Jimmy Kimmel's Cecil the Lion Plea Has Raised $150,000 in Donations


Viewers were certainly moved by Jimmy Kimmel's impassioned segment Tuesday on slain lion Cecil, whom American dentist Walter Palmer hunted and killed earlier this month in Zimbabwe.

Now, less than 24 hours after the late night television host asked viewers to consider donating to charity in light of the famed lion's death, the England-based Wildlife Conservation Research Unit reported it had raised $150,000 in donations from nearly 2,600 generous givers, reports The Wrap.

Kimmel, who became choked up when talking about Cecil during the taping of his show Tuesday, had displayed the organization's website on the screen at the end of his emotional Cecil segment

"Jimmy Kimmel implored his millions of listeners in the USA to make donations to support our work on lions, and conservation more widely," the group's research director, David Macdonald, said in a statement Wednesday. "We are so grateful for this and for the up-welling of support for our work worldwide."

Palmer, whose practice is based in Bloomington, Minnesota, paid over $50,000 to hunt Cecil with a bow and arrow. His guides reportedly dragged a dead carcass to lure Cecil out of his reserve.

The lion's death has sparked outrage in the U.S., with many taking up their pitchforks against Palmer, who was forced to temporarily shutter his practice because of the backlash. A makeshift memorial of stuffed animals and signs reading "Rot in hell" and "Killer" was erected outside Palmer's office.

Adam Bettcher/Getty Images

Palmer has seemingly disappeared since the controversy erupted over the hunt.

Kimmel pulled no punches when talking about Palmer. "Why are you shooting a lion in the first place?" Kimmel asked on the air Tuesday. "I'm honestly curious why a human being would feel compelled to do that. How is that fun? Is it that difficult for you to get an erection that you need to kill things that are stronger than you? If that's the case, they have the pill for that. It works great."

He continued, "If you're some a-hole dentist who wants a lion's head over the fireplace in his man cave so his douchebag buddies can gather around it and drink scotch and tell him how awesome he is, that's just vomitous." 

Watch the full segment below.