We have all heard by now that American dentist Walter Palmer will not face any charges in Zimbabwe for killing the famous black-maned lion named Cecil in July this year.
Since many people across the world were outraged by the death of Cecil and expecting to see 55-year-old Palmer arrested and extradited to Zimbabwe to be prosecuted for killing Cecil, it came as a shock to these people when it was announced that Palmer was not going to be facing any charges in Zimbabwe.
Why Palmer can’t be charged for killing Cecil
The reason why Palmer won’t be charged and prosecuted for killing Cecil the Lion is simply because he did nothing illegal when he went to Zimbabwe and hunted down and killed the famous lion.
According to Zimbabwean authorities, having thoroughly investigated the whole incident, it was discovered that Palmer committed no crime by killing Cecil since he entered the country legally and had the legal authority and the necessary hunting licenses to hunt in Zimbabwe.
Prior to the investigation, Zimbabwe’s Environment Minister Oppa Muchinguri had initially called for Palmer to be extradited to Zimbabwe to be prosecuted over the unlawful killing of Cecil. However, having thoroughly investigated how Palmer came into Zimbabwe and hunted Cecil, Muchinguri said Palmer could not be charged because he broke no laws when he killed Cecil in July.
“We approached the police and then the Prosecutor General, and it turned out that Plamer came to Zimbabwe because all the papers were in order,” Muchinguri said.
Since the killing of Cecil and the subsequent global backlash that followed it, Palmer had always said he acted legally when he killed Cecil with a bow and arrow and never knew that Cecil was a very treasured animal in Zimbabwe.
In an interview with the Associated Press, Palmer said if he had known that the lion he killed had a name and “was important to the country or study”, he would have obviously not killed it.
While it appears Palmer has been left off the hook, two of his Zimbabwean friends who aided him during the hunt have been charged in connection with Cecil’s death.
Theo Bronkhorst and Honest Trymore Ndlovu have both been accused of luring Cecil from a protected area in order for it to be killed by Palmer.
Palmer is believed to have paid an amount of $50,000 to locals so he could hunt and kill Cecil at the Hwange National Park, which is Zimbabwe’s largest game reserve.
Palmer reportedly used a bow and arrow to kill Cecil over a period of two days. The first day, Palmer shot Cecil with an arrow but the lion didn’t die and managed to escape. Palmer tracked the treasured lion down and killed it the following day by shooting a second arrow into it. After killing Cecil, Palmer took a picture of himself posing with the dead lion.
It is worth noting that before Cecil’s brutal death in the hands of Palmer, he was a subject of research by a group of researchers from the Oxford University.