Remembering Cecil the Lion

For the last decade, Brent Stapelkamp has been studying and photographing lions with Oxford University's Hwange Lion Research Project. The Zimbabwe group's work gained international attention after Cecil, a 13-year-old local favorite, was shot and killed by a Minnesota dentist last year. “Thousands of hours in the company of lions meant I got a unique perspective of their lives and the threats that they face,” Stapelkamp said. His images, which are currently on display at the Anastasia Gallery, are perhaps the best way to understand the world that Cecil inhabited. Within the 5,657-square-mile national park, the lions in Cecil’s pride can be found hunting, playing, and resting within close proximity to human visitors. It was this exposure to tourists, Stapelkamp said, that made Cecil vulnerable to the hunters who were waiting just beyond the railroad that serves as a border to the park. “He was the biggest on the block,” Stapelkamp said, “that gave him a real confidence that people found mesmerizing.” The final photo in this series was taken the last time Stapelkamp saw him, a little more than a month before Cecil was killed.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Bettmann / Getty

    Weird, Wonderful Photos From Another Era

    A grab bag of interesting, seldom-seen historic images depicting myriad people, places, and things—from epic achievements to small moments.

  • Steffen Olsen / Danish Meteorological Institute via Reuters

    Photos of the Week: Kangaroo Boxing, Royal Ascot, Moon Pool

    A hungry polar bear in Russia, Women's World Cup action in France, exuberant Raptors fans in Toronto, a “Protest Against Divisiveness” in New York, aquabike racing in Hungary, and much more.

  • USGS

    Apollo Training: When Arizona Stood In for the Moon

    Arizona’s existing geology, coupled with man-made crater fields, hosted numerous moonlike sites for Apollo astronauts to train.

  • Chan Srithaweeporn / Getty

    Photos: The Moods of Monument Valley

    A collection of images of some of the many moods of this iconic valley, from wild storms to dusky evenings to bright, sunlit panoramas