Plush toy-maker creates ‘Cecil the Lion’ Beanie Baby

CHICAGO (AP) – Toy-maker Ty Inc. has created a “Cecil the Lion” Beanie Baby to raise funds for animal conservation efforts.

Creation of the toy comes after an American dentist was accused of killing the well-known lion named Cecil in Zimbabwe in an allegedly illegal hunt. The incident set off a worldwide uproar.

Ty Inc. CEO Ty Warner said Monday the company, based in the Chicago suburb of Westmont, hopes the Beanie Baby will raise awareness for animal conservation and “give comfort to all saddened by the loss of Cecil.”

Ty said all profits from “Cecil the Lion” sales to retailers will go to the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit of the University of Oxford in England. The toy will go on sale at the end of September for $5.99.

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