Despite worldwide outrage after an American dentist killed a well-known lion just outside at national park in Zimbabwe, African officials will not prosecute the vilified hunter.
Walter Palmer, who admitted to shooting Cecil the lion in July not far from Hwange National Park, had the legal authority to conduct the hunt, according to Zimbabwe’s Environment Minister Oppah Muchinguri. The minister initially called for Palmer’s extradition, but today, she told reporters all his “papers were in order” and so, he could not be charged.
“We approached the police and then the Prosecutor General, and it turned out that [Walter] Palmer came to Zimbabwe because all the papers were in order,” said Muchinguru, according to the BBC.
However, the Minnesota dentist’s local hunting guide, Theo Bronkhorst, is still in court charged with failing to prevent an illegal hunt. Bronkhorst denies doing anything wrong.
According to the Star Tribune, Palmer’s spokesperson said the dentist would have nothing to say about the decision. However, last month, his lawyer, Joe Friedberg, said he doubted the dentist would be charged in Zimbabwe.
The Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority is continuing to fundraise for its Zimbabwe Endangered Species Fund to help protect endangered species in honour of Cecil the Lion.
Photos Bryan Orford/YouTube