Today’s Worst Person in the World

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EXCLUSIVE: A Minnesota father of two is discovered to be the hunter who shot dead Cecil – one of Zimbabwe’s most loved lions

 
Walter Palmer, a dentist from Minnesota, is believed to have paid £35,000 to shoot and kill the much-loved lion with a bow and arrow. The animal was shot on July 1 in Hwange National Park. Two independent sources have confirmed the hunter’s identity to the paper, which has also seen a copy of the relevant hunting permit.

Conservation groups in Zimbabwe reacted angrily to the news that the 13-year-old animal had been killed: partly because the lion was known to visitors and seemingly enjoyed human contact, and partly because of the way in which he was killed. He was lured out of the national park and shot.

“He never bothered anybody,” said Johnny Rodrigues, the head ofZimbabwe Conservation Task Force. “He was one of the most beautiful animals to look at.”

Cecil the lion in Hwange, Zimbabwe

During the hunt – which the organisers later admitted was badly carried out – Cecil was lured at night about half a mile out of the national park using bait, and then shot with a bow and arrow. The next day he was found wounded by the hunters and killed, before being beheaded and skinned.

Animals cannot be killed within the confines of the park. The hunters then removed his collar – further contravening park rules.

The professional hunter, Theo Bronkhorst, said he reported the “mistake” to the Parks and Wildlife Management Authority the following day, and it is now being investigated. The landowner bordering the national park has been charged – along with Mr Bronkhorst. Both are due to appear in court on August 6.

Walter Palmer of River Bluff Dental
Walter Palmer of River Bluff Dental

On Tuesday, Zimbabwe National Parks issued a statement confirming the charges.

“Theo Bronkhorst, a professional hunter with Bushman Safaris, is facing criminal charges for allegedly killing a collared lion on Antoinette farm in Gwayi Conservancy, Hwange district on 1 July 2015,” the statement said.


“All persons implicated in this case are due to appear in court facing poaching charges.

“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.”

Mr Bronkhorst, who will appear at Hwange magistrates court on Wednesday, said he was unaware of Cecil’s fame.

“It was a magnificent, mature lion. We did not know it was well-known lion. I had a licence for my client to shoot a lion with a bow and arrow in the area where it was shot,” he said.

Mr Rodrigues said the authorities in Zimbabwe were troubled by events.

“There’s considerable embarrassment about this – the Americans have banned the import of elephant trophies,” he said. “We believe the head and pelt are still in Bulawayo.

“They should be charged with poaching,” he said. “If you’re a local and you kill an animal without a licence you get between two and five years in prison.”

Mr Palmer, the client, describes himself as coming from North Dakota and having “a unique talent for creating dazzling smiles that complement each individuals tooth structure, skin tone, and facial attributes.” A request for comment left with his office had not yet been returned on Tuesday.

His website states that: “Anything allowing him to stay active and observe and photograph wildlife is where you will find Dr Palmer when he not in the office.”

He also has a well-documented fondness for shooting wild animals around the globe.


Mr Palmer with a leopard, shot in Zimbabwe in 2010

“He came to Spain to hunt with us four or five years ago,” said Guiseppe Carrizosa, a professional hunter based in Madrid. Mr Carrizosa told The Telegraph that Mr Palmer and his wife travelled to Europe to shoot chamois, fallow deer and ibex, among other animals. Mr Palmer’s reputation is such that he was listed as a client on Mr Carrizosa’s website, to publicise the tours.

“He was a real expert shot,” Mr Carrizosa said. “Bow hunting attracts people because there is much more stalking involved; you have to get very close. With a gun you can kill an animal from hundreds of metres.”

Hunting blogs feature images of him proudly showing off a 175lb leopard, which he killed with an arrow in Zimbabwe in the summer of 2010.

Walt Palmer poses with a dead elk

Other images show him posing with elk, and even with a huge endangered sheep – the Nevada Bighorn.

