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Cecil The Lion Memorialized Outside Office Of Dentist Who Killed Him

By Rachel Cromidas in News on Jul 29, 2015 1:45PM

A Minnesota dentist and hobby trophy hunter caught heat from the Internet Tuesday after it was announced that he killed Cecil, a well-loved lion who drew crowds to a Zimbabwe national park. Now he's also catching heat from his Twin Cities neighbors, who have built a memorial shrine to Cecil at the door of his office, complete with flowers and a stuffed animal monkey, tiger, leopard and lion.

Walter Palmer, 55, whose dental practice is in Bloomington according to the Star-Tribune, admitted to killing Cecil on July 1 with a bow-and-arrow. He said in a statement that he hired African guides to secure permits for the hunt and had no idea he had killed a well-known and beloved lion.

“I had no idea that the lion I took was a known, local favorite, was collared and part of a study until the end of the hunt. I relied on the expertise of my local professional guides to ensure a legal hunt,” the statement said. “Again, I deeply regret that my pursuit of an activity I love and practice responsibly and legally resulted in the taking of this lion.”

Palmer is facing poaching charges, Zimbabwe game officials have said. In 2008 Palmer pleaded guilty to a license violation after shooting a black bear in Wisconsin, according to the Star-Tribune.

A memorial to Cecil has been built in front of River Bluff Dental in Bloomington, according to reports. The stuffed animals sitting at the business's doorsteps include a small lion wearing blue pants, a polar bear holding a red rose, and a sign that reads "You are a coward and a killer," in red lettering. A local Fox News reporter saw Activists carrying water guns and dressed in campy gear who said the toys were "bait" and they were "hunting dentists."