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Ashley Benson: Cecil the lion joke on Instagram causes outrage

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David Becker/Getty Images

Ashley Benson apologized on Wednesday for a photo the Pretty Little Liars star posted to Instagram that included a joke about Cecil, the African lion killed by an American dentist in July.

“Yesterday’s post was in poor taste and I absolutely regret all of the hurt that photo caused,” Benson wrote in an Instagram post Wednesday evening. “The caption that was posted was incorrect and my costume was not Cecil the Lion … I am a supporter of Animal conservation and I will be donating all the proceeds of this deal to the World Wildlife Fund. I love you all and I apologize if I let you down.”

Benson’s original photo — which features the actress wearing a lion costume — is still up on her account. The caption was edited, however, to read, “What do you guys think of this lion costume?” instead of directly referencing Cecil. See both the apology and the photo below.