And the winner of how NOT to do PR is…Dr Walter Palmer. To hunt and kill a beautiful and protected lion is one way to loose popularity, fast.
I am of course talking about the awful circumstances in which Palmer, from Minnesota, USA, purposely set out to hunt and kill a lion, which sadly turned out to be Cecil – Zimbabwe’s most famous and protected lion.
Named by the media and the public as a “coward and a killer” and “a poor excuse for a human being,” it seems Palmer will struggle to keep hold of any loyal patients from now on.
Having admitted to killing Cecil with a bow and arrow, Palmer now faces legal action as it’s reported he and his guides lured Cecil out of the national park they were in and on to private property, where it would be legal to shoot him. It’s also reported that Palmer paid £35,000 for his permit for the trip and he claims he did not know Cecil was protected. Palmer’s two guides also face poaching charges.
Celebrities world over have been Tweeting #CecilTheLion with their condolences and hate messages for Palmer. There’s a sign which reads: “you are a coward and a killer” outside his dentistry practice along with a selection of stuffed toys including a monkey, leopard and a lion.
This is one situation his business will find it hard to bounce back from, and I really hope it doesn’t… Not only does the whole world know what he’s done, they know his face and where he works, they even know where he lives. Protesters have gathered outside his home dressed as ‘dentist killers’ and shooting water guns at his home. It’s also rumoured his wife, unsurprisingly, had a nervous breakdown and Palmer has been receiving death threats.
To think that people get enjoyment out of the game hunting “sport” let alone pay tens of thousands to participate, completely baffles and saddens me. Not only did he illegally shoot Cecil, he then went on to skin and behead the helpless animal after the carcass was not found until a few days later.
And it seems this is not the first time Palmer’s thirst for killing protected animals as come to the surface. According to reports, he has a previous felony record in the US after killing a black bear in 2006. He received a $3,000 (£1,900) fine and was given one year’s probation.
To add to the anger and upset, Cecil was collared and part of a study, he also had six cubs. Any new male lion entering the pride, in a bid to mate with the lionesses, will kill these six cubs.
In a comment to the media, head of the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force said: “Cecil never bothered anybody, he was one of the most beautiful animals to look at.”
It breaks my heart and I cannot bare to look at any more photos circulating the web of Palmer with his ‘trophies’ from previous hunting trips. Including a warthog, an elk and a leopard.
This was not Palmer’s first conquest but I certainly hope it’s his last.