American Dentist Accused Of Luring, Killing, And Beheading Beloved Cecil the Lion In Zimbabwe

CLBO8g9WIAAoQftIn 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.

grid-cell-6053-1438100917-14grid-cell-6053-1438100916-11Palmer (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.”

Source: CNN

117 thoughts on “American Dentist Accused Of Luring, Killing, And Beheading Beloved Cecil the Lion In Zimbabwe”

  1. Paul:

    He only gets bravery brownie points if it’s a man eating lion going after a person, and he runs out in the grass all by himself and gets a clean kill shot with his bow, saving the entire village.

    If he’s standing there with his armed hunting guides shooting a lion acclimated to humans to the point that he’s as mellow as a 400 pound lion can be, and he wounds it and lets it suffer for 40 hours, whereupon his guides finally end its misery, he gets no points. He gets a kick in the butt and the dunce cap of shame.

    1. Karen – neither you nor I have the nerve to go after the lion regardless of how ‘tame’ it is. 🙂 Especially with a bow. And to his credit they did track it until they could kill it, some 40 hours.

  2. I see nothing wrong with hunting lions along as the Lion has a chance. Go stalk him with a bow and arrow – shooting from a blind sounds boring and cowardly. Too bad this will give all hunters a bad name. The fact is that Animals can pest, can be dangerous, and sometimes need to be culled. So we kill them, and I haven’t even mentioned killing and eating them.

    Its funny that no one cares that 10,000,000 cows get “murdered” every year. I supposed the death of a million cows is a statistic, the death of one Lion a tragedy.

    1. Rcocean

      Just the other day I heard a feed lot referred to as “Cowshwitz”.

  3. Trophy hunting is just sick. Hunting is not sick, but trophy hunting is a blot on the craft of hunting.

    I agree with Karen 100% I firmly support hunting for food. The meat is organic, as long as the habit is wild and unpolluted. As long as it’s a clean shot, the animal is spared the horrors of the slaughterhouse. And I understand the necessity of having to kill a nuisance predator that is a danger to humans, when there is no other option. But I will never understand trophy hunting, and I think canned hunts are shameful.

    It is one thing to kill for food or to kill predators or to kill invasive pests (DIE ground squirrels DIE!!!!) and another to just go and kill to put another notch in your belt. To get bragging rights because you shot a lion, tiger, bear…oh my. The practice of baiting or luring animals is sick as well. People who put out salt licks for deer or grain to draw in birds are basically cheaters.

  4. Interesting that people refer to the unborn as babies or even by a specific name when they plan to keep the child. They will post ultrasound pictures on social media to share the news. And they never say, “We’re having a fetus.” They are clearly having a baby.

    But when the plan is to abort or they are referring to abortions, the baby suddenly becomes fetal tissue or just a lump of cells.

    Also interesting that progressives are so opposed to men having control over women’s bodies [I don’t like this either] BUT they have no problem with women having control over the bodies of their unborn children, even to the point of killing them.

    I used to be pro-choice myself. But then I saw the twisted lengths I was going to justify this and realized that my conscience had far outgrown my political identify. BTW, I’m not a religious fruitcake by any definition.

    1. Squeeky

      I heard that the good dentist started an organization called Poachers Without Borders.

  5. I don’t understand the pushback on the PP baby parts for research investigation. You would think that people would support an investigation to determine if there was any wrong doing. But it appears that some people do not want PP even investigated, or the practice of selling fetal body parts spoken about at all.

    Why this pushback against basic journalism? Why prevent accurate information from getting out there? An investigation is just that – a search for accurate facts.

  6. SierraRose:

    “It is very possible that this lion left the park on its own and was taken with a legal permit by hunters who did not see the collar until after the cat was tracked down and killed, the finding of the collar on the cat was reported immediately to the authorities, in compliance with the law. Of the lions being tracked inside the park 64 have died, 32 of those 64 were killed outside the park where they had traveled on their own. The line between park and non-park is not visible to the lions.”

    It is true that the collar is not easily visible. You cannot see it in photos of Cecil. However, articles claim that Dr Palmer tied a carcass to his truck in order to lure the lion outside of the park. He also has a history of lying about where he shot that bear in his earlier run in with Fish and Game.

    You are also correct that the lions have no idea where the “safe zone” is. What we need to find out is if deliberately luring lions outside the reserve with bait is a common practice. I doubt this is the first time they’ve done it.

    It is against the law to remove a collar from an animal, even after it’s been killed. If the guides are professional, they should be aware of the law. At least one article claims that they did not have a hunting permit, at all. So, clearly, some facts will continue to come out with an investigation.

    What we know already is that Dr Palmer shot a protected lion outside of a reserve using bait, using an arrow, wounded it, took 40 hours to find it whereupon his guides shot it, they illegally removed the collar, and continued to process the carcass. At the very least, they were aware that this was an illegal kill once they’d noticed the collar, and yet they continued to behead and skin the carcass, removing the “trophies.” Plus there is public opinion on trophy hunting, legal or not, for animals that are not a clear and present danger, or in need of culling due to disruption of the ecosystem.

