The Minnesota dentist who killed a beloved lion on a safari in Zimbabwe has hunted a lot of other big game — and has now earned the title of “most hated hunter in America.”
The New York Daily News declares that Walter Palmer has killed a “zoo’s worth of wild beasts” on various safaris in Africa and elsewhere. Palmer released a statement earlier this week saying he had no idea that the most recent lion he killed, Cecil, was a well-known favourite in Zimbabwe and lived in a protected area.
“I deeply regret that my pursuit of an activity I love and practice responsibly and legally resulted in the taking of this lion,” Palmer said in the statement. He reportedly paid $US55,000 to hunt the lion in Zimbabwe.
Palmer has been hunting big game as a sport for years. The Daily News reports that he’s killed 43 animals with a bow and arrow, and a blog called “Trophy Hunt America” has photos of Palmer with some of his game, including a leopard, a ram, and an elk.
The New York Times even published a story on Palmer in 2009 — the newspaper wrote that Palmer has “slain all but one of the animals recognised by Pope and Young,” a conservation nonprofit that keeps bow hunting records.
Here are the animals Palmer is reported to have killed:
(It’s unclear whether Palmer killed an elephant or just shot one.)
The death of Cecil has caused global outrage, and Palmer has temporarily shuttered his Minnesota dental office to avoid the protests that have cropped up outside. He has reportedly received death threats.
The animal-rights group PETA called for Palmer to be hanged, and others have said he should be publicly shamed or have his teeth pulled out without anesthetic.
Palmer said in his statement that he was “upset” over the comments and threats he was receiving and still insists he did not know the lion he killed was protected. He reportedly went on the safari with professional hunters whom Palmer said had the proper permits.
Cecil’s death isn’t the first time Palmer has gotten into trouble over one of his hunts — he has a felony record related to shooting a black bear in Wisconsin.
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