Cecil The Lion, Jane Goodall

YouTube; Nicholas Hunt / PatrickMcMullan.com

One of the most famous animal lovers of all time is speaking out about the tragic killing of Cecil the Lion.

Jane Goodall, renowned ethologist and the world's foremost expert on chimpanzees, has posted a response to the senseless murder of a protected, beloved lion by Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer in Zimbabwe. Cecil was reportedly lured outside the park where it would be illegal to hunt him and was shot in the most cowardly fashion by Palmer, who is a known trophy hunter. Now, the 81-year-old UN Messenger of Peace released a statement on her website, urging people to mourn the death of Cecil but to also remember that there is one thing good thing that can come out of his terrible situation.

And that one thing is the fact that the world got a rude awakening and is now more aware of the dangers that threatens our wildlife.

Her full statement reads as follows:

"I was shocked and outraged to hear the story of Cecil, Zimbabwe's much loved lion. Not only is it incomprehensible to me that anyone would want to kill an endangered animal (fewer than 20,000 wild lions in Africa today) but to lure Cecil from the safety of a national park and then to shoot him with a crossbow...? I have no words to express my repugnance. He was not even killed outright, but suffered for hours before finally being shot with a bullet. And his magnificent head severed from his wounded body. And this behaviour is described as a "sport." Only one good thing comes out of this – thousands of people have read the story and have also been shocked. Their eyes opened to the dark side of human nature. Surely they will now be more prepared to fight for the protection of wild animals and the wild places where they live. Therein lies the hope."

The Internet has banded together to go after Palmer, so much so that his dental practice is temporarily shut down and he's basically in hiding, but for those who feel like they want to do more, just look to Goodall's words. Now more people than ever have the desire to fight for these creatures, and there are so many ways you can do so. Besides signing the petitions to make sure Palmer and the poachers who helped him get proper punishment, you can also donate to organizations that protect our endangered species or to foundations that are devoted to conserving our wildlife.

Groups like IUCNWildAid and IFAW are good places to start, as is the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, but you can always learn more about conservation efforts at IUCN's website.

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