Minnesota Dentist Says He Didn’t Know The Lion He Shot Was ‘Cecil’


When Minnesota dentist Walter J. Palmer shot a lion during a recent hunt in Zimbabwe, he says he had no idea the animal was “Cecil,” a 13-year-old lion who served as a “major tourist draw at Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park.”

Palmer shot the lion with a crossbow after paying “at least $50,000” for the hunt and says he relied on the “expertise” of local guides to put him on the right lion.

According to CNN, the two men on whom Palmer relied—Theo Bronchorst, a professional hunter, and Honest Trymore Ndlovu, a land owner—face poaching charges for allegedly luring Cecil “out of the sanctuary of the park with a dead animal on top of a vehicle.” Both men spoke through an attorney to say they were not guilty of the poaching charges.

Meanwhile, CNN reports that the lion was skinned and “beheaded” after being killed–which is normal practice for a dead animal intended for display. They also report that the social media backlash against Palmer’s lion hunt has apparently caused his business website to shut down.

Sharon Osborne lashed out at Palmer for hunting a lion, tweeting that he has “already lost his soul.” She also said she hopes Palmer “loses his home, his [dental] practice, & his money.” She did not comment on her husband Ozzy Osbourne’s on stage antics of allegedly biting the head off a live bat in 1982 and two live doves in 1981.

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