The world is mourning the death of majestic Cecil the Lion of Zimbabwe, seen here in his prime:
This magnificent creature was slain by dentist Walter Palmer of Minnesota, who paid $50,000 to guides in Zimbabwe who lured Cecil out of a game preserve merely to shoot him and cut off his head for a trophy. When the guides realized the lion had been collared by an Oxford group doing research on lions, they dumped the collar and proceeded to behead and skin Cecil, but the Zimbabwe government seized what was left of the creature and did not allow Palmer to keep his kill.
Palmer is in the public crosshairs after the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force said Cecil the lion was lured out of an animal sanctuary in Zimbabwe and shot with a crossbow.
But his death wasn't immediate.
Cecil lived another 40 hours until the hunters tracked him down and shot him with a gun. He was then skinned and beheaded.
The hunters also tried to destroy the GPS collar that Cecil was wearing as part of research backed by Oxford University, the conservation group said.
. . . Above the menagerie of stuffed animals at the door, posters now cover the front facade of the practice.
One sign asked, "Dr. Palmer, why did you kill Cecil?" Another said, "Rot in hell." A third employed the hashtag #catlivesmatter.
The vitriol for Palmer even flowed from the governor's mansion.
"I'm just so disgusted with that man," said Gov. Mark Dayton. "Shoot any lion but lure a lion like that out of the preserve and shoot him, how could anybody think that's sport? Just appalling."
When word of this senseless death hit the news and social media, all hell broke loose for Mr. Palmer, as it should.
I hope that #WalterPalmer loses his home, his practice & his money. He has already lost his soul...— Sharon Osbourne (@MrsSOsbourne) July 28, 2015
Will you join me and demand that all global airlines stop transporting endangered animal "trophies" now? https://t.co/wmyQ80LFMM— mia farrow (@MiaFarrow) July 30, 2015
Walter Palmer needs a 40-hour root canal before extradition to Zimbabwe. #CecilTheLion pic.twitter.com/UR1oILJmTj— Barracks O'Bama (@P0TUS) July 29, 2015
2 Zimbabwean Men Who Helped #WalterPalmer Kill #CecilTheLion Have Been Arrested & Are In Court http://t.co/ErsDc8Gz8F pic.twitter.com/rQsqqX4r5P— Lnonblonde (@Lnonblonde) July 29, 2015
Believe it or not, even though the hunt went completely wrong, Walter Palmer wanted to keep on hunting and asked to shoot an elephant next. Apparently he doesn't give a crap about the rare animals of Africa or the world in general. But now the world cares what happens to Palmer and would love to see his ass in jail.
Walter Palmer, the U.S. dentist who killed the lion Cecil in Zimbabwe, wanted to shoot a “very large elephant,” his guide and professional hunter Theo Bronkhorst told the Daily Telegraph Thursday. Palmer has gone underground amid an international outcry over the illegal hunt of the "iconic" lion.
Bronkhorst told the Telegraph that after killing the lion in Hwange National Park, Palmer asked him if he could find an elephant whose tusk weighed at least 63 pounds. "I told him I would not be able to find one so big, so the client left the next day," he said.
Prosecutors charged Bronkhorst Wednesday for failing to prevent Palmer from unlawfully killing Cecil. However, they are yet to charge Honest Ndlovu -- a second suspect and farm owner -- who has been named as an accomplice. Ndlovu appeared in court Wednesday.
The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force said Tuesday that Palmer -- who paid $50,000 to kill Cecil -- and his group tied a dead animal to their car to lure the lion. According to the Safari Operators Association of Zimbabwe, drawing in animals with a bait is unethical. The association, of which Bronkhorst is a member, has revoked his license.
Talk-show host Jimmy Kimmel highlighted the death of Cecil by asking for donations to the group studying the lion and his pride: Wildcru.org
Statement from famous naturalist Jane Goodall:
I was shocked and outraged to hear the story of Cecil, Zimbabwe’s much loved lion. Not only is it incomprehensible to me that anyone would want to kill an endangered animal (fewer than 20,000 wild lions in Africa today) but to lure Cecil from the safety of a national park and then to shoot him with a crossbow...? I have no words to express my repugnance. He was not even killed outright, but suffered for hours before finally being shot with a bullet. And his magnificent head severed from his wounded body. And this behaviour is described as a “sport." Only one good thing comes out of this – thousands of people have read the story and have also been shocked. Their eyes opened to the dark side of human nature. Surely they will now be more prepared to fight for the protection of wild animals and the wild places where they live. Therein lies the hope.
