Cecil was a 13-year-old male Southwest African lion (Panthera leo bleyenberghi) who primarily lived in the Hwange National Park in Matabeleland North, Zimbabwe. He was a major attraction at the park and was being studied and tracked by the University of Oxford as part of a larger study.
Cecil was wounded with an arrow by Walter Palmer, an American recreational big-game hunter, was then tracked, and on 1 July 2015, approximately 40 hours later, killed with a rifle. The killing drew international media attention and sparked outrage among animal conservationists, politicians and celebrities, as well as a strong negative response against Palmer. Two other men are being prosecuted in relation to the hunt, and the Zimbabwean government has stated it will seek Palmer's extradition.