The Price of a Trophy

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Simba, Aslan, and the Cowardly Lion may have made it to the big screen, but this real-life lion captured the world — in both life and death.

In 2015, the killing of a lion named Cecil became one of the most viral incidents in recent wildlife conservation history.

At the time, Cecil was a 12-year-old male, whose pride roamed Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park. He was one of the park’s main attractions and became habituated to vehicles and unafraid of humans. Cecil was beloved by tourists enough to be given a name; something unusual for lions. As the dominant male of his pride, Cecil embodied all the qualities so revered in lions — power, strength, majesty.

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