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Local dentist creates app to raise funds for lions

Local dentist Dwayne Hinz has created the application (app) “Cecil the Lion ” after feeling a special connection to an incident this past summer.
Cochrane dentist Dwayne Hinz has created an application (app) for a game based on Cecil the Lion, the wild lion shot in Zimbabwe last summer by a U.S. dentist.
Cochrane dentist Dwayne Hinz has created an application (app) for a game based on Cecil the Lion, the wild lion shot in Zimbabwe last summer by a U.S. dentist.

Local dentist Dwayne Hinz has created the application (app) “Cecil the Lion ” after feeling a special connection to an incident this past summer.

Cecil was a well-known male lion that lived primarily in the Hwange National Park in Matabeleland North, Zimbabwe. Cecil was shot in July by American dentist Walter James Palmer during a trophy hunt.

“I am always looking for ideas and thought this could be a good idea for an app, ” Hinz explained of the game you can download and play on your portable communications device. “I had the connection as a dentist and I wanted to do something. ”

“Cecil the Lion ” is a free app available on the iTunes Apple store that was released the first week of November. Unlike other Cecil app games that appeared earlier this summer - this app is not violent or based around revenge.

“You play as Cecil the lion and the goal is to try get back to the safety of the National Park, ” Hinz explained.

“Cecil the Lion ” is rated for ages 9 and older due to the level-of-play difficulty and “infrequent/mild cartoon or fantasy violence. ”

Another big inspiration for the local dentist to create the app was Hinz's four-year-old son.

“My son loves lions - and in the media they had really emphasized (the hunter) was a dentist, ” Hinz said. “It doesn't put dentists in a good light. ”

While Hinz said he has no bad feelings towards the American dentist who shot Cecil, Hinz did comment that he did not feel it was a fair hunt.

“Of course you feel bad for the lion (but) I don't think he broke any laws - if anything, it looks as if Zimbabwe is trying to change their laws now, ” Hinz said.

In the meantime, proceeds made from “Cecil the Lion ” app will be donated to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

“I know iPhone games don't generally produce a lot of revenue, but figured some of the profits I could donate to the World Wildlife Fund to protect these lions, ” Hinz explained.

Hinz has tried to explain the game to his son but he is just a little too young to understand.

“He knows I make games, he knows this one has Cecil the lion - and he played it for five seconds but it is a little bit too difficult for him, ” Hinz laughed.

“Just another one of ‘dad's silly games.' ”

Hinz has been a dentist for 18 years and currently works at Cochrane Dental Clinic. Hinz has been making apps for the past two years and to-date has more than 15 apps in the Apple Store.

For more information or to download the game go to https://geo.itunes.apple.com/ca/app/cecil-the-lion/id1025459887?mt=8


Jenna Dulewich

About the Author: Jenna Dulewich

Jenna Dulewich is a national and provincial award-winning multi-media journalist. Joining the Rocky Mountain Outlook in 2019, she covers Stoney Nakoda, MD of Bighorn, Canmore and court.
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