California Desert Bighorn Sheep are one of the most coveted animals for hunters. Each year more than $200,000 is raised by the auction of the permits to shoot dead three Desert Bighorn Sheep.

A New York Times report detailing one of Mr Palmer’s hunts, in 2009, described him as “capable of skewering a playing card from 100 yards with his compound bow.” He jokingly told the reporter that his life revolved around shooting, and that he “doesn’t have a golf game”.

The paper said that, having learnt to shoot at the age of five, Mr Palmer paid $45,000 at an auction for the right to shoot an elk in 2009, in a sale promoted as financing preservation of the elk habitat.

The father of two had, according to the paper, killed all but one of the animals listed in records produced by bow hunting group Pope and Young. The animals on the list include polar bears, bison, grizzly bears and cougars.

“Of course, it is a personal achievement to harvest any big-game animal with a bow and arrow,” said Glen Hisey, the curator of the Pope and Young records programme. “It is a way of honouring that animal for all time.”

Mr Palmer has also run into legal woes. In 2008, court records show, he pleaded guilty to making a false statement to federal wildlife officials concerning the exact location of the slaying of a black bear during a guided hunt in Wisconsin. He was sentenced to a year probation.

Lion hunting using firearms is legal in South Africa, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Tanzania – and bow and arrow hunting is legal in all the same countries but Tanzania.


Walt Palmer, middle, with the “world record” white rhino killed by bow in South Africa. Mr Palmer is pictured with Pierre Vorster, a professional hunter

Individual hunting outfits are given a certain number of permits each year to hunt individual species, but in countries like Zimbabwe the system is also open to corruption.

According to the Zimbabwe Professional Hunter and Guides Association, bow hunting is only permissible in private hunting concessions or communal hunting areas – never in a national park or government-controlled safari area.

Lions are hunted either statically, by hanging bait from a tree then hiding nearby, or by stalking. According to Zimbabwean conservationists, hunting by bow and arrow is on the increase because is it silent and therefore those hunting illegally or unethically are not detected by the authorities.

The Wildlife Conservation Research Unit at Oxford University has tracked the Hwange lions since 1999 to measure the impact of sport hunting beyond the park on the lion population within the park, using radar and direct observation.

According to figures published by National Geographic, 34 of their 62 tagged lions died during the study period – 24 were shot by sport hunters.

Dr Andrew Loveridge, one of the principal researchers on the project, told the publication that Cecil and another male lion named Jericho led two prides with six lionesses and a dozen young cubs, and he feared for the safety of the cubs now Cecil had been killed.

“Jericho as a single male will be unable to defend the two prides and cubs from new males that invade the territory. This is what we most often see happening in these cases. Infanticide is the most likely outcome,” he said.


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33 COMMENTS

  1. When will Americans learn they are being PLAYED?

    Five endangered elephants killed in Kenya while world mourned Cecil >moroccoworldnews<

    This story like so many other LAME stories is to take the minds (focus) off the worlds financial problems, FBI/NSA spying, CIA renditions and Torture as well as Black Prisons in the USA. GITMO and Cities going bankrupt, bridges collapsing, no potable water for tens of thousands, banks that have caused millions to loose homes and credit through corporate bailouts, massive car recalls (Made in America) used to be a proud label, GMO's, veterans committing suicide daily from a failed VA system, IRS Lois emails, Clinton emails, Planned Parenthood fetal tissue harvesting, transparency lies, war on journalist's and whistle-blowers and let's not forget the GAY issue because your ALL GETTING STROKED!

    I omitted some others that should be listed but due to room and tyranny, fascism and dictatorships installed from a government that no longer represents WE THE PEOPLE there are to many to list.

    I retreat here to go out and hug a dead road-kill in show on my support.

    • P.S. if I caught your attention above.

      US/Israel/Saudi’s/Ukrainain’s are killing 1000’s of H U M A N ‘ S!

      Save a Lion?

      I am more then sure Monsanto will reproduce one genetically in the future just as they are making GMO Marijuana and Opium now too.

