Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer became “the most hated man” on social media Tuesday after The Telegraph named him as the hunter who paid $50,000 to kill one of Africa’s most famous and prized lions earlier this month, according to BuzzFeed.
Palmer’s dental practice was completely shuttered Tuesday in Eden Prairie, Minnesota, according to Fox News, after he was identified by both the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force and the Safari Operators Association of Zimbabwe as the American hunter who killed the lion known as Cecil, outraging conservationists and social media users alike.
The hunter, who hired several professional guides, first shot at Cecil with a bow and arrow, but failed to kill him at his home of Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe. They tracked the national attraction down about 40 hours later and shot him with a gun, the report says.
From The Telegraph:
The hunt took place around 6 July. “They went hunting at night with a spotlight and they spotted Cecil,” Rodrigues said. “They tied a dead animal to their vehicle to lure Cecil out of the park and they scented an area about half a kilometre from the park.”…
A spokesman for Palmer told the Guardian that the hunter 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.”
After Palmer was identified as the culprit, BuzzFeed says his name quickly started trending worldwide on Twitter. Users tweeted death threats and shared the contact information of his dental practice.
The beloved male lion was 13 years old.