Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer has recently become known for killing renowned Cecil the Lion. Cecil was beloved and his death was felt deeply in the international community. Cecil, who died at 13 years old, was beloved because over time he had become to accustomed to humans that he would allow vehicles to come up to 30 feet short of him, which made photographing and research an easier task.
Visitors to Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park acknowledge that this lion stood out from the rest.
“Cecil was the ultimate lion,” said Brent Stapelkamp, a field researcher with Oxford University’s Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU) to National Geographic. He knew Cecil perhaps better than anyone else. “He was everything that a lion represents to us as humans,” Stapelkamp said. “He was large, powerful, but regal at the same time.”
And now Palmer, who claims to not have noticed the collar under his mane, will not be charged. The Zimbabwe conservation task force reported Cecil was lured out of the park and shot with a compound bow. 40 hours later the hunters shot, skinned, and beheaded him
The hunters also tried to destroy the GPS collar that Cecil was wearing as part of a research project backed by Oxford University.
Two Zimbabweans have been charged in the case but Palmer has yet to be contacted by anyone in the investigation.