A dentist from Minnesota is alleged of killing Cecil, Zimbabwe’s much-loved lion.
According to reports, professional hunter Walter James Palmer shelled out £35,000 to shoot and kill Cecil using a bow and arrow. Cecil, a popular attraction inside Hwanghe National Park, was apparently lured outside the park using a dead animal tied to Palmer’s vehicle.
Johnny Rodrigues, chairman of The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force charity, believes that Palmer and professional hunter Theo Bronkhors went hunting that night and shot Cecil. The shot apparently didn’t kill the lion. Forty hours later, the hunters were able to track the lion and shot him with a gun. The hunters also attempted to hide the tracking collar Cecil was wearing, which further contravened park rules.
Speaking to Colorado News, Palmer revealed that he hired several professional guides to make sure that everything about the trip was properly handled.
“I had no idea that the lion I took was a known, local favourite, was collared and part of a study until the end of the hunt. I relied on the expertise of my local professional guides to ensure a legal hunt,” Palmer explained.
Furthermore, Palmer disclosed that he was not contacted by authorities in the US or Zimbabwe about the incident. The professional hunter stressed that he is willing to cooperate with authorities.
Meanwhile, Bronkhorst reported their “mistake” to the Parks and Wildlife Management Authority a day after the taking of the collared lion.
Palmer and Bronkhorst are currently facing poaching charges.
What is Poaching?
Considered as one of the most critical threats to wildlife populations, poaching refers the illegal hunting, capturing, and killing of wildlife animals.
According to wildlife officials, approximately tens of millions of animals are killed by legal hunters. Illegal hunters, on the other hand, kill the same number of animals leaving orphaned youngsters to starve.