The world was enraged when in July of this year news broke that a hunter had killed Zimbabwe’s most famous and beloved lion Cecil. It was found that it was US dentist Walter Palmer. People in the United States gathered around his place of work and wanted Palmer to go to trial for the killing which was done for trophy hunting.
Zimbabwe began a formal investigation into the incident, claiming all parties involved will be brought to trial if found guilty. “We approached the police and then the prosecutor general, and it turned out that Palmer came to Zimbabwe because all the papers were in order,” Zimbabwe’s Environment minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri told reporters. Therefore Palmer can’t be charged for his actions.
The most that the authorities can do at this point is to ban Palmer from hunting in the country. He would be free to visit as a tourist at any time, but will not be issued any hunting permits. Unsurprisingly the comments were not well received by animal lovers. The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force is still convinced Palmer has committed a crime and it will try to pursue legal action against him in the USA.
“The fact is the law was broken,” said Johnny Rodrigues, the head of the Zimbabwe task force. “We are going to get our advocates in America to actually see what they can do to bring justice to him.”
Currently Palmer is back at work at his practice in Bloomington, Minnesota. The other two people who were with Palmer and helped him set up the safari are still facing charges. It is suspected they used bait to lure the lion away from his habitat in the Hwange National Park. They are denying the charges. Palmer maintains no one knew the lion was Cecil who was a well-known tourist attraction.
The ordeal caused a worldwide uproar and calls for the ban of trophy hunting. So far though nothing has really come up against it.