Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Cecil the Majestic Lion's Slayer Identified -OR- From the Annals of Why Humans Sometimes Just Suck (But Hippos Still Make Me Happy)

Cecil the lion in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe in an undated photo.


OK, it's late and I'm very tired (I went to the gym again) and my other entry crapped out because it was just too long and I don't have enough pictures or time. However, I do want to just note the (ugly) story that quite literally blew up social media today.

It's the story of Walter James Palmer, a suburban Minneapolis, Minnesota dentist who lives a double life as an African big game hunter of the bow and arrow sort, who killed Cecil, a much-loved 13-year old male lion that lived a tranquil existence in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park.

Cecil the lion in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe, 2012.


Palmer was part of some legal poaching operation that turned illegal when Cecil was lured out of the park and onto private land by an animal carcass tied to the bumper of a vehicle in the hunting "party."

Palmer shot Cecil with a bow and arrow and then, wounding the creature, and then up to 40 hours of stalking later, "dispatched" the noble creature with a rifle. Palmer reportedly paid $50,000 for this morally obscene African safari adventure.

Walter Palmer (left) and some other idiot doing their Teddy Roosevelt-meets-Rudyard Kipling's "The White Man's Burden" routine of posing with the dead corpse of beautiful Cecil the Lion outside Zimbabwe's Hwange National Park on or about July 1, 2015.

Apparently, Cecil was then beheaded -- for Mr. Palmer's trophy, no doubt -- and the rest of his corpse left to rot under the African sun. (See New York Times article link below.)


Because the hunt was illegal, it triggered a local investigation by the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force and, as a result, the two men were arrested in connection with Cecil's killing.

It was during this time that Palmer (pictured above in his incarnation as a dentist) was identified. It was the UK Telegraph that published Palmer's identity. It did so in the context of a story -- replete with pictures -- of his long history of trekking about Africa killing large and endangered creatures. Palmer himself faces illegal poaching charges in Zimbabwe. Here is that story (link embedded):

The sub-headline reads: EXCLUSIVE: A Minnesota father of two is discovered to be the hunter who shot dead Cecil -- one of Zimbabwe's most loved lions

The unassuming River Bluff Dental office of mild-mannered dentist and African Big Game hunter Walter Palmer, Bloomington, Minn.


Here are some other stories about it (with embedded links):


As noted, Palmer has a long history of killing other beautiful and endangered creatures such as this leopard in Zimbabwe in 2010:

Walter Palmer appears to get some weird thrill "posing" shirtless with a dead leopard he killed in Zimbabwe in 2010 with this weapon of choice: The bow and arrow.

Apparently, bow and arrow hunters get all tingly all over when they "honor" their target animal by killing it in this way, or so says the bow hunting group Pope and Young (see Telegraph article link above).


And here is Palmer posing with a dead white rhino in South Africa (date uncertain):

Walter Palmer posing with a dead white rhino he apparently killed in South Africa (date uncertain).


I won't go into too much detail on the social media messages -- from Palmer's Facebook page to Yelp reviews of his River Bluff Dental office in Bloomington, Minnesota -- that occurred. Here is an online WaHoPo article on it: A vengeful Internet trashed the Yelp page of the Minnesota dentist who shot Cecil the lion.

A sampling of two Yelp reviews:


(Actually, given my own emotional make up, this is kind of why I don't do social media but only this blog, which for me tends to be a much slower and more deliberative process. Well, that and I don't feel like being "unfriended" all day long, but that's a separate story.)


While (needless to say) I hope no physical harm to comes to him or his family in any way -- and I can intuitively understand how jarring, if not frightening an experience this must be for him -- all I can say is that he is a piece of shit and I don't feel sorry for him one teeny bit for all the negative publicity.

A note for Walter Palmer left outside his office in a Tweet posted by Paul Blume, July 28, 2015.


A local Minneapolis Fox 9 reporter -- some fop named Paul Blume who find the whole thing bemusing, as you would expect a local Fox reporter to do -- posted images taken outside Palmer's dental office where a makeshift "memorial" of sorts -- including lots of stuffed animals -- has appeared.

Stuff animals outside of Walter Palmer's dental office in Bloomington, Minn., July 28, 2015.


I suspect that by tomorrow (later today) I'm sure Rush the Pigboy and others of the conservative entertainment complex -- sensing a political angle to this to exploit -- will rush to this guy's defense. That's kind of how our Manichean politics roles in this country with every day a virtual refighting via various mass communications methods -- in particular, cable, internet, and radio, cable) of the Civil War, which, as I've said before, never really ended.

Majestic Cecil the Lion.

I'm sorry, Cecil. My species kind of really sucks sometimes. It as though sometimes it can't fuck this planet and everything on it fast enough, even when it has nothing to do with daily survival.


My own suggestion is that for his next trip, Mr. Palmer try to tangle up-close-and-personal with a hippopotamus. (Hint: Please get between a female hippo and her baby or a male hippo and water. It works like a charm.)

Tony the Hippo in Puerto Rico gets some dental surgery -- presumably not from Walter Palmer.


I've said it before, I'll say it again: Good oral hippo hygiene is a must.

Even Walter Palmer would (probably) agree with that.


Just don't get too close (and don't try this at home!):

Not Dr. Walter Palmer, I presume: Here an angry hippo charges a young park warden in Murchison Falls National Park, Uganda, Aug. 2009.

Yes, the young man made it to safety.


OK, that's all for now. Oh, and it goes without saying that this was not the entry I intended to post.

Anyway, I probably won't post another one until late Thursday or early Friday. 


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