The internet has been buzzing for the past week or so about Walter Palmer, the American dentist who traveled to Zimbabwe and killed a lion. Actually, he didn’t so much kill it as hunt it down illegally, wound it, and let it suffer for another day before finally taking its life along with a few body parts as a trophy.
While he claims to have had no idea that Cecil was a protected lion, his party went to a great deal of trouble to hide and disable the GPS tracking collar after they had lured the lion from the protected grounds of the Hwange National Park where Cecil lived.
What the hell is wrong with this guy? First, he’s a dentist. A doctor. He is in the business of helping people, of taking care of people. And he spends his spare time killing animals as a hobby? Does anyone see a problem here?
Like there’s a lot of sport in gunning down a lion or a bear from 300 yards with a high-powered rifle. You might as well drive over them with your Land Rover.
And this isn’t the first time Dr. Palmer been in trouble for killing things. In 2008, he pled guilty to making false statements regarding the location where he had killed a black bear in Wisconsin.
Palmer still maintains the bear drew first.
Personally, I think he’s getting what he deserves. His medical practice will probably go under, as it now has a “one star” rating on Yelp, and his office building is swarming with protesters carrying hate signs. And don’t even get me started on Facebook, TV, and Twitter. He’s like the most hated man in the world right now, although “man” might not be the appropriate term for this guy.
He has also disappeared. No one can seem to find him to ask him questions about his hunting trip. And a lot of people are looking for him- including the US Department of Justice and the government of Zimbabwe. There’s even a petition that arrived at the White House this week asking the President to allow Palmer to be extradited to Zimbabwe to face illegal hunting and poaching charges.
If the evidence we have seen is true, Dr. Palmer knew full-well what he was doing and deliberately tried to cover it up. I say, turn him over to the Zimbabwe government.
To his credit though, Palmer did offer an explanation in a public letter: “I deeply regret that my pursuit of an activity I love and practice responsibly and legally resulted in the taking of this lion.”
Yep. Good job Walter. That fixes everything.
One of the protesters outside the dentist’s office pretty much summed it up. Christopher Flugge said, “Any hunter that is actually worth a damn will probably find it incredibly disrespectful and repulsive.”
While some people think this whole incident has been blown way out of proportion, I think this guy deserves to be vilified. What do you think?