Jimmy Kimmel's emotional plea for donations to a wildlife fund on behalf of Cecil, the protected lion killed in Zimbabwe by Minnesota hunter Walter Palmer, generated more than $155,000 less than a day after his Tuesday-night monologue.

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The Hollywood Reporter said that at the ABC talk-show host's urging, 2,600 people so far have donated to Oxford University's Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, which had been tracking Cecil.

"His seemingly illegal death is heartbreaking," WildCRU director Prof. David Macdonald said in a statement. "However, our goal is to learn from it. Good can come from this if the world's attention can lead to support for our work to improve lion conservation."