Walter Palmer Won’t Be Charged For Cecil the Lion’s Death

Credits: Daughter#3 via Flickr/Creative Commons

Credits: Daughter#3 via Flickr/Creative Commons

After receiving worldwide attention for hunting down and killing Zimbabwean lion, Cecil, Walter Palmer will not be prosecuted. Even though the Environment Minister of Zimbabwe, Oppah Muchinguri, requested that the dentist be extradited and charged for committing a “wildlife crime,” Mr. Palmer will not go to court for his actions. According to Mrs. Muchinguri, Mr. Palmer had arranged the paperwork prior to his visit and “had obtained legal authority” to hunt in the African country. He has supposedly “[broken] no laws when he killed the lion using a bow and arrow.” The Environment Minister went further, explaining that “[the Ministry] approached the police and then the Prosecutor General, and it turned out that [Walter] Palmer came to Zimbabwe because all the papers were in order.”


Sources have stated that Cecil the Lion was quite popular and very beloved among tourists in Hwange National Park. He led two prides, which “[contained] six lionesses and 12 cubs along with another lion, Jericho,” and was also part of Oxford University’s lion conservation studies. Before hunting Cecil, though, it is believed that Walter Palmer paid Theo Bronkhorst, an alleged Zimbabwean guide, a quantity of around $50,000 in order to hunt the lion down. In July 2015, the Southwest African lion, was reportedly lured out of his habitat, the Zimbabwean national park, by the hunting group conducted by Mr. Palmer. Once the rare black-maned lion was out of the wildlife conservation area, he was then severely wounded by an arrow. After 40 hours, dentist Walter Palmer shot Cecil dead with a rifle, and took his head as a trophy.


Ever since Cecil’s death, Mr. Palmer has faced major backlash due to his controversial actions of hunting animals. “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,” Palmer said. He also claims that “the tracking collar could not be seen during the nighttime hunt amid the animal’s full mane” and “nobody in [his] hunting party knew before or after the name of this lion.” He proceeded to say, “I need to get back to treating my patients, my staff and my patients support me, and they want me back. That’s why I’m back.” Several protesters, including his former patients, have already gathered in front of his office in order to object against his actions.


Theo Bronkhorst, who is also “accused of being an accomplice to wildlife smuggling and for moving animals without a permit,” is being charged for “failing to prevent an illegal hunt.” He denies the prosecution as he defends that the hunt was legal, as they apparently had the necessary paperwork.

Mrs. Muchinguri affirmed that Walter Palmer will no longer be allowed in Zimbabwe as a hunter, and will only be allowed to visit the country as a tourist. Furthermore, the unfortunate occurrence of Cecil’s death has also led Zimbabwe to review all of its hunting/poaching policy, in order to avoid any similar incident. Hopefully, this will prevent any future lamentable incidents.


Sources: BBC News, The Guardian, Yahoo, Startribune