Why Cecil the Lion Was So Popular With People
"Large, powerful, but regal," Cecil was known for being comfortable around humans—and simply for having a name, say those that knew him.
For more than a decade, visitors to Zimbabwe's Hwange National Park would notice that one lion stood out from the rest—an enormous male with a long, shaggy black mane. The lion so endeared himself to tourists that he was given a name: Cecil.
These days, following the international uproar over his killing death, you'd be hard-pressed to find someone who hasn't heard of Cecil.
But lions have been killed by trophy hunters before and surely will be again. So what was it about Cecil that struck a chord with the international community?
"Cecil was the ultimate lion," says Brent Stapelkamp, a field researcher with Oxford University's Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU), who knew Cecil perhaps better than anyone else."He