• U.S. Hunter Who Killed Cecil the Lion Back to Work

    September 8, 2015 // 15 Comments »

    walter-palmer-lion


    …And America!

    We forget too quickly, and flirt from issue to issue. If you think that as it applies to the lion also has parallels to the Syrian refugee boy, yep, that’s what I’m doing here.

    Remember back, oh, all of about six weeks ago? We as a nation recoiled in horror at the image of Cecil the Lion, killed by an American dentist, washing ashore next to that Syrian refugee boy on the beach, sparking a global outrage.

    There would be an extradition, so the dentist (what the hell was his name? Cecil?) would face justice. People blew up Yelp! with really clever comments about taking their dental business elsewhere and bankrupting the dentist in a kind of people’s revenge. People blew up Twitter with really clever comments like “Feed the dentist to the lions!” and the U.S. government was going to investigate so many bad things. We were gonna put a stop to the global trade in trophy animals, dammit.

    Anyway, we got distracted by some other thing, forgot what, and now the dentists said he’d just be back at work within days, appointments already scheduled.

    Walter Palmer (oh, right that was his name, get him confused with the Breaking Bad guy, man, that was a great show, I’m binge watching it this weekend, oh wait, the blog post, sorry), who has spent more than a month out of sight after becoming the target of protests and threats, intends to return to his suburban Minneapolis dental practice Tuesday. In an evening interview that advisers said would be the only one granted, Palmer said again that he believes he acted legally and that he was stunned to find out his hunting party had killed one of Zimbabwe’s treasured animals.

    Palmer shut off several lines of inquiry about the hunt, including how much he paid for it or others he has undertaken. No videotaping or photographing of the interview was allowed. During the 25-minute interview, Palmer gazed intensely at his questioners, often fiddling with his hands and turning occasionally to an adviser, Joe Friedberg, to field questions about the fallout and his legal situation.

    Some high-level Zimbabwean officials had called for Palmer’s extradition, but no formal steps toward getting the dentist to return to Zimbabwe have been taken. Friedberg, a Minneapolis attorney who said he is acting as an unpaid consultant to Palmer, said he has heard nothing from authorities about domestic or international investigations.

    Friedberg said he offered to have Palmer take questions from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service authorities on the condition the session be recorded. He said he never heard back.

    In addition to the Cecil furor, Palmer pleaded guilty in 2008 to making false statements to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service about a black bear he fatally shot in western Wisconsin outside of the authorized hunting zone. He was given one year probation and fined nearly $3,000 as part of a plea agreement.

    We suck.



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