US dentist blamed for killing beloved lion in Zimbabwe

Cecil the lion and his alleged killer, Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer.

Cecil the lion and his alleged killer, Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer.

Cecil the Lion, a much-loved lion who lived in a nature reserve in Zimbabwe, was recently killed by a human.

That human is said to be Walter Palmer, a dentist from Minnesota. Palmer is said to have paid $50,000 for the privilege of killing the big cat with a bow and arrow, reports the Telegraph.

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 of Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force. "He was one of the most beautiful animals to look at."

Palmer, left, is a trophy hunter who has killed lions before.

Palmer, left, is a trophy hunter who has killed lions before.

Two independent sources revealed Palmer as the hunter to that paper, and provided his hunting permit as evidence. Palmer is now receiving the full wrath of the internet, including doxxing and parody reviews of his dentistry practice on Yelp, written by the dying lion.

Palmer may be called back to Zimbabwe to face criminal charges. He disputes the news stories, and told Minnesota's Star-Tribune "Obviously, some things are being misreported."

In Zimbabwe, a police spokeswoman, Charity Charamba, said "we are looking for Palmer."

Palmer's dentist office on Rhode Island Avenue was closed Tuesday, apparently abruptly. One client showed up for his appointment unaware of the global turmoil surrounding his dentist. A note on the front referred visitors to a Minneapolis public relations firm.

Palmer and his wife live in Eden Prairie, about 2 ½ miles from his practice. A knock at the door Tuesday brought no response. A neighbor described the Palmers as very private.


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From the Yelp reviews:

"He lured my teeth out of my mouth, shot them, and then told me I needed fillings!"

"You know what happens to your money at this place? The a–hole dentist spends it on a big, fancy vacation to Africa where he kills wild animals for fun."

"Scar's really appreciative of the fine work that Dr. Palmer did."

"He'll have to lure patients in using a dead smiling model tied to the bumper, shoot them with an arrow, wait 40 hours, kill them with a rifle, skin them and THEN start his procedure."

"I am not lion about this: I will not go to a dentist who shoots and kills amazing animals for pleasure on my funds. That is nothing to smile about."

"'You know the difference between a dentist and a sadist, don't you? Newer magazines.' -Seinfeld"

"I really love the way that he tore off his shirt, puffed out his chest, let out a brave cry and stopped a vicious man-eating lion from killing his entire family as they were quietly playing Yahtzee in the comforts of their own home."

"Customer service was ok, but shortly after my first appointment I caught Dr. Palmer hiding in the bushes in my front yard with a crossbow, stalking my Lhasa Apso. Would not recommend."

[Thanks, rjcjr]