Zimbabwe dropped its extradition request against the U.S. dentist who shot Cecil the Lion.
The death of Cecil the Lion has not been quickly forgotten, nor has the avalanche of support the animal got upon his death and the sheer global hatred shown towards the hunter, American dentist Walter Palmer.
What began as a trophy hunt for Cecil the Lion became a man hunt for Palmer.
Over the Internet and news sites, Palmer became the hunted, with news trucks parked outside his temporarily shuttered dental practice and demonstrators stalking the site waiting for Palmer to return.
Palmer instead went into hiding and hired a P.R. company to manage his newfound infamy.
Cecil, a 13 year old male lion, was first injured by crossbow on June 31, 2015. He was then tracked, and, according to reports, approximately 40 hours later killed with a rifle.
Palmer used the Internet to boast at his latest trophy kill: this is where things backfired for Palmer. The more the international community learned about Palmer's alleged luring of Cecil from the National Park where he lived, in Matabeleland North Province, Zimbabwe, the more forceful the condemnation.
Palmer received death threats and had his dental practice vandalized as he refused to apologize for his actions.
A petition by Care2 demanded Justice for Cecil and currently has 1,119,050 supporters from across the globe.
An important dimension of the anger about Cecil’s death was that Palmer allegedly lured Cecil from his Hwange National Park in Matabeleland North Province, Zimbabwe where we was assumed safe and much loved by the crowds due to his distinctively black mane.
However, Zimbabwe is no longer pressing for the extradition of Palmer back to face charges. The reason why is yet unknown.
In fact, reports indicate that Palmer can now safely return to Zimbabwe as a tourist because he had not broken the country’s hunting laws. Minister of Environment, Water and Climate, Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, told reporters in Harare on Monday, October 12, 2015, that Zimbabwe’s police and the National Prosecuting Authority had cleared Palmer of wrongdoing.
Meanwhile still in hot water is Theo Bronkhorst, the Zimbabwean professional hunter who was a guide for Palmer.
Bronkhorst returned to court last week on charges of allowing an illegal hunt. His lawyer Perpetua Dube argued that the charges are too vague and should be dropped.
It’s still never too late to sign the petition to demand real justice for Cecil here.
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