In Zimbabwe, Cecil the lion was a believed to be a rare animal that was relatively safe from trophy hunters and poachers. After all, the 13-year-old lion wore a GPS collar as part of a research project with Oxford University and lived in a reserve funded by various governments and organizations to keep animals safe. Indeed, Cecil was something of a beloved celebrity. What park rangers did not count on was combination of corrupt tour operators, a foreign hunter, and an array of others seeking to lure the lion out of its protected area. Officials say that hunters paid $55,000 for the fun of shooting Cecil and then cutting off his head and skinning him. He was lured out of the park with bait so that he could be killed for sport. The culprit was allegedly a US dentist Walter Palmer from a small town near Minneapolis. Palmer loves to kill large animals and then pose with their bodies in postings on social media.
Cecil had six lioness mates and had sired approximately 24 cubs. Those cubs may now also be killed, which is common when other males move into another lion’s pride.
Palmer (left shown here with an earlier trophy) allegedly hired his band of hunters who helped lure Cecil a mile from the park. Palmer then was able to enjoy killing this magnificent animal with a bow and arrow. They then cut off the collar, another crime in the country.
Cecil was tracked for 40 hours by the team to corner it for Palmer to kill him. The first effort was botched and Cecil survived in pain until he could be tracked down the next day and killed.
The professional hunter, Theo Bronkhorst, with Bushman Safaris said he reported the “mistake” to the Parks and Wildlife Management Authority. However, few believe his account and he and the landowner bordering the national park have been charged. The government noted that “Both the professional hunter and land owner had no permit or quota to justify the offtake of the lion and therefore are liable for the illegal hunt.”
For his part, Palmer issued a statement that “To my knowledge, everything about this trip was legal and properly handled and conducted. . . I had no idea that the lion I took was a known, local favorite, was collared and part of a study until the end of the hunt . . . I deeply regret that my pursuit of an activity I love and practice responsibly and legally resulted in the taking of this lion.”
117 thoughts on “American Dentist Accused Of Luring, Killing, And Beheading Beloved Cecil the Lion In Zimbabwe”
Donald Trump’s two sons are also big game hunters.
Amid the outrage, photos quickly resurfaced of Donald Trump’s sons, Donald Trump Jr. and Eric Trump, posing with the dead bodies of several exotic animals, including an African elephant and leopard, they had previously hunted for sport.
When the photos initially emerged online back in 2012, the Trump brothers staunchly defended themselves, taking to Twitter to “make no apologies.”
Update, August 2, 2015: Donald Trump defended his sons with the following statement: “My sons love to hunt. They are members of the NRA, very proudly. I am a big believer in the second amendment. My sons are hunters. Eric is a hunter. He puts it on a par with golf – ahead of golf. And my other son is a hunter. They are great marksmen, great shots. I like to play golf.”
Legal hunts provide much needed funding for protection and conservation in Africa. So, it’s not hunting itself that is a problem. If folks think it is, then they can start writing checks to these preserves so the rangers can continue to hunt poachers. However, this appears not to be one of those kinds of hunts. I also suspect that if the lion was Bob, Cecil’s mangy cousin, we might not have heard about this hunt at all. Being photogenic helps a great deal when seeking justice.
Patric, Great to see you again.
For anyone interested, Walter Palmer – if found guilty in any legal venue – will join the expected 2,400+ other doctors convicted of serious crimes in the year 2015.
As of Wednesday, July 29, we have 1,390 seven months into the year.
Doesn’t that make you proud to be an American.
Professor Turley was also a regular guest on MSNBC and CNN for years and years.
I’m surprised that readers who ridicule Fox News read Professor Turley’s blog. Most of the stories he comments on have also appeared in Fox News.
So if Fox News covers Faux stories, so does this blog.
George nailed it. The demise of FFS has brought back the usual trolls (and their sock puppets).
Paul C. Schulte:
You fail, along with the grand inquisitor and the rest of the fox news echo chamber choir who are attempting to hijack this thread with your lies about Planned Parenthood
Palsey Schmutz – so, I hear thru the grapevine that Flowers for Algernon folded. We can always use a troll.
Walter Palmer will remain notorious for the rest of his life for this cruel and cowardly act of unsportmanslike destruction. I hope he will be extradited and tried in Zimbabwe for this crime. Unfortunately, his children will also have to bear the stain of his crime on their names.
I think it’s important to severely punish the landowner and hunting tour operators with long prison terms and a lifetime ban on hunting licenses. The land owner should have his property seized and made part of the game reserve.
Jonathan’s post is about Cecil. Nowhere did I see anything about abortion. You pro-life people are selfish and intrusive. There are 99 sites about abortion, Planned Parenthood, religion, selling baby parts, et, but this ain’t one. Go somewhere else to spread your hatred and lies. If any of you bigots worried about yourselves half as much as you do about the choices of others, you’d be much happier people.
The people who assisted the dentist are more culpable, in my eyes, than the dentist. Make no mistake, they should all three be shot with a crossbow and left to die for 40 hours but the two others owed a duty to Cecil and all other animals under their umbrella of responsibility and should be held to a higher standard than the dentist.
Tragedy. (Cecil, that is – not the unborn fetuses lying in the wombs of women who have been raped, abused, live in poverty, made poor choices or whatever situations they find themselves in due to the system.)
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