Following the killing of Cecil the lion by American dentist Walter Palmer, the internet has been up in arms - but people are now calling for more constructive efforts to be made to ensure that lions are protected in the wild.
Palmer's name started trending worldwide on Twitter after he was revealed as the hunter who killed Cecil, as users in their droves took to the site to condemn him.
Numerous celebrities have also joined the anti-Palmer campaign, with many people wishing the worst upon him.
Two men, hunter Theo Bronchorst and landowner Honest Trymore Ndlovu, have been charged and are set to appear in court in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe.
However, the campaign against Palmer looks unlikely to die down, as he has not yet been charged with any offence.
Dentist-baiting may have been the first reaction to the incident, but it might not be the most constructive - however, calls have been made to make a real difference to the welfare of wild lions through donating to groups that protect them.
The Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, or WildCRU, the Oxford University-based conservation group which had tagged Cecil the Lion in order to track his movements, has been suggested as a worthy group for donations.
The call to donate to WildCRU was started by American chat show host Jimmy Kimmel, on his nightly programme Jimmy Kimmel Live.
Speaking on the show, Kimmel said: "I think it's important to have some good come out of this disgusting tragedy."
The most controversial animal kills
The most controversial animal kills
1/6 Cincinnati Zoo worker shots and kills Harambe, the 17-year-old gorilla
Harambe, a 17-year-old gorilla was shot and killed by a Cincinnati Zoo worker after a three-year-old boy climbed into a gorilla enclosure and was grabbed and dragged by Harambe. The incident was recorded on video and received broad international coverage and commentary, including controversy over the choice to kill Harambe. A number of primatologists and conservationists wrote later that the zoo had no other choice under the circumstances, and that it highlighted the danger of zoo animals in close proximity to humans and the need for better standards of care
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
2/6 Walt Palmer (left), from Minnesota, who killed Cecil, the Zimbabwean lion (pictured here with another lion shot in Africa)
Walter James Palmer has been named by Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force as the shooter of Cecil, a 13-year-old prized lion. He is now wanted by Zimbabwe officials on poaching charges. The lion was protected and the subject of a decade long study by the Wildlife Unit of Oxford University in the UK. He was outfitted with a GPS collar and was killed in Hwange National Park. The Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Authority and the Safari Operators Association said that two men were charged with poaching in connection to Mr Palmer
3/6 Kendall Jones hunting images
Kendall Jones, a 19-year-old Texas Tech university student, has provoked worldwide fury after posting pictures of herself smiling next to animals she hunted, including a lion, rhinoceros, antelope, leopard, elephant, zebra and hippopotamus
4/6 Rebecca Francis hunting images
Rebecca Francis, a huntress who has killed dozens of wild animals has been sent death wishes by furious social media users after a picture showing her lying down next to a dead giraffe was circulated. Rebecca Francis has a website and Facebook page dedicated to the animals she has killed in hunts across Africa and America. Francis, a prolific hunter who has also co-hosted the television show Eye of the Hunter, regularly posts pictures of herself posing next to dead bears, giraffes, buffaloes and zebras, among other animals. She uses a bow and arrow to kill her prey
5/6 The slaughter of Marius, an 18-month-old healthy giraffe in Copenhagen Zoo
Copenhagen Zoo made the controversial decision to euthanise a healthy giraffe named Marius, which was later dissected and fed to lions as visitors watched. The slaughter sparked a furious backlash from social media users and zoo staff have received death threats by phone and email. Soon after the incident, Copenhagen Zoo faced an international outcry once again after four healthy lions were put down
6/6 Swiss Dählhölzli zoo kills healthy brown bear cub
A Switzerland zoo faced heavy criticism from animal rights groups, after keepers put down a healthy brown bear cub to spare it from being bullied by its dominant male father. The 360 kg male bear Misha had already killed one of his 11-week old cubs in public and was bullying the second, staff at the zoo said, because he was jealous of the attention the cubs were receiving from their mother, Masha. Both adult brown bears had been donated to Bern’s Dählhölzli zoo in 2009. Campaigners condemned staff there for not separating the cubs, who are being referred to as Baby Bear Two and Baby Bear Three, and their mother from Misha after their birth in January
WildCRU work to ensure the conservation of lions by tagging them with GPS units, allowing them to track the movements and behaviours of hundreds of animals at once, providing huge amounts of rich data that allows the group to ensure that their conservation efforts work.
On top of this, WildCRU also run an anti-poaching team, a conservation theatre group, and an education campaign, that helps children in every school in the district to learn more about the problems facing the species.
WildCRU requires £150,000 a year to continue its operations, and due to the wide range of their work, no donation is too small.
Professor David Macdonald, Director of WildCRU, said: Good can come from this if the world’s attention can lead to support for our work to improve lion conservation – helping us buy satellite collars, maintain our field vehicles and train excellent young Zimbabwean conservationists."
He added: "We desperately need support – millions of people have been affected by Cecil’s death – and by the plight of lions in general – and imagine they are powerless at preventing further lion decline."
"However, those millions can make an immediate and real difference – if each of them made a pledge of support to the WildCRU it would revolutionise our work for conservation, and hugely improve the long-term outlook for lions both in Zimbabwe and elsewhere."
"That would be a worth memorial to a lion as magnificent as Cecil, who has provided so much to WildCRU and the world”.
Audience's jumped on Kimmel's idea, with many people, including Oscar-winning actress Marlee Matlin, making donations and calling on others to do the same.Reuse content