The Minnesota dentist who killed a well-known Zimbabwe lion nicknamed "Cecil" after allegedly luring it out of a protected area will not be charged in the animal's death, a government official from Zimbabwe said Monday. Palmer, 55, returned to his dental practice in the city of Bloomington, Minnesota, last month after taking more than a month of leave when news about the hunt broke in late July. From the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:
“We approached the police and then the prosecutor general, and it turned out that Palmer came to Zimbabwe because all the papers were in order,” Environment Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri told reporters, saying the dentist could not be charged.
A spokesman for Palmer in the Twin Cities said Monday that the doctor would have nothing to say about the decision.
Palmer's guide, a Zimbabwe man named Theo Bronkhorst, is apparently still scheduled to face trial starting this week on charges of facilitating an illegal hunt, though the minister's public statement that "all the papers were in order" would seem to indicate that charges against him might be dropped.