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Cecil The Lion: US Dentist Regrets Killing The Local Favourite

cecil the lion

Walter Palmer the hunter who killed Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe says he believed the hunt was legal and had no idea the animal he went after was a “known, local favourite“.

Again, I deeply regret that my pursuit of an activity I love and practice responsibly and legally resulted in the taking of this lion” he said.

The lion was lured from a national park and shot with a crossbow, before being tracked for 40 hours and then shot with a rifle, according to Johnny Rodrigues, head of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force.

Zimbabwean police have warned that he faces poaching charges while there has been a furious backlash on social media.

cecil the lion

A Zimbabwe national parks agency photo of Cecil the lion (front) killed by a US tourist

Right now, the Fish and Wildlife Service is considering a petition to list lions as endangered, and a massive outcry from across the country could speed up the process and start saving lions now. Petition is at bottom of article, please scroll down, sign and share with others

The Guardian reports:

The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force charity had initially suggested the culprit had been from Spain but on Tuesday named him as Palmer, a US citizen from Eden Prairie, Minnesota. This was later confirmed by police.

The charity’s chairman, Johnny Rodrigues, alleged that Palmer and professional hunter Theo Bronkhorst had gone hunting at night and tied a dead animal to their vehicle to lure Cecil out of Hwange national park.

“Palmer shot Cecil with a bow and arrow but this shot didn’t kill him,” he said. “They tracked him down and found him 40 hours later when they shot him with a gun. The hunters then found that the dead lion was wearing a tracking collar, which they unsuccessfully tried to hide.”

Rodrigues added: “Cecil was skinned and beheaded … Walter Palmer apparently paid $50,000 for the kill and we assume Theo Bronkhorst received this money.”

Cecil was wearing a GPS collar as part of a research project that Oxford University has been running since 1999, making it possible to trace his last movements.

Initially his organisation had said the whereabouts of Cecil’s head was unknown, sparking concerns that it would be sent abroad as a trophy. But on Tuesday Rodrigues said the head of the lion had been located in Zimbabwe and impounded to be used as evidence in the investigation. “The saddest part of all is that now that Cecil is dead, the next lion in the hierarchy, Jericho, will most likely kill all Cecil’s cubs so that he can insert his own bloodline into the females.”

Palmer – married with two children and thought to be in his 50s – became a target as the Facebook page of his dental clinic was flooded with angry comments and threats. An online petition demanding justice for Cecil had gathered more than 12,000 signatures. An Associated Press reporter approached his clinic in the Minneapolis suburb of Bloomington but was told he was not seeing patients on Tuesday.

A spokesman for Palmer said the hunter was “obviously quite upset over everything”, adding: “As far as I understand, Walter believes that he might have shot the lion that has been referred to as Cecil.

Palmer’s love of hunting is well documented online. In 2009, he was interviewed by the New York Times about his slaying of an elk that was touted as a kill for the archery record books.

Noting that Palmer had learned to shoot at age five and was “capable of skewering a playing card from 100 yards with his compound bow,” the article said he had paid $45,000 at auction to take part in the hunt, with the proceeds being used to help fund the elk habitat. As the hunting season began, Palmer was on probation for lying to authorities over the exact location where he had killed a black bear in northern Wisconsin in 2006.

A 2008 Flickr photo album by Trophy Hunt America and Porcupine Creek Outfitters, a company that leads hunting expeditions, shows Walter Palmer posing next to a variety of slain animals, including a wood bison and a lion. In other online photos Palmer sits next to a slain rhino – the caption stating that the photo was taken in South Africa – or holds up a 175-pound leopard in Zimbabwe.

Emmanuel Fundira, president of the Safari Operators Association of Zimbabwe, called for Palmer to be prosecuted as a criminal. “Cecil was a collared lion, a protected species,” he said. “The rules are clear in Zimbabwe that no protected lions should be hunted. The American members of our association are encouraged to conduct themselves in a way that is beyond reproach. We are using hunting as a conservation tool, but when the tool is abused in this way, it destroys the whole principle.”

He added: “The culprits should be brought to book and punished at the highest level. This is really reckless.”

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An online petition has been created asking the US Government to fast-track African lions as endangered

Please sign HERE

Fast-tracking a listing of the African lion under the Endangered Species Act would immediately boost the survival chances of the iconic big cat, by generally prohibiting the import of African lions and their parts into the US unless they serve a legitimate conservation purpose. As concerned citizens, we urge you list the African lion as endangered without delay!

