Statue planned for Cecil the lion

LONDON — Cecil the lion, whose death at the hands of hunters in Zimbabwe prompted worldwide outrage, may be commemorated by a bronze statue at the entrance to the park where he lived.

A conservation group has announced it wants to erect a life-sized statue of Cecil at Hwange National Park.

Cecil was shot in July by United States dentist Walter Palmer. Zimbabwe is seeking his extradition.

The death made headlines around the world and sent Palmer into hiding.

Cheryl Rodrigues of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force said the statue had been commissioned and people had offered donations already.

She said: “Cecil was such an icon and it’s created such a fuss everywhere we thought it would be nice to do it.”

The group has commissioned John Binder of Birds for Africa to make the statue and said it would be an “excellent reminder to all who visit the park”.

Rodrigues said the artist would use photographs of the lion which have been sent in since his death was made public.

She said it was not clear whether a permit would be needed from the park.

It is not the only legacy project afoot for the 13-year-old animal renowned for being friendly towards visitors.

Earlier this week the conservation group’s chairman Johnny Rodrigues suggested Cecil’s head be mounted in a glass case. — online

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