WASHINGTON, July 30, 2015 – Walter J. Palmer, a dentist from Minnesota, is the most hated man in America after killing a lion in Zimbabwe in an allegedly illegal and cruel manner. CNN said the lion, known as Cecil, was a well-known tourist attraction at Hwange National Park.
Two men, Theo Bronchorst, a professional hunter, and Honest Trymore Ndlovu, a landowner, were arrested in the death of Cecil. The pair was released on $1,000 bail each, by a Zimbabwe court on Wednesday. Through their attorney the men claim that they were innocent of poaching charges, which officials said could bring a sentence of 10 years in prison.
Cecil was apparently lured out of park boundaries by the Zimbabwians who used a dead animal as bait, and who was then being bushwhacked by the tooth puller. Once the animal was dead, he was decapitated, skinned and his radio tracking collar, from a study by Oxford University, was destroyed.
“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,” Palmer said Tuesday in a statement. “I relied on the expertise of my local professional guides to ensure a legal hunt.”
The Wall Street Journal reports:
“The death of the lion has provoked an international outcry that mixed grief and indignation, with the president of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals issuing a statement calling for Mr. Palmer to be hanged if claims of illegal hunting are proven true in court.”
A head for a head? Ouch.
According to USA Today, Palmer paid $50-thousand for the privilege of stalking the king of the beasts.
In Britain, The Daily Telegraph appeared to relish splashing the story across its front page, and went into gory detail concerning big game hunters of the past, from Teddy Roosevelt to King George V. The killing of Cecil, or any lion like Cecil has long ranging effects on his ‘pride.”
“The saddest part of all is that, now that Cecil is dead, the next lion in the hierarchy, Jericho will most likely kill all Cecil’s cubs so that he can insert his own bloodline into the females,” the Zimbabwe Conservation Force said.
“This is standard procedure for lions,” it warned.
Compounding the problem, “the females of the pride could die trying to defend those young,” said Jeff Flocken, the North American regional director for the International Fund for Animal Welfare.
Palmer’s dental office in Eden Prairie remains closed, and his Facebook page has ceased to exist after activists flooded it with derogatory comments and threats.
From Sharon Osborne to famed primatologist and conservationist Jane Goodall there has been massive outcry not only for the death of Cecil but the sport of big game trophy hunting as well.
“He was not even killed outright, but suffered for hours before finally being shot with a bullet. . … And this behavior is described as a ‘sport.,” Goodall said in a statement to media. “Only one good thing comes out of this,” she continued. “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.”
The straw that could break the dentist’s back, however, comes from a legislator from his own home state of Minnesota. USA Today reports:
Looks like it’s ‘Open Season’ on Minnesota dentist Jokes . . .
“In Minnesota the only time you go to the dentist is if you want a tooth shot and stuffed to display over your fireplace.”
And so to verse:
THE SAGA OF CORKY THE COCKROACH.
I didn’t know the law forbade me kill the tawny critter.
Now the press is after me and life is very bitter.
‘Twas just a common cockroach that had scuttled past my view.
I stomped upon it urgently until it turned to goo.
But soon I found I had destroyed a cherished superstar,
whose name of Corky Cockroach was applauded near and far.
CNN, the New York Times, and Jimmy Kimmel, all
have started kicking me around just like a soccer ball.
I’m threatened with some jail time and penalties immense −
if only my dislike for bugs were not so damn intense!