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To Our Readers,

We are proud to share the true story of Cecil the Lion seen through the lens of his real-life “keeper,”

Brent Stapelkamp. For nine years, Brent, a wildlife researcher from Oxford University, tracked and documented Cecil’s every move while beautifully photographing his life. As Brent explained Cecil’s extraordinary family history to us, it became clear. Everyone knew how Cecil died. We would tell the story of how Cecil lived.

In the wild, lions must fight to defend their pride and their territory against other lions who challenge them. Remarkably, several years ago Cecil and his longtime challenger and archrival, Jericho, decided to join forces, forming an improbable alliance—something rarely seen between lions of different bloodlines. After Cecil’s death, Brent and his fellow researchers feared Jericho would follow nature’s normal call, abandoning Cecil’s cubs to start his own family. Jericho surprised them all, rising to the occasion and taking in Cecil’s cubs as his own. It seems Cecil had yet another keeper.

An outpouring of grief and anger from the hunting down of one majestic black-mane lion had started a global conversation about individual and collective responsibility to protect our animals and our planet. But amidst the tragedy emerged a powerful lesson. We are all our brother’s keeper. Come celebrate the life of a real Lion King. We hope you enjoy the story of Cecil’s Pride. 

With love and peace, 

Craig Hatkoff, Juliana Hatkoff, Isabella Hatkoff


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Blog and Newsroom

Learn more about Cecil, his family, and various lions around the world. Our blog and newsroom is updated periodically. 


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