Cecil the Lion’s death drew worldwide condemnation, but the latest development is giving us all some hope. Ty – the biggest manufacturer of plush toys in the world – announced on Monday that it is set to make a Beanie Baby to commemorate the beloved lion from South Africa.
The 13-year-old wildlife celebrity was killed last month by Walter Palmer, an American dentist who is facing worldwide scorn, as well as potential extradition to Africa. Ty Warner, the founder and chairman of Ty, said that the special Cecil the Lion Beanie Baby “will raise awareness for animal conservation and give comfort to all saddened by the loss of Cecil”.
The highly-anticipated Cecil the Lion Beanie Baby will go on sale in September, and it will retail for around $5.99. The toy company stated that 100% of the profits from sales will go to the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit of University of Oxford, the group of researchers that was studying and tracking Cecil since 2008.
Delta Air Lines – the only American airline to fly to Africa – announced on Monday that it would no longer ship lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant and buffalo trophies. Besides Delta, a couple of other foreign airlines announced similar bans last week.