"Where were Cecil the lion's parents?": Twitter uses gallows humor to cope with dentist's grisly act

Twitter users filled the late-night silence with some 140-character jokes of their own

Published July 29, 2015 8:18PM (EDT)

  (Screenshot, Youtube)
(Screenshot, Youtube)

Cecil, the 13-year-old lion and tourist favorite at Zimbabwe's Hwange National Park, was shot and killed earlier this month. Tuesday, the identity of that killer was revealed to be Walter J. Palmer, a bored Minnesota dentist. In the wake of this revelation, Palmer's dentistry page on Yelp came under attack, two men connected with the hunt were arrested (and subsequently released on $1,000 bail), Marco Rubio drafted a predictably stupid twitter response and Jimmy Kimmel cried.

Which is all to say: It's been a rough 24 hours for animal rights activists and feeling human beings, alike. Regardless of where you think this issue ranks on the continuum of national tragedies, most will agree that the slaying of Cecil was senseless and entirely saddening.

While the usual go-to viral comics of late night kept tight-lipped about the unfolding nightmare in Zimbabwe (with the exception of Kimmel, of course), Twitter users filled the silence with some jokes of their own.

A parody Twitter account emerged for Palmer’s dental practice, River Bluff Dental, when the official site was shut down due to hate-mail. It tweeted out images of a lion brushing its teeth and quipping "we’d be lion if we said we weren’t a little bummed by all the negative Tweets coming our way.”

Below, we've rounded up a few jokey tweets that helped us cope with the Minnesota dentist's grisly act:

[embedtweet id=626400629825662976]
[embedtweet id=626448689234513920]
[embedtweet id=626447008698617856]
[embedtweet id=626114969768083457]
[embedtweet id=626445814106198016]
[embedtweet id=626430547884154880]

And Marco Rubio, who is not laughing with us:

[embedtweet id=626454765275361281]

By Colin Gorenstein

Colin Gorenstein is Salon's assistant editor of internet and viral content. Follow @colingorenstein or email cgorenstein@salon.com.

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Cecil The Lion