Celebrities share outrage at killing of protected lion Cecil

Ricky Gervais leads the outcry after the famous lion was killed for sport by a US big game hunter

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[Warning: contains distressing images]

The killing of Cecil the Lion – one of the most famous animals in Zimbabwe’s Hwange national park – by American dentist and big game hunter Walter Palmer has sparked outrage after the male lion was allegedly baited off the reservation and shot with a bow and arrow. Cecil was 13 years old and is survived by six lionesses and 12 cubs.

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On Twitter, celebrities including well-known animal rights supporter Ricky Gervais are leading both the mourning…

…and the backlash.

Some are overwhelmed with grief.

Some couldn’t see how Walter Palmer could continue in his profession, wondering who would accept the fingers that had killed Cecil into their mouth.

Others settled for simply insulting Palmer.

Louis Theroux had a top tip for potential big game hunters.

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But the rest were trying to find whatever small comforts they could.