Jane Goodall, Ph.d., DBE
Founder, the Jane Goodall Institute &
UN Messenger of Peace
From the Born Free Foundation:
Following the tragic and reportedly illegal killing of Cecil the lion, Born Free Foundation and Born Free USA today called on the US Government and European Union to take urgent steps to end the import of lion trophies and for an international moratorium on lion hunting.
The global outcry following Cecil’s death has sent shock waves across the world and has further ignited the political and public debate on the plight of wild lions and the inhumane actions of sport hunters.
. . . President of the Born Free Foundation, Will Travers OBE, has publicly called on the hunters to lay down their weapons of mass destruction. “Cecil's story has sickened and saddened us all. We can no longer accept that hunting magnificent wild animals for ‘sport’ can be deemed acceptable. Cecil's death was brutal and it showed no respect for this iconic symbol of Africa. Trophy hunting is no sport; it is merely a disguise for killing to massage an ego.”
Born Free is calling on the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to release its Final Rule on the petition to list the lion as ‘endangered’ under the United States Endangered Species Act, first submitted by Born Free and others in March 2011. Listing under the ESA would prohibit wounding, harming, harassing, killing, or trading in lions, except under certain very limited conditions, and would add significant protection for lions across their range.
Further, Born Free is calling on US Government prosecutors to explore whether legal action against Mr Palmer is warranted under the Lacey Act, which prohibits transport of wildlife specimens if they were taken illegally in their place of origin.
Born To Be Free, Not To Be Trophies #CecilTheLion #hunting http://t.co/RZiYhRM9CY pic.twitter.com/uirpR7YXwH— Born Free Foundation (@BFFoundation) July 29, 2015
Zimbabwe would like a few words with Dr. Palmer, as well as our own U.S. Fish and Game service.
Zimbabwe has begun the process to extradite #WalterPalmer. Now if only they could find him http://t.co/WkpGvBGesf pic.twitter.com/dT6LwMFlTY— Mic (@micnews) August 1, 2015
We're investigating the killing of #CecilTheLion. Will go where facts lead. We ask Dr. Palmer or his rep to contact USFWS immediately.— US Fish and Wildlife (@USFWS) July 30, 2015
Late yesterday we were voluntarily contacted by a rep of Dr. Palmer. We appreciate the cooperation, investigation is ongoing. #CecilTheLion— US Fish and Wildlife (@USFWS) July 31, 2015
Obama administration offers to help investigate killing of #CecilTheLion: http://t.co/SVWSDDrPBR pic.twitter.com/WDumgRIPOJ— The Hill (@thehill) July 30, 2015
Lions kill only for food. #WalterPalmer kills for fun. Who's the real animal?— Harold Itzkowitz (@HaroldItz) July 30, 2015
.@RiverBlufDental A privileged "man" gets his rocks off murdering innocent wildlife. #Pathetic #WalterPalmer pic.twitter.com/lBUcYsZ4Et— Loraine Blue (@LoraineBlue9) July 30, 2015
"The trophy hunter is now the trophy." @CroweJam's take on #CeciltheLion http://t.co/SUFn7w7953 pic.twitter.com/H8lOQBfVJV— AL.com (@aldotcom) July 30, 2015
WALTER PALMER KILLED A WHITE RHINO, OF WHICH THERE ARE ONLY 4 LEFT #CECILTHELION pic.twitter.com/0sGNfz9BFP— Roberto (@NYspanish) July 29, 2015
I hope this is the Zimbabwe prison where #WalterPalmer will be incarcerated for the next 10-30 years. #CecilTheLion pic.twitter.com/oTSg3KiJGj— ⒿⓄⓁⓉⒾⓃ ⒿⓄⒺ (@fullofbalogna) July 31, 2015
Repubs on killing of #CecilTheLion : "He shoulda stayed in the preserve." "He shouldn't have resisted." "He shoulda obeyed the hunter."— Chernynkaya (@Chernynkaya) July 30, 2015
NRA's Ted Nugent: People Upset About The Killing Of Cecil The Lion Are "Stupid" http://t.co/koU3N329ub pic.twitter.com/S0tMknwr7a— Chewy Toohey (@Chewster2e) July 29, 2015
Senators Ted Cruz and Mike Lee pose with a formerly live, majestic and endangered Tiger. Now a trophy. #CecilTheLion pic.twitter.com/UZAdQYvNzy— Bill Wong (@ten24get) July 30, 2015