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Jimmy Kimmel goes ballistic on the killing of Cecil the lion

In this frame grab taken from a November

In this frame grab taken from a November 2012 video made available by Paula French, a well-known, protected lion known as Cecil strolls around in Hwange National Park, in Hwange, Zimbabwe. Zimbabwean police said Tuesday, July 28, 2015 they are searching for Walter James Palmer, an American who allegedly shot Cecil with a crossbow while on a big game hunt in a killing that has outraged conservationists and others. (Paula French via AP) Photo Credit: AP

Jimmy Kimmel, lion slayer tamer ...

In an extended burst of passion, emotion and full-out retributive wrath, Jimmy Kimmel on Tuesday's "Jimmy Kimmel Live" did something no other late-night TV host has done in the long history of late-night TV: He took down someone who killed a lion.

His cri de coeur (which it truly is) in defense of Cecil -- a 13-year-old lion killed by a Minnesota dentist who reportedly paid at least $50,000 to hunt the lion, which was apparently lured from a preserve in Zimbabwe -- is remarkable in all sorts of ways. Kimmel calls out the dentist -- by name -- and also reads, then ridicules, the statement the dentist prepared in his own defense. Then, after choking up, he finally tells viewers to support the Oxford University group that had been tracking the lion for years. Amazing!

This is a heck of a clip, and if I may say to the host on behalf of Cecil and all the other lions brutally and needlessly killed in the pursuit of so-called "sport": Bravo, Jimmy, bravo. This was one of your finest moments (and more than compensates for the years of "Bachelor/Bachelorette" promotional interviews).

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