    What remains to be seen is if they used that bait to deliberately lure a protected lion out of the safe zone, at what point they understood this was an illegal hunt, and if any of their statements were falsehoods.

    Just based on the known facts alone, I think Dr Palmer is a poor excuse for a hunter.

    1. Karen – you have to give him points for going after it with a bow.

      1. Michael S Goodman – are you ‘man enough’ to go after a full-grown male lion with a bow?

          1. Michael S Goodman – you getting your dental degree from the University of the Spaghetti Monster? I looked at them for a Ph.D. but they wanted you to actually graduate from high school.

  7. “A human fetus is not the same as an adult grown lion.”

    Plus, the left knows that the capitalist market for killing lions is The Biggest Evil Since Last Week, but the capitalist market for fetal parts is Evil Because It Should Not Be Seen.

    So no, not the same at all.

    1. Chief Consort

      I hear the next M Night Shyamilin movie is going to be called Secondhand Fetuses.


      Haley Joel Osment looks at Bruce Willis and says,” I see dead lions. Real African lions”.

  8. ““Several Republican presidential candidates have claimed that Planned Parenthood is “profiting” from abortions. But the full, unedited video they cite as evidence shows a Planned Parenthood executive repeatedly saying its clinics want to cover their costs, not make money, when donating fetal tissue from abortions for scientific research.”

    Right. That is the PP position, which is that they charge a fee in order to cover their costs for collecting the tissue. The fact that they get more money for a brain than they do a kidney doesn’t mean anything, they say.

    We’ve all heard this before for many industries, including health insurance. Certain fees are “just to cover costs.” When something becomes worth money, there is the temptation to make it an industry.

    But the fact remains that representatives pick over a pile of aborted fetuses to pick out organs and tissue to use in medical research. The interview I read state that the whistleblower fainted the first time she did it. She was told by others that some of them never get over rummaging through the torn apart limbs, little hands, and crushed skulls.

    That’s really why I support educating women on what an abortion actually means. Most think it’s “just a ball of cells” when it’s way past the blastula stage. Like any medical procedure, the woman needs to understand what’s happening and what the results will be. Because I think it’s basically tricking women for PP to refer to a fetus as a “ball of cells” or otherwise refrain from explaining what the fetus actually looks like. And when that woman finds out later what a fetus looks like, and how it moves, during gestation, she can feel shocked that she thought that was just a ball of cells. That said, I do not think that women should be forced to have an ultrasound if they decline it. I think accurate information should be offered. I also think that they should teach gestation more thoroughly in high school health classes, so that young people will think more carefully about responsibility so they never find themselves in the position of having to make a tough choice.

    The general public finds it upsetting to realize that a vaccine may include material from cell lines of an aborted fetus. The vast majority of people also find partial birth abortions, or any abortion over 5 months, abhorrent. That’s why the Dr Gosnell House of Horrors unified us in outrage. The vast majority of Americans polled believe there should be at least some limits on abortions. The disagreement is on where that line lies.

  9. I also read that review sites for his dental practice have been inundated with negative reviews because of this reprehensible act. Commenters ask people not to patronize his business or else they will contribute financially to this kind of behavior.

    1. I certainly hope that his practice will suffer financially!
      That is the only manner in which any dentist can be made to understand his improper actions!

  10. I just read about this horrid story yesterday.

    Dr. Palmer was in trouble before with Fish and Game for shooting a bear out of the allowed area and then lying about where he’d killed it.

    Also, he or his guides removed Cecil’s collar, which is also illegal. They tied the carcass of a dead animal to their truck to lure Cecil about a mile out of the reserve.

    So I don’t buy for a minute that this was all just a mistake.

    I wish that the researchers would remove some of Cecil’s cubs, although they usually let nature take its course. I’ve never heard of a male taking over a pride and allowing cubs to live, although that might be a possibility.

    Cecil was one of, if not the most, famous lions in Zimbabwe. He’s been described many times as mellow, which indicates he’d become acclimated to tourists. Not much “sport” for a trophy hunter.

    I firmly support hunting for food. The meat is organic, as long as the habit is wild and unpolluted. As long as it’s a clean shot, the animal is spared the horrors of the slaughterhouse. And I understand the necessity of having to kill a nuisance predator that is a danger to humans, when there is no other option. But I will never understand trophy hunting, and I think canned hunts are shameful. I also think it is reprehensible for this idiot to have wounded the lion with an arrow and then taken 40 hours to find it and put it out of its misery. Plus, I wonder if the lion could have survived that initial injury. If they’d admitted what they’d done, could Cecil have been saved?

  11. There is no reason to compare apples to oranges here. A human fetus is not the same as an adult grown lion.

    1. Barkingdog

      “There is no reason to compare apples to oranges here. A human fetus is not the same as an adult grown lion.”

      Well, one is state sanctioned culling with a spotlight and an outclassed prey and the other is lion hunting.

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