World Lion Day – a message from David Macdonald


“We have some wonderful news – a vastly talented animator, famous for his work on Disney’s The Lion King David Macdonald, Aaron Blaise, has produced a superb animation dedicated to Cecil. He will be selling prints, and donating the profits to WildCRU. Also, and it is truly wonderful, you can see the creation of the picture.

The unfolding beauty of Aaron’s animation of the celestial Cecil is rivetingly moving, and his generosity in supporting our work for lion conservation is breath-taking. In the global whirlwind following the illegal killing of Cecil, this wondrous image reminds us of the tranquillity of nature and inspires us in grappling with the huge challenges of conserving lions and other big carnivores. My friend and colleague, Dr Andrew Loveridge, and I, have worked together for almost 20 years on Hwange’s lions, alongside the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority, dedicated to the well-being of the lions and indeed the often impoverished communities that live alongside them. We believe that the legacy of Cecil transcends the death of one lion and can be a turning point in conserving not only lions, but wildlife globally. Together with our partners Panthera, and the worldwide community of those who have shown, through Cecil, how deeply they value nature, we are dedicated to researching the evidence that underpins conservation: Aaron’s depiction of celestial Cecil is a vivid emblem of why humanity, worldwide, must rise to the challenge of learning to live alongside nature – the challenges are immense, but we cannot afford to fail.”

Donations can be made at