Cecil the Lion?

Current rating:

209 votes

to cast your vote.

  • Maintained by: Find a Grave
  • Originally Created by: Kimberly
  • Added: 28 Jul 2015
  • Find a Grave Memorial 149902136
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Cecil the Lion (2002–1 Jul 2015), Find a Grave Memorial ID 149902136, ; Maintained by Find a Grave Animal/Pet, who reports a Buried at an undisclosed location in Zimbabwe's Hwange National Park.