On the 1st of July, a beautiful 13 year old male lion was shot and killed in Zimbabwe. His name was Cecil.

This is not a post about the man who shot him… twice, or the guides who allegedly lured the beautiful creature out of the safety of Hwange National Park so he could be killed and then destroyed his GPS collar after skinning and beheading him.

Nor is this a post about the 40 hours Cecil survived after being shot with an arrow, fleeing his pursuers before they caught and finished him off with a rifle. You can read all about that a million places online and watch as your blood boils or try to keep the tears from welling up in your eyes.

This is a photographic tribute to one of the most beautiful animals in the world. This is anger, sadness, and respect… in pictures. Rest in Peace Cecil.

Since the beginning! by Brent Stapelkamp on 500px.com

Cecil With His Cubs by Ed Hetherington on 500px.com

Cecil and his cubs by Brent Stapelkamp on 500px.com

Cecil and his linkwasha family by Brent Stapelkamp on 500px.com

Cecil oldman waking up by Brent Stapelkamp on 500px.com

Stick This On Your Wall! by Ken Watkins on 500px.com

Goodbye To Cecil -  The King of Hwange by Ed Hetherington on 500px.com

Dominance by Brent Stapelkamp on 500px.com

Cecil  by GemJam Jones on 500px.com

Portrait of Cecil by Ed Hetherington on 500px.com

Full credit belongs to Ed Hetherington, Brent Stapelkamp, Ken Watkins, and GemJam Jones for the images of Cecil above that they uploaded to their 500px accounts. Thank you for sharing your work.

If you have your own photo of Cecil or story of an encounter with this famous lion, please share it in the comments down below.

However, we ask that you please leave the vitriol elsewhere. There are plenty of places online where you can vent your frustrations, let’s keep this comments section a place to pay tribute to a great lion, and not a place to give his murderers further attention (you’ll notice we didn’t even deign to name them…)

And if you would like to find out more about or support the organization that originally collared Cecil—the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit affiliated with Oxford University–click here.