UPDATE: Walter Palmer's whereabouts are currently unknown, but once he is found, it's very likely that he will be tried in the US or extradited to Zimbabwe to face trial. Unfortunately, his crime in the eyes of the law is not killing an endangered animal, but rather bribing wildlife guides.
Under the Endangered Species Act, it would have been illegal for Palmer to take Cecil, but not to kill him. What's more, the act doesn't extend outside of the US.
Better get on revising that, people.
Cecil, one of Africa’s most famous and beloved lions, is dead. And he didn’t go peacefully of old age, like he deserved.
Walter Palmer, a Minnesota dentist, paid $50,000 for the sick thrill of hunting Cecil. He and a team of professional guides lured the lion about half a kilometer out of Hwange national park using a dead animal as bait.
Palmer shot at Cecil with a bow and arrow but failed to kill him. He then tracked him down 40 hours later and shot him with a gun.
Cecil’s corpse was then subject to further indignity, left skinned and headless on the outskirts of the park.
A spokesman for Palmer attempted to defend him by asserting that Palmer did not know that the lion he was hunting was the Cecil—as if that changes anything.
The spokesman also claimed that Palmer has the proper legal permits, but Zimbabwe National Parks refuted this:
“In this case, both the professional hunter and land owner had no permit or quota to justify the offtake of the lion and therefore are liable for the illegal hunt.”
This isn’t the first time Palmer has been embroiled in such controversy. He’s a big-game hunter, and has slain other animals such as black bears and rhinos.
But this time, the Internet has taken up arms against Palmer, enacting some very satisfying vigilantism. Twitter is in uproar, and the Facebook and Yelp pages of his dental clinic, River Bluff Dental, are being flooded with angry comments and poor reviews.
Some comments were darkly humorous.
And others were marked as five star reviews, so that Yelp would not delete them.
Likewise, Palmer’s dental practice has been closed for the time being.
Dental practice belonging to controversial big game hunter Walter Palmer completely locked down. All shades drawn. pic.twitter.com/opvzJp8ea9— Paul Blume (@PaulBlume_FOX9) July 28, 2015