  2. President Putin rides bears and has photos taken with him and endagered animals that are sedated for research into their health and well being. Than theirs Bongolo Bill. I used to like archery but had to give it up becuase racoons dont taste like chicken and snakes are hard to shoot at. Armadiilos are right out for carrying hepetiits, but it is fun watching them run on their hind legs. Possoms are too ugly to shoot. Shooting at geese is ok but finding the arrow in a swamp is like fishing for a needle in a soupy hay stack, and those bugs that attach to the nether regions are a pain. Also, those hunting tips get lodged in a tree and their goes $50.00.

  3. I dont have issue with knocking down a deer for some good meat, or as a last resort way of getting rid of a destructive unwanted “guest” in my place (groundhog, raccoon, etc), but sure agree killing for “sport” is warped!

  4. oh and a PS.. there was Wild Bill Hickok, and Buffalo Bill Cody, were different people. it can be fairly easy to confuse the two (I did too!) because of “Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show” name, and they knew each other too. the Wiki doesnt mention Hickok as buffalo mass murderer like Cody.

  5. Bartered, within a few years “Wild Bill” understood what he’d taken part in and started his travelling Wild West Show, bringing truth to the people. it didn’t last very long because the government shut it down for telling the truth about killing the Native’s “economy” followed up with genocide. it was not about feeding the troops, they had put a bounty on buffalo to deliberately harm Native Americans. they (Natives and buffalo both) had a RIGHT to access to water, and right to roam. “settlers” feeling otherwise putting up fences (and worse) were the real instigating criminals for refusing to comprehend.

  6. At the tender age of 76+, I do not understand how hunters show “the greatest respect” for the animals they kill, by killing them, needlessly.
    Calling it “sport” seems to me to be outside the boundary of sanity.
    This inverted logic seems to have become contagious since the legalization of the CIA in 1947. “If the people were to ever find out what we have done, we would be chased down the streets and lynched.” President George H.W. Bush, quoted by Sarah McClendon (White House Reporter) in her June 1992 Newsletter.
    One can only conclude that the Bush family continues to hide their secret very well.

  7. The two greatest conservation catastrophes in the world are Kenya, which has lost 70% of its wild animals in the last 10 years, under the watch of men like Richard Leakey, and India. There were about 47,000 tigers in the hunting blocks of the Maharajas. They were all made into National Parks and put into the hands of bureaucrats, animal protectionists, and hand wringing wildlife film makers. Now there are might be 1,500 tigers but some tiger reserves have no tigers at all and the park wardens carve wooden tiger feet to make phoney foot prints to keep their jobs.

    Use it or lose it. That is why cattle, sheep, pigs, watre buffalo and chickens are the commonest animals in the world. protected animals that have no comercial value always evolve into “vermin”.

  8. I have done quite a bit of lion hunting for this day and age. I really enjoy it. Nothing like a 40 hour follow up of a wounded lion to put the hair up on the back of your neck.

    But wildlife conservation is all about population dynamics and has nothing to do with a cat some nutter has labled with a human name. The human name is just part of the fund raising formula. I know alot of people in Zimbabwe and none have ever mentioned this “famous” lion before. Never heard of him.

    Zimbawe has real conservation problems and this isn’t one of them. A big one being they have 70,000 elephants and room for 30,000. Botswana is even worse. They have 200,000 elephants running out of food. The grim reaper will soon arrive.

    • Holding a freshly killed animal to his bare skin will certainly make sure he gets fleas – and any other nasty insect parasites from the bush – hastily evacuating the cooling carcass. Some ticks have horrific diseases on board. A lesson that students on a combat survival course will quickly discover.

  9. I could think of many a way to give this ignoble individual a fitting end which he so meritoriously deserves. Just to start off, I could think of tying the muddahfukkah to a tree, cutting him to let him bleed a little and then offering him up for a snack for some wild animal, such as a bear that can smell blood for miles.

