Cecil the Lion was the Zimbabwean cat who gained international attention after being tragically poached by an American dentist. Walter Palmer from Minnesota paid $50,000 to local hunter Theo Bronkhorst to murder the animal in a bid to increase his pitiful trophy collection.
Andrew Loveridge, an Oxford University biologist who had been studying the animal alongside a team researchers for 10 years, admits that Cecil had experienced an extremely cruel death that persisted for 12 hours.
Loveridge notes how Palmer and Bronkhorst used the scent an elephant’s carcass in order to lure the animal out Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe. Palmer was hidden in a nearby tree, and was armed with “lethally sharp arrows,” initially striking Cecil with the first arrow between 9 and 11 p.m.
By 7 a.m. the next morning, Palmer and his hunting party watched as the lion wandered around lifelessly for 174 yards. Palmer was then instructed to finish Cecil f with the second arrow around 9 that morning, only having moved about 380 yards from the place he was initially struck (according to information obtained from his GPS collar.)
Loveridge admits that “he most definitely did not die instantly and almost certainly suffered considerably.” He also ponders that Palmer used his weapon strategically in order to be entered into the shameful trophy hunting history books, noting how “if this was the case, Cecil the lion died slowly and painfully to allow a hunter the ultimate vanity claiming he had killed a huge lion with a bow and arrow.”