Cecil, one of the world's most recognisable felines because of his rare black mane, was the star attraction at the Hwange national park, in Zimbabwe. Thousands of tourists visited and photographed him every year.
How did the Spanish hunter manage to get away with his barbaric exploit? He reportedly bribed park guides with £35,000 (US $54,646) to turn a blind eye.
As part of a project looking at the impact of hunting on lions living in and around the national park started by Oxford University in 1999, a GPS collar had been placed on the 13-year-old lion. Park rangers analysed data from the chip. Hunters had used bait to trick the big cat into leaving the safety of the park and shot him with a bow and arrow. They then followed the bleeding animal for 40 hours before finally ending his pain with a rifle.
One of the principal researchers on the project said events like this have an effect on the population far beyond the individual losses, because any new males entering a vacated pride will get rid of all the previous male's living cubs.
The incident, which happened earlier this month, has only just come to light, causing outrage in Zimbabwe where the animal was a national treasure.
Here in England, plans are under way to ban lion trophy imports into the European Union.
It makes you wonder who would want to end the life of a magnificent adult lion, admired and photographed by all the park’s visitors. And yet, some outdoor types go on hunting even when species are endangered. That's criminal, in my opinion.
But why do men hunt living creatures with a bow and arrow for sport?
Back in 1960, South Australia, I had just married my first love. On weekends, we would ride the motor scooter up north into the red heart of Australia amongst dry earth and pungent eucalyptus trees. My new husband loved the outdoors and hunted with a bow and arrow. One weekend, from the shelter of a little lean-to he'd built out of dry grass strung from a tree, I shuddered in repugnance when he dragged the limp body of a kangaroo into camp. I can see the young man in my mind's eye, dressed in army surplus trousers and shirt with a big grin on his face. He needed to live an outdoor life and I went along with his passion, although I didn't share it.
What do you think of trophy hunting?