According to Google’s newly-released Year in Search trend report, Cecil the lion topped the list of the most searchable topics with 32 million searches. The report represents data across Google Search, Google News, and YouTube, and reveals the national origins of topic searches, search timelines, and aggregate total searches. In July, 13-year-old Cecil the lion was illegally killed by Minnesotan dentist Walter Palmer as part of a trophy hunt in Zimbabwe. According to the report, residents of Zimbabwe, United States, Canada, and South Africa searched for terms related to Cecil the most—some of the more popular queries were, “is it legal to hunt lions?” and “why is Cecil the lion famous?” In addition the incident sparking internet outrage over the killing of the now-famous lion, Cecil’s death prompted debate over speciesism and shined a light on the hypocrisy of why people cared so much about the killing of one lion but continue to consume the meat of other animals.
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