Andrew Bone speaks out about the death of Cecil the lion

 In Andrew Bone, Art & Gallery News, Artists & Special Collections, In the News
Prime Time Andrew Bone Park West Gallery

Prime Time” (2014), Andrew Bone

The tragic death of Cecil the lion has reinforced the message Park West artist Andrew Bone conveys through his wildlife paintings: Respect and conserve these beautiful animals.

Bone was one of the many who was devastated to learn of the illegal hunt that led to the death of Cecil, a 13-year-old black mane lion living in the Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe.

Bone is a native of Zimbabwe who was introduced to Africa’s animals while fighting in the Rhodesian War and working as a guide for visitors to the Zambezi Valley. His study and photography of the wildlife he encountered during these times led to him becoming an outspoken advocate for African wildlife conservation.

Authorities claim Cecil was lured outside of the park and shot with an arrow, but was finished off with a gun. The lion was found beheaded and skinned. Cecil was part of an Oxford University research project and wore a GPS collar.

In light of the tragedy, Bone shared the following message with Park West Gallery:

For a number of years now conservationists and I have been alarmed at the downward spiraling numbers of wild lions. The number of wild lions has crashed from an estimated 450,000 a few decades ago to around 20,000 today. The death of one pride male can result in the death of upwards of 26 members of his pride through the scatterings of pride members and infanticide by new males (it will almost certainly occur with Cecil’s pride). In a tragic error of killing the wrong lion, the hunter has inadvertently finally turned the world focus on the problem.


I simply know the lions, have studied them and marveled at their beauty and power. At any Park West exhibition you will always see a number of lion pieces, and the reason for this is that every lion is different, and like humans, each has a different character. Unlike humans, they do not kill for sport.


I have now, following a request to a fellow Zimbabwean, received recent photographs of Cecil and I have begun work on a painting depicting the lion with his pride.

Evening Watch Andrew Bone Park West Gallery

Evening Watch” (2012), Andrew Bone

Bone’s passion for conservation inspired him to establish the Forever Wildlife Foundation, where 100 percent of the funds go to wildlife conservation. For instance, he has worked to collar wild dogs in Africa, or deals with Problem Animal Control (PAC).

“I see the art two-fold: One is a vehicle to achieve my aims in conservation, and that is wonderfully done through Park West Gallery,” he says. “The other is sitting behind the easel and the passion comes out in trying to be absolutely true to wildlife.”

Collectors can learn more about Bone’s life as a conservationist and his artwork in his upcoming memoir, “Brushstrokes of Africa,” published in conjunction with Park West Gallery.

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Showing 34 comments
  • Paula Levin

    Jail this dentist

  • Margaret Wills

    This man cannot see that he has done anything wrong. When caught he must be jailed for a long time and fined a hefty fine to go to conservation. I am sickened, saddened and truly heartbroken. Animals have feelings just like us. Cecil was left to die a painful, lingering death and then brutally slaughtered. I am ashamed to be human. Animals are much nicer.

  • Fiona Chandler

    A tragedy. I am grateful for Andrew Bone’s efforts in conservation through his amazingly lifelike art.

  • Ngaire Rikys

    Sickened & saddened by the actions of this creep dentist. Jail & fine the inhuman apology for a man.
    RIP Cecil.

  • Kevin Cottam

    I concur with you Andrew . Last year I spent two weeks in Kruger on safari. I took over 1000 photos of the most beautiful animals and it breaks ones heart to think that anyone can call it sport to kill such a beautiful animal. photographed over

  • Sheena Tocher

    This man must be mentally sick, there is no other explanation for the slaughter of Cecil and/or any animal.

  • June Lloyd

    Thank you Andrew for the wonderful work that you do.I admire you tremendously and have four of your paintings in my home. I feel so very saddened by the loss of Cecil

  • Ang Ung

    My father was right when he said the most savage animal was human.

    Lock the dentist up and throw away the key.

  • Marguerite

    As long as there is money to be made, the practice of killing will carry on. Yes this is an outrage. But somebody–help find these attackers work so they can support themselves, and will not have the need to kill our beautiful wild animals. Think about it!

  • Gary Knight

    As outraged as I am at the mindless dentist (whose wealth made such a travesty happen), I am heartened by the existence of such true defenders of wildlife such as Andrew Bone who help us urbanites revel in the beauty of the animals that God has created.

  • carol mazarin and sam watkins


  • Regina barbato

    I look at the face of Cecil. And cannot believe anyone can destroy this majestic animal. Will not comment on what should happen doctor. Drastic

  • Steve Cook

    Extradite him back to Zimbabwe and let their legal system deal with him.

  • Patsy Bayne

    Congratulations to Andrew for such good work on this sad event. Save us a work of art.

