Walter Palmer allegedly bribed guides for their silence in a previous 2006 incident involving poaching a black bear.
Walter Palmer, the Minnesota dentist who shot Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe, can expect a lot more heat with new allegations of him knowingly poaching a Wisconsin black bear in 2006.
Guides claim Palmer not only knew the hunt was illegal, but that he attempted to bribe them for their silence.
It was already known that Palmer had pled guilty in 2008 to a felony charge of making a false statement to federal agents and had paid a $3,000 fine in connection with the shooting of a black bear, but the details of the incident in Wisconsin are newly-released.
Palmer did have a bear permit, but the bear he shot in Price County was in the wrong bear management zone. Palmer had a permit for Washburn County.
The dentist blamed his guides for the mistake in what a report obtained by Fox9 says was “a conspiracy by Palmer, the guides, and hunting partners involved to cover up the violation.”
Fox9 News said they used a Freedom of Information Act request to obtain the 75-page investigative report on the bear incident, which involved 10 people as well as several hunting dogs. The report also released photos of the bear Palmer shot in the incident.
Federal investigators became involved in the incident because the large bear had been transported across state lines.
It allegedly took three hours of tracking and three arrows for Palmer to finally put the large bear down for good. The report claims that Palmer not only knew the hunt was illegal, but that he also attempted to get the guides to take the full blame for any wrongdoing.
“Palmer offered me $20,000 or ‘name my price’ to lie to any wildlife officer investigating the case, by stating that Palmer never knew that anything was illegal with his bear,” one guide told investigators.
Fox9’s story further says the guide stated: “I am confident that Palmer knew the bear was illegally shot and killed.”
The guide said he decided not to go along with Palmer’s wishes and came clean about the whole incident. The report also says that when confronted by federal investigators, Palmer said he “refused to be threatened” when told he had violated federal law.
Palmer finally made some public comments on the Cecil incident last week before he returned to work at his Minnesota dental practice for the first time since killing the lion in Zimbabwe. He continued to maintain he relied on the expertise of guides in the incident.
“Everything was done properly,” he told reporters.
Images via Fox9 News.