  10. If this ‘tusk puller’ is found guilty of poaching, he should be fined up the whazzoo and his visa should be pulled for future adventures.

  11. Worst person in the world? Cheney would have missed and put a .700 Nitro Express round through the village school house while class was in session, deliberately…

  12. Nothing can justify what this idiot has done. That King was a park lion and despite being dead, still has more character than this asswipe ever will. Sad.

    Raptor

  13. “A Minnesota father of two is discovered to be the hunter who shot dead Cecil
    one of Zimbabwe’s most loved lions”

    ___ The World is working very hard to Stop Poaching Period, Cecil or Not__ Palmer “father of two”?
     Well his grand kids will grow-up not knowing the difference between CATS & LIONS
     At the rate, the killing is going on, Palmer wish may happen sooner than latter.
     In the mean time, he should locked in prison for Poaching.
     From the Photos, he looks like a “Blood Thirsty Vampire” without any Brain.

  14. That quote reminded of the exploits of Wild Bill Hickock. He and his team slaughtered most of the buffallo to feed the troops before the civil war. For 2000 years those buffallo feed the indians and in one season both the bufallo and indians were decimated. I think I remeber reading the bufallo were used to humans because of the Indians behavior toward them. If we dont act like we need nature its natural to destroy it.

  15. It is idiots like this that reaffirm the notion that man is not as evolved as the animals. Trophy hunting is murder for sport. It is a display of callous disregard for the sacred animals. Reading the stories about Cecil, it is easily found that he was more in touch, more loved and honorable than this murderer.

  16. I can not see photo’s like this it breaks my heart. Had to put my rag on the screen. Cannot read the story. These people need to be rounded up and shot right at the spot. All these psychopaths needs to be dealt with.
    What a tragedy…..

    I am going to put a spell on that dick!

    R

  17. Aren’t carnivorous humans decrying the killing of animals being just a bit (or maybe incredibly) hypocritical? We humans can live a very healthy life entirely on a vegetarian diet. We kill and eat animals solely because we enjoy the taste of flesh. Not so greatly different from the trophy hunter who also kills for enjoyment. The wild animals so killed do in fact live quite lightly upon the earth. Not so the vast herds and flocks of meat bearing animals raised in factory farms that despoil the air, land and water of the earth.

    • Meat is protien. Meat is survival. I try not to conufuse this with glutony, which is taking the source for granted and assuming its an unlimited resource that can be abused. Did you know three thin slices of turkey or ham or beef has enough protien to satisfy a grown adult for one day? Provided its suplemented with fruit, vegetables and water. One cow could last a family of five for a year. When we see a huge slab of steak on a plate its not a sign of wealth and good fortune, its a sign of stupidity.

    • No pal, Athenallen, I don’t eat dead animals or alive ones for that matter!
      And I am not a such a dumb ass to know what is going on in the meat factories. Please talk for yourself enjoying the taste: the smell only wants me to vomit: it is gross! And I also don’t have a problem with people who hunt a deer or whatever and eat it! That’s fair! It is not my cup of tea to kill! and I will stop now because otherwise I really get angry!

      Regina

  18. thirded. anyone paying that kind of money to kill an animal doesn’t need to and it sure isn’t about putting food on the table. he’s no hunter, he’s a blatant murderer.

    • Perhaps Palmer should see the movie, “Powder”. The difference between man and the animals is that man claims to be capable of conscious thought. Obviously, Asswipe Palmer never got the memo.

      A couple months ago, my dentist and I were discussing String Theory (although my contribution was a bit muffled). What would Palmer’s contribution to a conversation be, describing how he destroys life to fluff up his emasculated ego? I even support hunting, but this is just plain stupid.

  19. Nice lion, leopard and rhino. Wish I’d shot them all myself. Also a good fund raiser for Johnny Rodriguez. Lots of nutters will send him money which he will spend to bolster his mailing list and like they all do – achieve nothing.

Comments are closed.