Rocker and avid hunter Ted Nugent defended the Minnesota dentist who killed Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe, saying the hunt likely was legal and that such actions are needed to thin the herd to make way for younger populations.
The dentist, Walter Palmer, has been in hiding
since word of the kill was reported in the media last week.
Nugent, appearing Sunday on "The Rita Cosby Show"
on WABC in New York, said he is dubious of media reports that the lion was lured out of a sanctuary because of the number of untrue statements the media has made about him in the past.
If he could talk to Palmer, Nugent said, "I would say I'm sorry that our society has become so dumbed down and so soul-less, as to threaten you and your family's lives, because you killed a lion that needed to be killed."
Cecil was an older lion by standards in the wild, and his removal made way for the next group of cubs, Nugent said. He compared the killing to hunting for deer or other animals in the United States.
"If we stopped one deer season in any state in America the number of highway casualties, insurance and agriculture compensation and dead human beings would go through the ceiling," he said.
The biggest problem, Nugent said, is that the animal was given a name, which tends to humanize it. But naming wild animals is actually a disservice that robs the animal of its nobility and is the true "criminal act," he said.
"These are wild, magnificent creatures. They’re not petting zoo animals. They’re not cartoons," Nugent said.
The rocker also had little sympathy for fellow celebrities who have decried Cecil's killing.
Jimmy Kimmel got choked up
on his show talking about the lion, and urged people to donate to conservation.
"I would say, 'Jimmy, get a damn life.' Maybe you should cry a few tears for all the millions of aborted babies who Planned Parenthood are selling their organs," Nugent said.
Further, Zimbabwe's longtime leader Robert Mugabe has killed tens of thousands of his citizens in his decades-long rule, he said. "Did Jimmy Kimmel cry about that?"
Nugent also mocked Mia Farrow, who tweeted out the dentist's address.
"So she doesn't know that the sushi is dead?" he asked.
Nugent did admit to Cosby that he doesn't know all the details of the hunt, and that if anything illegal did take place the guides and the hunter himself should be held accountable.
Nugent said he plans to talk to Palmer himself once things quiet down.
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