Tags: walter palmer | cecil | lion | killer | cleared | zimbabwe

Walter Palmer, Cecil the Lion's Killer, Cleared in Zimbabwe

Image: Walter Palmer, Cecil the Lion's Killer, Cleared in Zimbabwe
Walter Palmer arrives at his dental practice in Bloomington, Minnesota. (AP Photo/Jim Mone, file)

By Clyde Hughes   |   Monday, 12 Oct 2015 12:40 PM

Walter Palmer, Cecil the lion's killer, has been cleared of wrongdoing by Zimbabwe officials despite an international outcry over the lion's death.

The 55-year-old Minnesota dentist had paid to hunt the lion in Zimbabwe's largest game reserve and the country's officials ruled that because he had obtained the legal authority to hunt there he will not be prosecuted, reported the BBC News.

The country's environmental minister, Oppah Muchinguri, initially called for Palmer to be extradited to Zimbabwe, but has now ruled that he did not break any laws in the hunt.

"We approached the police and then the prosecutor general, and it turned out that Palmer came to Zimbabwe because all the papers were in order," said Muchinguru.

Palmer put his dental practice in Bloomington on hold until September for all the publicity surrounding the hunt to die down, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

"I have a lot of staff members at River Bluff Dental," Palmer told the newspaper in September. "I'm a little heartbroken at the disruption in their lives, and I'm a health professional. … 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."

The Star Tribune said protesters picketed outside of the dentist's office the day after the lion's death made international news. When the offices reopened several weeks later, Palmer remained absent.

Reuters reported that Palmer killed Cecil, a rare black-maned lion, with a bow and arrow outside Hwange National Park in Western Zimbabwe. The news agency said two others still face charges in Cecil's death.

Theo Bronkhorst, a professional hunter in Zimbabwe, has been charged with breaching hunting rules in connection with the hunt while a game park owner is accused of allowing an illegal hunt.

Bronkhorst's attorneys are expected for ask for his indictment to be quashed when he appears in the Hwange court Thursday, stated Reuters.

Cecil was 13 years ago and a major tourist attraction at Hwange. He led two prides containing six lionesses and 12 cubs along with another lion, said the BBC News. Cecil was being monitored as part of a lion conservation study by Oxford University at the time.

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Walter Palmer, Cecil the lion's killer, has been cleared of wrongdoing by Zimbabwe officials despite an international outcry over the lion's death.
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