Snagging a Cecil the Lion Beanie Baby is the most adorable way to support animal conservation.
Angry about Cecil the Lion? This Beanie Baby helps you channel that anger for good.
We're all still upset over the death of beloved Zimbabwean lion Cecil.
This is him. He was gorgeous.
His death was tragic, but it helped inspire a wave of generosity for animal conservation efforts, many of which have experienced a surge in support. And the latest organization to join the cause is Ty Inc., which created the Cecil the Lion Beanie Baby.
When you buy a Cecil the Lion Beanie Baby, you're helping protect other rare animals.
Ty Warner, the founder and chairman of Ty Inc., announced on Aug. 3, 2015, that he'd created the furry toy in response to the lion's death. Beanie Baby Cecil may not be as majestic as the real Cecil was, but he sure is cute.
But that's not the best thing about him.
According to Ty Inc., 100% of the profits from Cecil the Lion Beanie Baby sales will be donated to WildCRU, a research unit dedicated to wildlife conservation at the University of Oxford in England.
The Beanie Baby is expected to go on sale for $5.99 at the end of September.
"Hopefully, this special Beanie Baby will raise awareness for animal conservation and give comfort to all saddened by the loss of Cecil," Warner said in a statement.
As expected, there's still a lot of that sadness Warner speaks of floating around the world. And anger. Lots of anger.
The image above was taken outside Walter James Palmer's dentist office in Bloomington, Minnesota. Palmer was the guy who killed Cecil. Obviously, many people — and the Internet — aren't happy with him.
There's a big difference between lawful hunting and what Palmer did. He illegally killed an African lion — a species facing the threat of extinction by 2050 if more isn't done to protect them.
Zimbabwe, which just suspended the hunting of lions, leopards, and elephants in a popular hunting region in response to Cecil's death, is planning to seek extradition of Palmer, an official said on July 31.
So while none of us can get Cecil back, we have every right to hope there will be justice in the wake of his death.
In the meantime, you can support efforts to make sure another rare animal isn't unjustly killed.
And it's OK if furry toys aren't your thing. There are plenty of ways to have Cecil's back that don't involve Beanie Babies.
You can support efforts like National Geographic's Big Cats Initiative, the International Fund for Animal Welfare, or Lion Guardians — all terrific groups doing important work to keep lions and other rare animals protected.
And just because Cecil was such a beautiful, fantastic creature, here's an incredible video of him hanging out in Zimbabwe.