Multiple published reports say that Minnesota dentist Walter James Palmer, the man who shot dead Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe, paid some $54,000 to satisfy his need to kill an exotic animal. In the long run, it appears he will wind up paying a great deal more.
That is because Palmer is losing money from not working after closing down his dental office near St. Paul. The front of the office now has a collection of stuffed animals and notes deriding Palmer, who hired a crisis management team to deal with the fallout of his killing the lion. Palmer killed Cecil, popular among tourists and being studied by Oxford University, sometime around July 1.
Palmer and his team released a statement saying the avid hunter was unaware killing Cecil was an illegal act and did not learn it was so until after the hunt. He and two local guides lured Cecil out of the protected area, the Hwange National Park in western Zimbabwe, by placing a dead animal on the grill of their jeep.
Once out of the conservation area, Palmer shot Cecil with a bow and arrow. Cecil was wounded and likely dying but it took Palmer 40 hours to find him. When he did, he shot him point-blank with a rifle, finishing the job. He then decapitated Cecil but failed to take off the GPS tracker attached to him.
The two guides are facing years in jail in Zimbabwe for their role in the killing and it is likely that should Palmer go back to the country he, too, will be charged. The trophy hunting dentist is being vilified in that country and in the United States. Jimmy Kimmel turned the tides on Palmer by making sport of him on this talk-show.
“Is it that difficult for you to get an erection?” Kimmel mocked.
RawStory has published a story that details an alleged out of court settlement Palmer made for sexual harassment of a woman who worked for him, saying that he paid $127,500 in the settlement. He has also been fined for making false statements concerning a hunt in which he killed a bear.
Meanwhile, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) released a statement opining that Palmer should be given the maximum penalty for illegally killing Cecil. “If, as has been reported, this dentist and his guides lured Cecil out of the park with food so as to shoot him on private property,” PETA said. “(Then) he needs to be extradited, charged, and, preferably, hanged.”
Johnny Rodrigues, the chairman of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, said that they would like to speak to Walter James Palmer as part of their investigation into the death of Cecil. However there is no indication they will be able to do so.
“The saddest part of all is that now that Cecil is dead,” Rodrigues told the Associated Press. “The next lion in the hierarchy, Jericho, will most likely kill all Cecil’s cubs.”
In addition to closing his office, Palmer has not answered phone calls or visits to his home. It’s not publicly known where he is at the moment.