The government of Zimbabwe just announced that it will not be charging Walter Palmer for killing Cecil the Lion. Read on to learn all of the details.
A representative of the government of Zimbabwe just announced that Walter Palmer, an American dentist, will not be charged for killing Cecil the Lion, an act that caused considerable controversy this past summer.
From the beginning, Palmer maintained that he thought the hunt was legal and that they did not realize they were hunting the famous Cecil the Lion. As it turns out, he may have been telling the truth.
According to Environment Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, after an investigation, the government of Zimbabwe concluded that Walter Palmer had his papers in order:
We approached the police and then the Prosecutor General, and it turned out that Palmer came to Zimbabwe because all the papers were in order.
From this statement, it sounds like Walter Palmer did his due diligence and verified that he was hunting with an outfitter who possessed a valid lion hunting permit.
However, it also sounds like Theo Bronkhorst, Palmer’s professional hunter, put Palmer in a tight spot by, unbeknownst to Palmer, conducting the infamous lion hunt in an area where the lion permit was not valid.
At the time of this writing, Bronkhorst and Honest Ndlovu, the man who owned the land where the hunt took place, were both still facing criminal charges for illegally hunting lion in an area with no lion on the hunting quota.
Unfortunately, it appears that Walter Palmer did not use a reputable hunting outfitter. In addition to his pending criminal charges for the Cecil the Lion incident, Bronkhorst is also being charged for smuggling sable antelope from Zimbabwe into South Africa. Obviously, this is not the sort of behavior that professional hunters should engage in.
This is why it is so important to ensure that, regardless of what and where you are hunting, you use a reputable hunting outfitter and/or professional hunter. Not only is a professional hunter supposed to make sure that visiting hunters have a successful hunt, but he or she is also responsible for ensuring that the hunt is conducted safely, ethically, and legally, which obviously did not happen in the case of Walter Palmer.