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

  • Fatos Bytyci / Reuters

    Photos of the Week: Airplane House, Mayfly Swarm, Cool Buffalo

    Historic-battle reenactments in England, the reemergence of a flooded village in Portugal, a beagle-rescue operation in Virginia, sledding at a mountain ski resort in Lesotho, and much more

  • © Tomasz Szpila / Nature TTL

    Winners of the Nature TTL Photographer of the Year 2022

    Some of the best images from a competition celebrating the natural world

  • Marco Di Marco / AP

    A New Eruption of Iceland’s Fagradalsfjall Volcano

    A fissure opened on August 3, and thousands have since made the long trek to the site to witness the new eruption.

  • NASA, ESA, CSA, STScI

    Photos of the Week: Knife Angel, Paris Henge, Flamingo Tagging

    Scenes from the Commonwealth Games in England, a new sinkhole in Chile, Beluga whales near Svalbard, an air show above the Giza Pyramids, and much more