  • fatwillie

    What need does one have to shoot these animals, is it for survival for them and or their family? if not what then is your reason for doing such?

  • veroniquepalmer

    Oh please, the only thing that asshole is upset about is getting caught! He is a serial killer with NO regard for life on this planet! I hope he is hunted down till the end of his days for this lifelong killing spree he’s been on! 3 of Big 5 in Africa just for starters… what a man……

  • Spinner

    He paid 50K for hunt. In my opinion this is like smoking gun. 50K is like million dollars to villagers. You don’t pay that much money for ordinary kill. You do that if it is big prize like Cecil. Shameful scumbag who knew what he was hunting and has lied before to police about hunts.
    Either lose his business or go to jail are just consequences for this scumbag.
    In case you feel sorry for him – dentists make a lot of money off insurance. He lives good life.

  • jake tyler

    40 hrs and the lion wasnt dead,made to suffer all that time,what a sick B*******. He should be treated the same,hopefully a psycho out there will make him pay the price for his actions as we all know he will walk free law wise…the poor animal being lured and slowly lured is sick and vile. I hope his career is over and he goes into poverty or someone sues him. in my view….life for a life…he should be given a sentance and be severely punished. If the animal was tagged it would be obvious….he is obviously a educated man to do his profession (not to kill a animal). There are animals protected as the numbers are decreasing because of this. Hope karma comes and eats his life and soul and he is haunted forever.

  • Miss.Anne Thropee

    Signed the petitions, Wrote a rather scathing review–from Cecil’s experience/p.o.v–about Palmer’s practice on Yelp, and yet, I cannot get the picture of what Cecil looked like when they finally found him. I generally have nada problems with the deceased, as far as Humans go, However? Upon looking at what was left of the once majestic Cecil, beheaded…skinned, then left there to rot, is an image that strikes so much boiling in my blood. I cannot even begin to put in print, on the internet, what I would do if I had this psychopathic waste of skin and O2, alone…in a modern torture chamber, equipped with the very best–and sharpest–tools, to ensure a mighty joyful act of entrusting ‘punishment’ on a man nobody wants to see alive.
    I will also address that ‘game hunting’ is simply unfeasible these days, We do not have to hunt for our food, warmth, and protection. It occurs to me that there is no genuine reason, especially considering all the animals now endangered due to poachers killing a rare rhino, for example, just to cut off the ivory, and any other organs that Asian ‘medicine’ decrees as just that.
    Although, it has been proven, again…and again…and again…that NOTHING that is killed in the name of Asian medicine, has ever been proven to do anything medicinal. As terrible as it is disgusting, it sickens me even more to see that this ‘Trophy Hunting’ has no place left in our declining species, and how the constructs of Human behavior and greed keep this devolving rampant in search for the ‘greatest kill’.
    Mr.Palmer is lying. He knew exactly what was happening, they even tried, unsuccessfully, to damage his tracking collar.
    Why, if he honestly felt remorse for being part of this, claiming ‘stupidity’ in trusting his ‘professional guides’, and, oh how I just love how he put it in his small, pathetic attempt at a press statement: ” …regret my part in the taking of Cecil..”

    The ‘taking’ of Cecil?? Hah, How about the ‘torture, murder, and unlawful, inhumane act of MURDERING one of the most infamous, and important–to his pride, which will prolly go to pits now, as the balance has been ruined, the politics of the pride will end up in more lives lost, especially the pups fathered by Cecil, and the Lioness’s that will die trying to protect them. But, you would think that someone that states how much he believes in culling for the further enriching of the density of animals in danger, under the ridiculous belief that to kill to preserve is actually sustainable, and also a common ‘excuse’ to kill whatever these psychos wish to…whatever helps them sleep at night.

    If this pinhead Palmer doesn’t come out of hiding, he just looks even more the sh*t, everyday, nay, every hour that he hides, only compounds the feeling that he is actually scared…He has lost his practice, hopefully his family, and all of his trophies of the dead in his macabre man-cave, I can wonder with a slight hint of satisfaction, or schadenfreude, that he is now The Hunted.
    Now? All we have to do is lure him out, put a bullet into a kneecap, and watch him go…as he becomes the ‘prized’ head that we would all love to see on a wall.