Cecil the Lion Donations // Maine Photographer

There are a few things in life I cannot talk about because I get far too upset about it when I do, the top two items on that list are 1) talking about having to live life without my parents being alive and well and 2) pretty much anything to do with abusing animals, slaughtering them, or killing them for sport. Both of those topics are sensitive to me and although there are TONS of things in this world that upset me (hello racism, misogyny, homophobia, bullying – that list goes on and on) the two aforementioned topics are things that I just cannot emotionally handle looking at, hearing about, or debating. Give me pretty much any other topic, I can have a healthy debate with you. Just not those. I have been a vegetarian for over half my life and am an animal lover to the core. There are no animals I don’t respect.

So along with the rest of the world, my heart shattered when I found out about Cecil the lion. I don’t know many of the details surrounding his death simply because I cannot read them. What I do know is that he was a beautiful lion living in the wild in Africa who was being studied for the past 8 years by WildCRU to learn more about his habits and life so we could gain further knowledge about these creatures. I also know that a man from the U.S. went on a hunting safari in Africa where he reportedly paid a guide over $50,000 to lure out Cecil to be shot and killed by him for sport. For photos. For fun. For no reason other than selfishness. I also know the man is paying the price back home by apparently losing his dental practice due to the uproar of his actions.

I won’t be getting into the debate about what is more important: humans versus animals. To me, that is irrelevant and I hear it is the new topic people are using to take away from this tragedy. Those are entirely separate topics. End of story.

What I will do is donate to the group that has been so diligently studying Cecil and whose heartbreak has to be immeasurable.

Yesterday I reached out to the University of Oxford Development Office which handles inquiries about WildCRU and asked for them to please provide me with a way to donate to this group because I believe in what they do. The only links I was finding were for British based donations and I wasn’t sure how to make it work correctly in the US so I wanted to be sure to get the right information to donate here in the states.

This morning I received the following response which I am posting here for everyone in case you too would like to support them:

Dear Sarah,

Thank you very much for your email below about making a donation to the the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit at Oxford University (WildCRU) in honour of Cecil. Please accept my apologies for the delay in responding to you – we are experiencing a very high level of interest in donating to WildCRU at the moment.

As you are based in the US, you can make a gift to support WildCRU’s research through the University of Oxford’s North America Office here: http://www.oxfordna.org/giving_how.htm

Please select “WildCRU” in the drop down list as this will ensure your donation goes to the right project. Due to the high volume of visitors to the site just now, it is possible that the site may time out – please do try again if it this happens.

Alternatively, please feel free to call a member of the team here in Oxford on any of the following numbers (as you are calling from the US, please preface the numbers with 011 44) or to provide a number on which someone here can call you back. We would be delighted to talk to you and take your donation over the phone, time zones permitting!

1865 611 556
1865 611 520
1865 611 529
1865 611 521
1865 611 558

Your generous support will ensure WildCRU’s vital conservation work and research in to big cats and other threatened species is secured for future generations.

More information about the work of WildCRU can be found here: www.wildcru.org

Thank you,


I donated to them today via the link they sent and I ask you to do the same if you can and if this speaks to your heart.

Thank you for taking the time to read this! I don’t typically blog about these things but it is so near and dear to my heart that I wanted to not only find out how to donate myself but how to also spread this information so you can do the same.

Lots of love to you all!

above image is copyright WildCRU

above image is copyright WildCRU

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  1. Deborah says:

    I contributed. I have been a member of the Nature Conservancy and Sierra Club for many years as well. I am proud of you for posting this. I hope they raise a lot of money. Cecil will live on in so many peoples memory!!