Mad About The Death Of Cecil The Lion? Here's What You Can Do

Take pride in saving wildlife.

You're outraged over the shooting death of Cecil the lion. So is Jimmy Kimmel, who fought back tears during a segment on his show Tuesday night. For that matter, so is most of the Internet.

(If you're unfamiliar with the story, here's a brief explainer: The hunter, identified as an American dentist, paid around $55,000 to possibly illegally shoot a Zimbabwe lion, which allegedly was lured out of a national park that bans hunting. Having failed to kill the famous animal with his first shot from a crossbow, the hunter tracked Cecil for 40 more hours, at which point the lion was killed with a rifle. His head was cut off, his pelt was skinned, and the GPS collar he wore for ongoing research was removed.)

You can stew in anger over this, or you can put your rage to work by helping to fund efforts to protect African wildlife. Because the problem is a lot bigger than Cecil's tragic death.

One option is making a donation to the African Wildlife Foundation here, via Crowdrise.

The foundation engages in a wide range of conservation efforts for numerous species, including lions. In addition to its campaigns against illegal wildlife trafficking, the group promotes other programs needed to effectively aid conservation, including land and habitat protection, community empowerment, and economic development.

"African lions are iconic and play an important role in the functioning of the ecosystem," Kathleen Garrigan, an African Wildlife Foundation spokeswoman, told HuffPost. "Their numbers, however, are declining rapidly across their range as a result of habitat loss, human-lion conflict, disease, unsustainable hunting and a decline in their prey base."

She said, "AWF’s goal is to conserve viable and ecologically functional populations of lions in their natural environments. This is done by working with wildlife authorities to strengthen protection and management of parks and reserves where lions live, and also by working with local communities beyond park boundaries to create safe wildlife corridors and dispersal areas for lions and other species."

Perhaps, in the words of Jimmy Kimmel, we can reach out and "show the world that not all Americans are like this jackhole."

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