Home Scandal and Gossip Walter Palmer, dentist bribed gamekeepers to kill Cecil iconic lion

Walter Palmer, dentist bribed gamekeepers to kill Cecil iconic lion

Walter Palmer Cecil lion
Will park owners and a mystery hunter be brought to account for the hunting death of an iconic lion? Pictured Walter J Palmer on left, lion pictured is not Cecil.

The hunter who killed and skinned Zimbabwe iconic lion, Cecil has been identified as Walter James Palmer, a dentist from Minnesota. 

The outing of the man’s identity comes as the hunter now faces the prospect of criminal charges after bribing gamekeepers $55 000 to hunt the 13 year old iconic lion.

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After initially luring the lion out of  Zimbabwe’s biggest national park, Hwange National Park, Palmer shot the lion with a bow and arrow, in effect only wounding the animal.

The next two days were spent by the hunter tracking the animal before killing it with a rifle. From there the lion’s corpse was skinned and the head hacked off as a trophy.

Responding to allegation of bribing, Zimbabwe Conservation Taskforce Chairman Johnny Rodrigues said: ‘We believe they are likely to face criminal charges’.

Adding: ‘We’ve got allegations that $50,000 exchanged hands between the hunter and the concession owner. We have not got confirmation yet.’

Earlier, he told the Times: ‘Cecil was attracted to an area outside the Zimbabwean reserve with… bait, and a Spanish hunter shot him with a bow and arrow.

‘I followed him and reached him two days later. Skinned and with his head cut off.’

Adding via the BBC: ‘The bow and arrow is a new trend for people who are hunting illegally.’

‘It’s more silent. If you want to do anything illegal, that’s the way to do it.’

Walter Palmer Cecil lion
Cecil the lion.

Although the owner of the land and safari, Honest Ndlovu along with professional Zimbabwean hunter Theo Bronkhorst have been arrested, Rodrigues said they most likely won’t face serious charges. ‘They’ll get a slap on the hand but that’s it,’ he said. ‘If a rural person gets caught poaching they go to jail.’

Offered Emmanuel Fundira, president of the Safari Operators Association of Zimbabwe (SOAZ): ‘An iconic lion was shot and killed. This is a real loss to our tourism industry and it has caused a lot of anxiety.

‘Cecil was collared, indicating that he was selected for research purposes.

‘He was popular with visitors to Hwange National Park who were fascinated by his black mane and always wanted to know his whereabouts.‘   

Bryan Orford, who worked as a wildlife guide in Hwange National Park, said tourists vying to catch a glimpse of Cecil the lion could bring in about $11,500 a day, making him more valuable to the park alive than dead.

Zimbabwe Parks Wildlife Management Authority, are currently still conducting an investigation on the legalities of the hunt that took place and for which they are the appropriate authority to do so.

Told a statement in part: ‘We therefore can not and will not comment on the legal aspect, whilst this investigation is ongoing.’

A spokesman for Palmer told the Guardian that Palmer was ‘obviously quite upset over everything.’

‘As far as I understand, Walter believes that he might have shot that lion that has been referred to as Cecil,’ the spokesman said.

‘What he’ll tell you is that he had the proper legal permits and he had hired several professional guides, so he’s not denying that he may be the person who shot this lion. He is a big-game hunter; he hunts the world over.’

Walter Palmer Cecil lion
Walter Palmer (pictured in red shorts) has previously been fined for lying to authorities about where he shot dead a bear

The death of Cecil has left conservators deeply worried for the safety of several lion cubs, who are now living unprotected in the park.  

Researchers at Hwange National Park had fitted Cecil with a tracking collar but it appears the hunter removed the collar and attempted to destroy any evidence. 

Beks Ndlovo, chief executive of the African Bush Camps, a private safari company in Zimbabwe, called for the hunting of lions to be stopped.

Ndlovo said: ‘In my personal capacity… I strongly object and vehemently disagree with the legalising and practice of hunting lions in any given area.

‘I will personally be encouraging Zimbabwe National Parks and engaging with Government Officials to stop the killing of lions and with immediate effect.’

A petition to bring the hunter to account has leapt from 5666 signatures as of 12 hours ago to now 32 000 signatures.

An investigation is currently underway to find the hunter, whilst his dental practice, where he specializes in dazzling smiles was unexpectedly closed this morning. Can anyone guess why?



  1. Yoooou sorry SOB. I hate you. You are worthless piece of scumbag. You are an ass hole. I have been an RN for 33 years. I have scraped more things off my shoes that are more worthy than you are.

  2. “He’s a big-game hunter.”

    What an absolute farce. Take away the “professional guides” who he compensates with ridiculous amounts of $$ to prod these exotic animals into his protected proximity, and take away his rifles and crossbows: we will then see this small-penised little man crying for his mom.

  3. He has killed a Rhino in Africa, an endangered species on global protection lists. I believe there is a shot of him holding a rare African cougar as well. The man is a sick sociopath.

  4. Zimbabwe must demand his arrest and extradition at the very least. Even if not successful, it will keep the monster in the news and perhaps discourage other sociopaths from doing the same.

    Zimbabwe should simply ban this sort of hunting in the first place.

  5. That would be a start. This is not the first time he has killed rare animals illegally. He is a sociopath.

  6. If he bribed gamekeepers, then he is a criminal and should be arrested and extradited, period. He knew what he was doing and he wanted to kill a famous lion to feed his sick ego. He is a danger. The US Justice Dept. CAN do this and it would send a very clear signal to monsters like this that they will be watched.

  7. poor scum, it was not his fault….
    maybe someone will take pity, let him suffer for 40 hours bleeding out, and then
    give him to ISIS so that he can experience the same fate as that beautiful,
    majestic animal that he lured, crossbowed, tortured, shot, beheaded and skinned!!!! This
    is the worst kind of humanity………..ugliest of American greed…

  8. We should take a collection for a bounty on this out of control blood thirsty hunter..How could one kill this beautiful endangered animal favorite other than the lowest twisted selfish POS that he is..He should suffer all the penalties and incarceration for his evil deeds as handed down..Sad day for mankind and another foot in the grave for humanity..

  9. you bastard, someone should skin you! I hope your practice dies and you go bankrupt, you pos. Payback is a bitch, and you will get yours!

  10. shame on you Mr. Palmer, and I use the term “Mr.” loosely. You should be so ashamed of yourself! The public now knows who you are….and they won’t forget!

  11. dung is a highly useful substance that helps to oxidize soil and help plants grow.

    dr. palmer is simply a POS.

  12. I sure hope the people in his town boycott his dentist practice. this is soon wrong on soon many levels. He is an A hole

  13. How much will the hunter who kills the last lion pay for the privilege of making a species extinct? This so called man should be fined the maximum amount and jailed!

  14. There are some people that deserve the identical fate as this Lion and this guy is one of them. He needs to donate 10 times that amount to this wildlife preserve and then be flogged in public a hundred times or more.

  15. AP reports that this is not his first illegal hunt. He shot a black bear in 2008 was fined and put on probation. This man and his hunting party should all go to jail for a long time, he has no regard for the law and protection of wildlife.

  16. DISGUSTING human beings! The dentist is now in hiding…..I hope he is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law…..HE should be shot with a bow and arrow and made to suffer for 40 hours, then be chased down, shot, skinned and beheaded!! Same goes for the Zimbabweans who took the $55,000 bribe. Yes, that would be fair.

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