The U.S. Dentist who Lured a Famous Lion out of its Sanctuary and Killed Him
Walter Palmer, a Minnesota dentist who killed a famous African lion, is no stranger to big-game hunting or getting into trouble for it.
Palmer has come in for severe criticism since it became known that he killed Cecil, a 13-year-old lion who was lured out of a national park in Zimbabwe by local guides. Palmer reportedly paid about $54,000 for the chance to kill Cecil.
Unfortunately, Palmer didn’t kill Cecil cleanly. After the lion was hit by Palmer’s arrow, the big cat got away and was tracked for 40 hours before Palmer finally killed it with a gun. The lion was decapitated and skinned, with its carcass being left to rot.
Palmer’s deed has gone viral. He has become the target of thousands on social media and was skewered Tuesday night by talk show host Jimmy Kimmel. The outpouring has had an effect: Palmer’s dental office was reportedly closed on Wednesday, as protesters laid stuffed animals outside his door as a memorial to Cecil. His business website was taken down, while social media users created a parody Facebook page for his office. His Yelp page was also overrun with comments about Palmer’s hunting, The New York Times reported.
Palmer released a statement claiming he was unaware that the lion he killed was Cecil.
The lion was by no means Palmer’s first kill. The Safari Club International, a big-game hunting group, credits him with 43 kills, all by bow and arrow. His kills include moose, deer, buffalo, a polar bear, a mountain lion and a black bear. He pleaded guilty in 2008 to a license violation after shooting a black bear in Wisconsin.
Palmer in 2009 agreed to a settlement with the Minnesota Board of Dentistry for harassing a receptionist of his who was also a patient, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Palmer paid his victim $127,500.
-Noel Brinkerhoff, Steve Straehley
To Learn More:
American Hunter Killed Cecil, Beloved Lion That Was Lured Out of Its Sanctuary (by Katie Rogers, New York Times)
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