American dentist, Dr. Walter Palmer made headline news when he shot and killed Cecil the Lion. According to TMZ, August 14, 2015, it isn’t the first time he’s illegally shot and killed an animal. It seems that Dr. Palmer habitually shoots wild game living in protected locations. Although he usually obtains a license, he allegedly believes that the permit gives him access to any and all areas, even restricted areas. ABC News 20/20 found and published pictures of Dr. Palmer posing with a black bear he shot and killed in 2006. Dr. Palmer intentionally went into an area that was off limits to hunting of any kind. He knowingly went into the protected area of Northern Minnesota, 40 miles away from where he could legally hunt, when he shot the black bear. To hide the fact that he poached the bear, he offered his three guided $20,000 to lie for him. He wanted them to tell authorities or anyone who questioned where he shot the bear that it was shot in the legal area. The guides agreed to the deal. However, they didn’t lie when authorities questioned them. Dr. Palmer was charged with a felony for making false statements to an official. He was fined $2,938, and given probation for one year.
Now he is under fire with the people and the government of Zimbabwe. Dr. Palmer went on a safari hunt last month where he shot and killed a lion. He allegedly hired Theo Bronkhorst and paid him around $50,000 to help him find a lion to kill. Apparently, the hunt was delayed for some reason, so they went to lion hunt on a farm adjoining the Hwange National Park. The Zimbabwean Cabinet minister is trying to extradite Dr. Palmer to face charges in their country for killing Cecil the Lion. Several petitions have started which call for the extradition of Dr. Walter J. Palmer to Zimbabwe to face charges on killing Cecil the Lion. MoveOn.org has over 25,000 signatures and change.org has over 27,000.
Dr. Palmer has been caught before for poaching. In 2003, he was caught fishing without a license in Otter Tail County, Minnesota. He was given a small fine, which he paid. To date, Dr. Palmer has gone into hiding. He apparently believes that his acts will all be forgotten if he stays out of sight for a while. However, judging by the multitude of people picketing outside his practice and the growing number of names on the extradition petitions, it is doubtful.
What do you think should happen to Dr. Palmer? Should he be extradited back to Zimbabwe to face charges? Should he be put in jail, his dentist license taken away and or should he never be allowed to hunt ever again? Post your thoughts below in the comments section.