  • Mike Jefferson

    While it is indeed tragic that the lion was killed, it astounds me that nearly 5000 African children died that day from preventable diseases and not one of you noticed. Instead, you direct all of your anger at the dentist. Who is toothless in this discussion?

  • Diane Leese

    Animals kill to survive only a very sad excuse for a human being would kill such a beautiful animal. He must be prosecuted for this. so sad and so senseless!

  • Ally Maybury

    A senseless act to kill a beautiful animal. Time to get back to basics – to love our Creator and one another then perhaps these cruel acts would not happen. Being responsible for our surroundings and those around us is a good place to start.

  • Richard Reinholtz

    Andrew, you mentioned that the population of wild lions declined over the last few decades from 450,000 to 20,000. Why?

  • Michael Calegari

    I have collected works of Andrew Bone for years now. His art is realistic and moving. I’m praying conservation of species will succeed so that his art is not the only thing that remains of these animals.

  • Hank Mills

    Truly a tragedy. But as long as there are big-game minded trophy hunters on the planet, under present laws, it will continue. The US and other countries need to make the importation of such animal trophies. African countries need to outlaw exportation of the same. Only then will this horrific behavior be quelled.

  • Brian thompson

    How could any human shoot such a beautiful animal, Hey Dental boy , go to Iraq and see how tough you are there , They shoot back idiot

  • Hank Mills

    Pardon the omission of ‘illegal’ in the third sentence of my above message.

  • cj Clarke

    We are the proud and happy owners of 14 of your works. Your depictions of these beautiful animals are so true to life, and each one grasps the character of the animal.
    Thank you for speaking out for Cecil. He is an example to the world – the face of the problem of game hunting. My heart aches for his pride, and for the animals of Africa.
    We have noticed that with all the different animals you have captured, you do not yet have any hippo works. I realize that they spend so much of the day in the rivers, but they are really quite captivating animals. We were in South Africa one spring and visited a large group of hippos with their very young calves. Watching the mothers care for their young in the river, we learned how gentle and caring these enormous animals can be. Please add hippos to your works.
    Thank you for all you do for the conservation of animals, and for the art world!
    Cj and Michael Clarke

  • Jan

    Poor Cecil. Thank you Mr Bone, and others who work for wildlife conservation. God Bless

  • Debbie Jones

    When this man finally is brave enough to emerge from under the stone he is hiding under maybe his punishment could be to be sent out with conservationists and protect what is left of the Pride he has destroyed

  • Glenda Hardy

    We have 8 of Andrew Bones pictures in our house. We love the fact that Andrew has captured these beautiful animals in the best possible way. Through his art. Animals kill to survive. Humans it seem kill for the thrill of it. Humans can be the most dangerous if all. You can only hope what happened with Cecil changes the laws on hunting these animalsThank you Andrew for continued art and conservation efforts.

  • Brian thompson

    How could anyone shoot such a beautiful , ask the Dentist if he likes to shoot things , then tell him to go to Iraq , they shoot back ……

  • Margaret Freeburn

    Why, why on earth would any one want to kill such a beautiful animal, any animal at all, just for the hell of it. Has this person got any morals at all. I have this above painting on my lounge room wall along with another Andrew Bone painting and I bought one of my grand daughters four of these magnificent paintings to start her a collection. Please hope that something serious is done to this killer…

  • Judith Flacke

    Our family has three of your beautiful works of art and I hope to be able to add your Cecil work someday. Our daughter is a wildlife veterinarian specializing in endangered species and we all were devastated by the utterly shocking news of the death of this amazing animal.

  • Trinny Quantrane

    If one of these beasts was bearing down on me for his next meal . I’d be praying for a trophy hunter to be on the scene. Let’s not lump ethical hunters in the same box with poachers. If you don’t like game laws then have them changed.

  • Kstone

    Spent 3 weeks in Africa last November. Highlights included close up photographing amazing and beautiful lions. Who in his right mind could shoot something this special with anything other than a camera?! Shame on the dentist and anyone who helped him.

  • Dennis Hill

    My wife and I purchased the picture “Prime Time” while on an Alaska cruise. Having this picture of Cecil the Lion is our real treasurer. Words can’t express the hurt the whole world is feeling at this great loss.

  • Jenny Akhurst

    Why. Senseless.

  • Robyn

    I was horrified at the death of Cecil as I am a true animal activist, Cecil lost a life too soon and we lost a great icon. This person should be made to serve jail time and pay hugh money to the conservation of African wildlife sanctuaries to help them put in place more assistance to stop this happening again. I have just purchased 3 Andrew Bone paintings, Cecil “Prime Time”(2014); Evening Watch (2012) and Strike Force once they arrive I will have them in pride and place in our home …not a trophy on the wall..I still do not understand how these rich, sick people can call this a sport…I have no sympathy and hope that they go to hell.

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