Walter Palmer closes his practice and is hiding from the world after having killed Cecil the lion, but despite shutting down his dental practice in Bloomington, Minnesota, Walter Palmer, 55, has become the hunted — with nowhere to go, and nowhere to hide. The petition to demand justice for Cecil the lion is growing stronger every day.
As reported by the International Business Times on July 29, the petition asking justice for Cecil the lion is asking Zimbabwe’s President Robert Gabriel Mugabe to do something against Walter Palmer and against issuing hunting permits for lions. The petition was created by Ruth McD on the petition site Care2. As of July 29, the petition has gained more than 630,000 signatures.
According to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service director Dan Ashe, the African lion faces the threat of extinction by the year 2050. However, the African lion is not currently listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act even though the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposed listing it as threatened last October.
Cecil the lion was lured with food from the Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe on July 1 by dentist and big-game hunter Walter Palmer and two others. Palmer shot Cecil with a bow leaving him wounded for the next 40 hours. After tracking Cecil, Palmer shot the lion, skinned him, and cut off the head of the 13-year-old big cat.
The legend of Cecil the lion began three and a half years ago when Cecil was kicked out of his pride, beaten by younger, more powerful males, but then regained control of the region after teaming up with another lone male named Jericho. Cecil’s death is leaving Jericho alone to defend the two prides and cubs from other new males. Being unable to do so, Jericho will most likely kill all of Cecil’s cubs.
The guide and local farmer who helped Walter Palmer in the hunting and killing of Cecil the lion are facing 15 years in prison in Zimbabwe. Palmer, who paid $54,000 for the hunt, says that he is cooperating with Zimbabwe authorities, but he is reportedly in hiding. Walter Palmer issued the following statement about having killed Cecil, a favorite lion among tourists and wildlife researchers:
“I hired several professional guides, and they secured all proper permits. To my knowledge, everything about this trip was legal and properly handled. 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. I relied on the expertise of my local professional guides to ensure a legal hunt.”
“Again, I deeply regret that my pursuit of an activity I love and practice responsibly and legally resulted in the taking of this lion,” Palmer’s statement concluded.
As Walter Palmer closes his practice along with his Twitter and Facebook accounts, and his dental practice has been slaughtered on Yelp, information about his previous unsavory hunts are being shared by the media. Palmer’s kills are listed by an organization called Safari Club International, a big-game hunting group, and the organization’s record book shows Palmer having already killed an African lion in 2005. The record book shows Walter Palmer in Zimbabwe in 2013, after having shot an African elephant.