The verdict is in, and the dentist who shot and killed Cecil the Lion has been found not guilty of breaking any Zimbabwean laws. Walter Palmer, the Minnesota dentist who shot and killed the lion while on a safari hunt on July 6th, 2015, apparently took preventative care in ensuring that his legal right to hunt was in order before he began his quest for a trophy lion.
The findings were the result of an investigation by Zimbabwean officials as to the legality of Palmer’s visit and subsequent hunt in the country. Initially, officials were calling for his extradition to stand trial in the slaying of Cecil the beloved lion. Now, no charges will be filed against Palmer. Zimbabwean Environment Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri stated, “We approached the police and then the Prosecutor General, and it turned out that Palmer came to Zimbabwe because all the papers were in order.”
In place of charging Palmer, “Zimbabwean professional hunter Theo Bronkhorst is charged with breaching hunting rules during the hunt, in which Cecil was reportedly lured out of the Hwange National Park using bait. He and a game park owner, who has been charged with allowing the hunt, deny the charges.”