According to a report from The Telegraph, Cecil the lion, the most beloved animal in one of Zimbabwe’s national parks, was killed by an American hunter who likes to boast about shooting wild animals with his bow and arrow.
Walter James Palmer, a dentist from Minnesota, is believed to have paid £35,000 to shoot and kill the much-loved lion with a bow and arrow. The animal was shot on July 1 in Hwange National Park. Two independent sources have confirmed the hunter’s identity to the paper, which has also seen a copy of the relevant hunting permit.
“He never bothered anybody,” said Johnny Rodrigues, the head ofZimbabwe Conservation Task Force. “He was one of the most beautiful animals to look at.”
In a statement released to the public, Palmer said the authorities had yet to contact him and added he did not know the lion he had killed was so loved by the public.
“In early July, I was in Zimbabwe on a bow hunting trip for big game. I hired several professional guides and they secured all proper permits. To my knowledge, everything about this trip was legal and properly handled and conducted,” Palmer’s statement said.
“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. …
I have not been contacted by authorities in Zimbabwe or in the US about this situation, but will assist them in any inquiries they may have. Again, I deeply regret that my pursuit of an activity I love and practice responsibly and legally resulted in the taking of this lion.”
Watch a report on the story, via The Telegraph: