Dr Walter Palmer, the Minnesota dentist who set off an all-time level-9000 shitstorm when he shot the dearly-loved and protected Cecil The Lion in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park, has officially emerged from hiding.
The River Bluff Dental Practice re-opened in mid-August, but Palmer did not return to work until this week. A crowd of protesters and media gathered outside, with some shouting “murderer!” and “leave town!” as the 55-year-old silently approached.
Based on Palmer’s appearance, weeks and weeks of public condemnation – including a righteous take-down by Jimmy Kimmel – will leave you looking mighty drawn and tired.
Palmer did himself few favours earlier this week when he spoke out for the first time, taking what would have been the perfect opportunity for a public mea culpa and instead justifying his killing of Cecil as an unfortunate poaching-related oopsie.
There were some supporters amid the protesters, including patient and fellow hunter Ryan Rice, who said that he was “heartbroken” for Palmer, and mentioned that money paid for hunting licenses goes to conservation efforts. Rice told media:
“I have no problem with him taking a lion or giraffe, that’s his own business. I do have a problem with social media and how people have tried to slander this individual.”
Others were not so forgiving, with 63-year-old Cathy Pierce saying that Palmer should lose his business to send a message that “this kind of hunting is not accepted anymore”, and others taping signs to the door calling for his extradition.
In the wake of Cecil’s killing, Zimbabwe’s Environment Minister said that Palmer might be extradited as a “foreign poacher”, but the country has not laid the necessary charges for this to happen.
Photo: Adam Bettcher via Getty Images