DR. WALTER PALMER & ZIMBABWE: A FEW QUESTIONS

Ken Berwitz

As you probably know, Dr. Walter Palmer is the Minnesota dentist who went on a “lion hunt” (I don\’t know what else to call it) in Zimbabwe, and killed “Cecil The Lion”, a popular, iconic animal there.

Palmer claims that he did everything right – got the permits, worked with the guides, etc. – and had no idea this was anything other than an anonymous lion. I have no idea of whether he is telling the truth – maybe he is, maybe he isn\’t.

Since then Palmer has been attacked unmercifully by animal lovers around the world. I would not be surprised if his dental practice will be severely damaged, and he is more or less in hiding.

I have a few questions:

-Is it really legal to kill lions in Zimbabwe? Are there really guides who, with the government\’s consent, take rich “hunters” around to shoot them dead so they brag about what great sportsmen they are to whoever is not repulsed by the “sport” they engage in?

-Isn\’t it true that, if Palmer had not killed Cecil in particular, he would have his trophy, Zimbabwe would have gotten the money he paid to get it, the guides would have been compensated for their work, and everyone would be happy……except for the unlucky non-Cecil lion, that is?

-If so, why are these people attacking Palmer in particular? Is he the only one who goes hunting in Zimbabwe?

-And why are they not attacking Zimbabwe itself? How does the country which, apparently, is allowing the Walter Palmers of the world to go there and hunt down animals which have no defense against them, not get the – I have to say it – lion\’s share of the blame? Without Zimbabwe\’s acquiescence, this would not have happened.

I have a few more questions – these directed at Dr. Walter Palmer and anyone else who goes on these “hunts”:

-What in the world is inside of you that would make you want to do this?

-What happened to you that would make killing for the sake of killing so attractive? Did you have some kind of trauma when you were a child with your stuffed “Leo”?

-Killing for the sake of killing – not for food, not defensively, just to watch another creature die and give some taxidermist a payday – is about as disgusting to me as anything can be, but you apparently do it without thinking twice.  What kind of man would do that?

What kind of a man are you?

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