Thanks to Jimmy Kimmel, some serious good is coming out of Cecil the lion’s tragic death.
After learning about how Dr. Walter Palmer shot and killed the beloved animal on a trip to Zimbabwe, Kimmel dedicated four minutes of his Tuesday show to his outrage over the incident.
At the end of his monologue, the host asked the audience to donate to Oxford University’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, the program that was studying the 13-year-old lion, to help protect other animals like Cecil.
“Support them at the very least and maybe we can show them that not all Americans are like this jack-hole here,” Kimmel said while pictures of Palmer’s other animal kills flashed on the screen.
The host’s call for kindness worked: Oxford’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit has received more than 2,600 donations totaling $150,000 since the segment aired, reports The Hollywood Reporter.
“Cecil was a glorious male lion, with a fascinating family history as he maintained a large pride. Just a few months ago we were thrilled to watch him at close quarters in the field, and so his seemingly illegal death is heartbreaking. However, our goal is to learn from it,” said Professor David Macdonald, the director of Oxford’s wildlife program. “Good can come from this if the world’s attention can lead to support for our work to improve lion conservation – helping us buy satellite collars, maintain our field vehicles and train excellent young Zimbabwean conservationists.”
The funds raised from Kimmel’s plea will go to these efforts and hopefully prevent other protected animals from suffering Cecil’s sad fate.