The killing of Zimbabwe’s best known lion sparks outrage over trophy hunting and questions about the Minnesota dentist responsible. Nathan Frandino reports.
Demonstrators protest office of dentist suspected of killing Cecil
Thousands of miles away from the Zimbabwe safari lands where Cecil the lion was killed, protesters have descended on offices of the man believed to have killed the animal.
Dr. Walter James Palmer has admitted to killing the lion but believes he was on a legal hunt, having hired professional local guides.
His admission hasn’t stopped Cecil fans from leaving stuffed animals on his office’s front door as a memorial.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) HAYLE HOPPE, PROTESTER, SAYING:
“I think he needs to think seriously about his hobby, and he can apologize until the cows come home. But for us, we’re here for Cecil. We’re not here for Dr. Palmer.”
(SOUNDBITE) (English) PIPER HOPPE, PROTESTER, SAYING:
“Preserves are meant to preserve wildlifes, not to just lure them off and poach them.”
Cecil, a distinctive black-maned lion, was lured out of Hwange National Park using bait and was wounded with a bow and arrow, and not shot dead until 40 hours later.
Since Palmer’s identity was revealed, there have been reports of threats and widespread criticism.
He has since said he regretted killing the animal… animal rights activists say they are disgusted.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) CHELSEA HASSLER, ANIMAL RIGHTS COALITION OUTREACH DIRECTOR, SAYING:
“We’re really hoping to spread some awareness that animals are not trophies. They’re not ours to use however we want. They have feelings and families just like we do. And we want to spread awareness about this issue and protest these acts that have occurred.”
Half a dozen petitions are calling for punishment, including extradition of Palmer to Zimbabwe and strong laws to protect big game animals.