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

  • Siphiwe Sibeko / Reuters

    Photos of the Week: Grenadier Guards, Floating Island, Wrapped Arch

    Flooding in southern France, cliff diving in Ireland, civilian astronauts’ launch from Florida, an elephant bath in Pakistan, scenes from the Met Gala in New York City, and much more

  • Hannibal Hanschke / Reuters

    Scenes From Greenland

    Snapshots from the largest island in the world

  • Dr. Andrew Mark Posselt, California

    Photographing the Microscopic: Winners of Nikon Small World 2021

    Some of the winning and honored images from the 2021 Small World Photomicrography Competition

  • Zhe Ji / Getty

    Photos of the Week: Depleted Lake, Wayward Cow, Alligator Reef

    A “Tribute in Light” in New York City, lingering power outages in Louisiana, rice harvesting in Japan, final scenes from the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, a Neanderthal in the Netherlands, and much more