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No Charges for Palmer in Cecil the Lion Killing

  • VOA News

FILE - Cecil, a well-known, protected lion who lived in Zimbabwe's Hwange National Park, is seen in this frame grab taken from a November 2012 video made available by Paula French.

FILE - Cecil, a well-known, protected lion who lived in Zimbabwe's Hwange National Park, is seen in this frame grab taken from a November 2012 video made available by Paula French.

Zimbabwe's government says it will not file charges against the U.S. dentist who killed the famed Cecil the lion.

"[Walter] Palmer came to Zimbabwe because his papers were in order," Environment Minister Oppah Muchinguri told reporters.

Palmer admitted killing the rare, prized black-maned lion with a bow and arrow on July 1 near Zimbabwe's Hwange national park.

Palmer said he hired professional local guides with the required hunting permits and believed the hunt was legal.

Authorities said, however that Palmer, worked with his guides to lure Cecil out of Hwange to an unprotected area by strapping a "dead animal to their vehicle."

The lion was a major attraction at the park and was being tracked with a GPS (global positioning system) collar as part of an Oxford University research project.

A Zimbabwean hunter, Theodore Bronkhorst, has been charged in connection with the hunt.

Following the killing of Cecil, the Zimbabwean government banned trophy hunting in the country.

Three major U.S. airlines – Delta Air Lines, American Airlines and United Airlines – also banned the shipment of hunting trophies, following similar prohibitions put in place by Emirates and South African Airways. The ban prevents carrying lion, leopard, elephant, rhinoceros and buffalo trophies.

FILE - U.S. Dentist Walter Palmer, who for weeks stayed out of the public eye after being identified as the hunter who killed Cecil the lion, is seen outside his practice in Bloomington, Minnesota, Sept. 8, 2015.

FILE - U.S. Dentist Walter Palmer, who for weeks stayed out of the public eye after being identified as the hunter who killed Cecil the lion, is seen outside his practice in Bloomington, Minnesota, Sept. 8, 2015.

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