Costume company defends Cecil the lion outfit

The costume comes complete with a severed lion’s head and a smock splattered with fake blood.

The outfit sells for about R700 and, according to the site, 15 percent of the proceeds will go to a wildlife foundation. Picture: Screengrab Costumeish.com.

NEW YORK - A costume company in the US is defending its decision to sell an outfit based on the dentist who killed Cecil the lion.

The costume, which comes complete with a severed lion's head and a smock splattered with fake blood, is modelled after Walter Palmer who shot the animal in July.

The outfit sells for about R700 and, according to the site, 15 percent of the proceeds will go to a wildlife foundation.

Many are raising concerns about the costume cashing in on the uproar created by Cecil the lion's killing.

According to the company's founder, the decision to create it was based on what people were searching for when it comes to Halloween outfits.

A Caitlyn Jenner costume has also courted controversy.

Jenner, a former Olympic gold medallist and reality TV star known as Bruce, came out as transgender this year and introduced herself in a_ Vanity Fair_ cover story that earned international attention.

A change.org petition launched on Monday is demanding that Spirit Halloween, a costume company with over 1,100 locations in the US and Canada, stop producing and selling the costume, which includes a brunette wig, shiny white padded bustier and shorts resembling the outfit Jenner wore in the Vanity Faircover photo.