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At the end of Jimmy Kimmel’s emotional monologue in which he eviscerated the man responsible for killing Cecil the lion, the late-night host offered his viewers an opportunity to, as he put it, “make this into a positive.” And now it appears they have.
Not 24 hours after Kimmel used his ABC platform not only to educate his audience on the devastation at the Zimbabwean national park — where Walter Palmer, a Minnesota dentist and hunting enthusiast who paid $55,000 to hunt, track and kill the African lion that Oxford University had tagged for scientific research — but also to urge that audience to make a donation to Oxford’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, the latter is seeing results. In fact, more than 2,600 people have donated, for a total of more than $155,000.
“Support them at the very least and maybe we can show them that not all Americans are like this jack-hole here,” Kimmel said on his show, holding back tears as a shot of Palmer flashed onscreen.
Following the now-viral segment, Kimmel has been busy tweeting other celebrities, including Ariana Grande and Marlee Matlin, who have taken up the cause. Grande’s tweet — “I stand by u @jimmykimmel. making a donation to @WWFin hopes that C’s death won’t be forgotten. #RIPCecilTheLion</3″ — has already generated more than 8.5k retweets.
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