Over Easy: Cecil the Lion

Earlier this month, Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer paid park guides $50,000 to participate in what turned out to be a canned hunt of a beloved, frequently photographed and GPS-collared African park resident lion named Cecil. Cecil lived in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe, overseeing his group of cubs. In order to poach this lion, the hunting team lured him off national park property at night with dead animal bait strapped to the vehicle. Palmer first maimed Cecil with a cross bow and then tracked him for forty hours before killing him with a rifle. After a failed attempt to destroy Cecil’s tracking collar, the men skinned and beheaded Cecil, and left the carcass.

Today, the two guides will be in court in Zimbabwe to face charges for luring Cecil off park property in order to kill him on the adjacent property.

Meanwhile, Palmer the dentist, who has lied to feds in the past about one of his illegal trophy hunts in the US, claims that he “deeply regrets” killing Africa’s loved lion Cecil.

Quoting Palmer, Sky News explains:

“Again, I deeply regret that my pursuit of an activity I love and practice responsibly and legally resulted in the taking of this lion.”

The Star Tribune reported that Mr Palmer’s dental surgery was closed on Tuesday, with a note directing reporters to a public relations firm.

Conservation chief Johnny Rodrigues told Sky News: “The professional hunters scented the area by dragging a dead animal … and lured the lion to this spot.

“And then they came in at night while the lion was feeding, with a spotlight, and shot it with a bow and arrow.

“They didn’t kill him straight away. They took 40 hours to do a follow-up and eventually they caught up with him and shot him with a rifle.”

Now that Cecil is dead, the remaining alpha male, Jericho, will likely kill all of the cubs in order to preserve his own bloodline.

Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife press statement regarding the two guides facing charges.

Footage of Cecil the Lion:

Meanwhile, Palmer the dentist is being utterly destroyed on Yelp and elsewhere on the internet. His dental office is closed, and stuffed animals are being placed outside the door. The Minneapolis Star-Tribune has an additional report.

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