TORONTO — A costume company is causing an uproar for its bloody “Lion Killer Dentist” Halloween costume.
There was global outrage surrounding the killing of a lion named Cecil in Zimbabwe by a Minnesota dentist in July. The hunter, Walter Palmer, was forced to abandon his dental practice and go into hiding as the outrage grew.
READ MORE: Dentist who killed Cecil the Lion bombarded by threats, mocking reviews
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that only a month later people are taking issue with the costume, which features a blood-covered shirt that resembles a dentist’s smock along with a severed lion’s head.
The costume’s online sales page states the price of the getup has been raised to $99.99 “due to popular demand”.
READ MORE: Celebrities react to U.S. dentist’s killing of Cecil the lion
“All Doctor Palmer wanted was to hang dead animals in his house, but what started as an obscure (if legally-dubious) hunting trip has since erupted into a brouhaha of trans-Atlantic proportions,” the website states.
“Our Cecil Lion Killer Dentist Costume features a severed lion’s head mask, bloody smock, and bloody gloves for a gruesome, complete look.”
The page also says that due to an online petition demanding the site remove the costume, signed by more than 40,000 people, “we will be donating 100% of the profit from our Lion Killer Costume to a Wildlife Foundation.”
It goes on to say the intention was never to make money off the “beloved” lion.
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“However please remember, if our costume caused an immediate reaction such as disgust or anger to you just imagine how Cecil felt. Hunting endangered Lions and any animal for that matter is disgusting and should be stopped.”
The petition page, Demand Costumeish.com Remove Bloody Dentist Costume Holding Lion’s Head, targets Johnathon Weeks, the owner of the website selling the costume.
“Costumeish.com has decided to try and capitalize on Cecil’s killing by selling a “Lion Killer Dentist” costume for Halloween,” the page states. “Please sign this petition to ask for the costume’s removal. It is disgusting and sickening for someone to profit from the killing of Cecil.”
An update indicated Weeks had been in touch with Doreen Harley, the woman behind the page, who said he would pull the costume if 25,000 signatures were collected. It appears that pledge later changed to a donation of proceeds.
Harley then urges people to call Weeks, listing a 1-800 number, to make sure he keeps his word.
“Please call and demand that Mr. Weeks keep his promise.”
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