Ty Warner Creates Cecil the Lion Beanie Baby

WildCRU, the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit of University of Oxford in England, will receive 100 percent of the profits from the original sale

The company that makes Beanie Babies has created a new one in the memory of Cecil the lion, who was killed in Zimbabwe earlier this month.

"Hopefully, this special Beanie Baby will raise awareness for animal conservation and give comfort to all saddened by the loss of Cecil," Ty Warner, owner of the Beanie Baby company, said.

Ty Inc., which is based in Oak Brook, Ill., created the Cecil the Lion Beanie Baby following public outcry nationwide about the poaching of the beloved lion. Cecil the lion was killed July 1 after hunters allegedly lured the lion out of Hwange National Park and to his death. Walter James Palmer, a dentist from Minnesota, is accused of shooting Cecil to death with a crossbow.

Reports later surfaced that another Zimbabwean lion named Jericho, Cecil's companion, was also shot to death, but wildlife authorities in the country dismissed the reports and released a photograph showing that Jericho was still alive.

WildCRU, Oxford University's Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, will receive 100 percent of the profits from the original sale, according to a statement from Ty Inc.

The research unit was tracking Cecil's movements in Zimbabwe before his death.

The Cecil Beanie Baby will be available at the end of September at specialty retail stores worldwide for approximate $5.99, according to a Ty Inc. spokesperson.

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