Cecil the Lion killer gives first interview

via Cecil the Lion killer gives first interview – Southern Eye

The American dentist who sparked global outcry after killing Cecil the Lion has said he will return to work on Tuesday.

Agencies

Walter Palmer, 55, vanished after he was identified as the hunter who paid around £35,000 to butcher the iconic animal in Zimbabwe in July.

The big cat had been lured from Hwange National Park on to a neighbouring farm, where Palmer shot it with a bow and arrow.

Cecil, famous across Africa for his black mane and also the subject of an Oxford University research project, was just wounded.

In pain, it is believed he was tracked for 40 hours before Palmer shot him dead with his gun. Cecil was then beheaded.

Speaking publicly for the first time about the furore, Palmer denied that he went into hiding after he was identified as Cecil’s killer, and repeated his claim that he believed the hunt was legal.

Flanked either side by a lawyer and a PR consultant, he told the press: “I’ve been out of the public eye seeing family and friends.”

He claimed there has been “some safety issues” for his family, adding “this has been especially hard on my wife and my daughter.

“They’ve been threatened in the social media, and again… I don’t understand that level of humanity to come after people not involved at all.”

Palmer claimed he did not realises Cecil was wearing a collar and was regarded as a national treasure.

“If I had known this lion had a name and was important to the country or a study obviously I wouldn’t have taken it,” he said.

“Nobody in our hunting party knew before or after the name of this lion.”

Palmer also revealed he will be returning to work at his Minnesota dental practice, River Bluff Dental, which has been targeted by animal rights protesters this week.

Zimbabwean authorities have asked the U.S to extradite Palmer to face charges over the killing, but it remains unclear if this is likely to happen.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service has opened its own investigation.

Hunt co-ordinator Theo Bronkhorst was arrested.

He and farm landowner Honest Trymore Ndlovu face criminal poaching charges over Cecil’s death.

Both deny any wrongdoing.

COMMENTS

WORDPRESS: 5
  • comment-avatar
    Reverend 6 years ago

    Well done Mr Palmer, I believe you are guilty of nothing and we Zimbabweans need to be ashamed at how you have been treated and what you have been called by our authorities. It disgusts me that all including our uneducated environmental minister have stooped low in calling you a poacher and a renegade….so sorry sir. I will be amazed if the PH Bronkhorst will be charged with anything.

    • comment-avatar

      You are right, Bronkhorst will be charged with Nothing. The world press is conveniently ignoring the second illegal lion hunt with the ruthless, unethical thug with the name Headman Sibanda. They will never touch that one. Just ask the likes of Minister Obert Mpofu! They all know where all this ‘hunt’ money goes, and it is absolutely not to the communities. Obert Mpofu will not let his main hunting puppet be put away, and so Bronkhorst will walk free too. The Americans are even lower on their lists.

  • comment-avatar
    Blah Lodza 6 years ago

    You are such an apologist @Reverend. Why on earth would you apologize to this nit??? Nxx

  • comment-avatar
    Jono Austin 6 years ago

    So let’s see now-I see Cecil and think ‘what a magnificent lion-majestic’ and move on to view the next species of wildlife.
    On the other hand the dentist see the lion and immediately thinks ‘I want to kill it’ Not only that, I will fly 9000 miles to kill that animal-I will go far out of my way to put an arrow into it(what a pleasure) or a bullet into it(from a nice safe distance) What deep satisfaction and enjoyment I get from that-there’s nothing so enjoyable than killing a lion-it’s beautiful. The lion doesn’t know the dentist exists, it’s just getting on with it’s life. However the dentist wants to cut it’s head off to put on his wall. You have to question the mindset of all trophy hunters-to me they are a very sick species of human. If you want ‘the thrill of the hunt’ let other people hunt you. That I guarantee, will get you all the ‘thrills’ you need.

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    PH Bronkhorst will be charged with nothing, or next to nothing. The world press is conveniently ignoring the second illegal lion hunt with the ruthless and unethical thug PH with the name Headman Sibanda. That is a name known by many. They will never touch that one. Just ask the likes of Minister Obert Mpofu! They all know where all this ‘hunt’ money goes, and it is absolutely not to the communities. Obert Mpofu will not let his main hunting puppet be put away, and so PH Bronkhorst will walk free too. The Americans are even lower on their lists.