The man who made international headlines after he shot Cecil the lion last year will not face charges.
According to Nat Geo, a Zimbabwe court threw out all charges against hunter Theo Bronkhorst who helped Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer kill the beloved lion on July 1, 2015.
Last year, Palmer paid $54,000 to bow-hunt Cecil in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park. Bronkhorst helped Palmer track Cecil for 11 hours before Palmer eventually shot and killed Cecil with his bow.
Soon after, Bronkhorst was charged with failing to stop an illegal hunt. But the Zimbabwe court said the charges “were too vague to enable him to mount a proper defense.”
Bronkhorst arranged the trip to the park, obtained the permits and license, and helped conduct the hunt.
At first, the Zimbabwe government stated that the lion’s death was “a well-orchestrated agenda which would tarnish the image of Zimbabwe and further strain the relationship between Zimbabwe and the USA.”
But Palmer never faced any charges. Although the Zimbabwe government started an extradition process for Palmer, they eventually claimed the documentation for the hunt was proper.
But people around the world had a different opinion and spent months protesting of the death of Cecil the lion.
Anti-hunting activists called for the extradition and arrest of Palmer for killing the 13-year-old lion. Soon after, many airlines banned hunters from travelling with hunting trophies.
Moreover, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service investigated Palmer to see whether he had violated the Lacey Act, a federal law that includes bans against illegal trafficking for wildlife.
The fact that the Zimbabwe government announced no crime was committed in the death of the lion is sure to enrage liberals everywhere.