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An American tourist has sparked international outrage after he reportedly killed one of the oldest and most beloved lions in Zimbabwe.
Walter James Palmer, a dentist and big game hunter out of Minnesota, is said to have paid two locals, a hunter and a private game park owner, to lure the famous 13-year-old ‘Cecil’ out into the open.
According to officials, Palmer initially wounded the lion with a bow and arrow – only to then kill the animal with a gun some time later.
President of Zimbabwe’s Safari Operators Association, Emanuel Fundira, had this to say (from video 2239):
“We lost an icon, a lion, a male lion, which was popularly known and endeared as Cecil. Cecil was collared, you may want to know what that means, collared is an animal which is under surveillance, under a GPS system which is being used for research and different things”.
Cecil was a popular attraction at the Hwange National Park and had been featured in many photo shoots over the years.
After becoming the target of widespread criticism, Palmer said in a statement that he was unaware the animal was famous, and that he had hired professional guides who had secured permits for his hunting trip.
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