A protected lion named Cecil was illegally hunted by an American dentist and everyone lost their sh*t.
While vigilante Internet justice can be very satisfying, it's also a dark cesspool. You can stir it, but there's a chance you might get sucked deep down into the depths. This week many people have thrown themselves into the muck for what they consider a good cause: destroying the life of Walter Palmer, dentist and endangered wildlife hunter.
After Palmer was exposed as the murderer of beloved Zimbabwean lion Cecil, the hordes set their comments to kill, not stun. His Facebook page is down, his Twitter is down, his website is sunk and his Yelp review page is completely nuts. In the clip above, Jimmy Kimmel doesn't hesitate to advertise his identity further and also takes some very well deserved shots at the creep, like, "Is it that difficult for you to get an erection?"
But he also reminds us that we can take a second to do something good in all this and put our money where our mouths are. After running Walter Palmer off the face of the earth, maybe the Internet could try doing something positive for once, and donate a few bucks to the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, the organization who had tagged Cecil with a GPS device that allowed his body to be found. Here's what they say about their work, and Cecil's death, on their website:
"...We are studying lions in various parts of Africa to uncover the science that will inform and underpin their conservation. This is urgent, because lion numbers are precariously low, estimated at fewer than 30,000 across the continent and we have evidence that there are actually fewer... Cecil was one of our study lions. We had followed his movements in minute detail since 2008 – these are remarkable data. Of course, as people devoted to wildlife, and having known Cecil personally, we are deeply saddened by his death, and insofar as this happened illegally we consider it deeply reprehensible (and we are working closely with the National Parks authorities to support their meticulous work in prosecuting this case)."
There you go. If you want to honor Cecil, contribute to the preservation of free lions in Africa. It's what Cecil would have wanted, if he were a person capable of understanding the complexities of environmental devastation.
Hope you're chasing zebras in lion heaven, which is also zebra hell. (via Wild CRU)