Zimbabwe Says 'Cecil The Lion' Hunt was Legal

Zimbabwe Says 'Cecil The Lion' Hunt was Legal

Zimbabwe Says 'Cecil The Lion' Hunt was Legal

In a stunning reversal on Monday, Zimbabwe officials announced that they will no longer seek to extradite Walter Palmer, a Minnesota dentist who had drawn international outrage over killing a popular black-maned lion named Cecil in July.

The BBC reported that an investigation by the country’s Parks and Wildlife Authority revealed that Palmer had indeed procured the legal authority to hunt the lion, although the agency did not give additional details regarding the legality of the methods used in the taking of the animal.

“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,” Zimbabwe Environment Minister Oppah Muchinguri told the BBC.

Zimbabwe officials initially accused Palmer of poaching the lion outside Hwange National Park in July. At the time, government officials believed that Palmer conducted the hunt without the proper permits. Palmer’s guide, Theo Bronkhorst, and the landowner who owned the farm where Cecil was shot with a bow, Honest Trymore Ndvolu, were both arrested for their part in facilitating the excursion. While Zimbabwe officials have confirmed that they now no longer seek to charge Palmer with any crime, the trial against Bronkhorst is still scheduled to continue on Thursday. The two men have been formally charged with “failing to prevent an illegal hunt” by baiting the lion out of the protected park.

 

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