Patrols have been stepped up at the offices of the US dentist who shot Cecil the lion following a report of "terroristic threats", police have said.
The dentist was reportedly 'in hiding' following a barrage of protests and online attacks after he was identified as the man who shot the famous lion in Zimbabwe
Police in Minnesota have warned the dentist who shot the famous lion in Zimbabwe dead is facing “terroristic” threats.
In an email to Reuters, the deputy chief of Bloomington Police said the force had stepped up patrols around the besieged office of Walter Palmer in Minneapolis after a phoned in threat.
Deputy chief Mike Hartley said: "A terroristic threats report related to this incident was taken by our police department yesterday and will be investigated like any other similar offense report.”
It comes as local animal rights activists staged a protest outside Dr Palmer’s office on Wednesday and left a small memorial of stuffed animals at the building’s entrance.
Outraged animal lovers have descended on Dr Palmer’s business calling him a “coward” and saying he should suffer the same way Cecil did.
Many used reviews website Yelp to give the practice 5,000 one star ratings with one saying Mr Palmer has “singlehandedly ruined [his] own business”.
Celebrities such as supermodel Cara Delevingne and comedian Ricky Gervais have lead Twitter in outrage with Ms Delevingne calling Dr Palmer “a poor excuse of a human being”.
This #WalterPalmer is a poor excuse of a human being!— Cara Delevingne (@Caradelevingne) July 28, 2015
Cecil, regarded as something of a national treasure in the country, was lured out of Hwange National Park using bait before being shot with a bow and arrow by hunting enthusiast Dr Palmer.
He is believed to have been wounded for around 40 hours before being shot dead with a gun.
The 13 year old lion was then decapitated and skinned.
Dr Palmer has said he regrets killing the lion in a letter to patients and said he believed the hunt was legal at the time.
He is believed to have paid $55,000 to arrange the hunt.
The most controversial animal killings
The most controversial animal killings
1/6 Cincinnati Zoo worker shots and kills Harambe, the 17-year-old gorilla
Harambe, a 17-year-old gorilla was shot and killed by a Cincinnati Zoo worker after a three-year-old boy climbed into a gorilla enclosure and was grabbed and dragged by Harambe. The incident was recorded on video and received broad international coverage and commentary, including controversy over the choice to kill Harambe. A number of primatologists and conservationists wrote later that the zoo had no other choice under the circumstances, and that it highlighted the danger of zoo animals in close proximity to humans and the need for better standards of care
Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden
2/6 Walt Palmer (left), from Minnesota, who killed Cecil, the Zimbabwean lion (pictured here with another lion shot in Africa)
Walter James Palmer has been named by Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force as the shooter of Cecil, a 13-year-old prized lion. He is now wanted by Zimbabwe officials on poaching charges. The lion was protected and the subject of a decade long study by the Wildlife Unit of Oxford University in the UK. He was outfitted with a GPS collar and was killed in Hwange National Park. The Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Authority and the Safari Operators Association said that two men were charged with poaching in connection to Mr Palmer
3/6 Kendall Jones hunting images
Kendall Jones, a 19-year-old Texas Tech university student, has provoked worldwide fury after posting pictures of herself smiling next to animals she hunted, including a lion, rhinoceros, antelope, leopard, elephant, zebra and hippopotamus
4/6 Rebecca Francis hunting images
Rebecca Francis, a huntress who has killed dozens of wild animals has been sent death wishes by furious social media users after a picture showing her lying down next to a dead giraffe was circulated. Rebecca Francis has a website and Facebook page dedicated to the animals she has killed in hunts across Africa and America. Francis, a prolific hunter who has also co-hosted the television show Eye of the Hunter, regularly posts pictures of herself posing next to dead bears, giraffes, buffaloes and zebras, among other animals. She uses a bow and arrow to kill her prey
5/6 The slaughter of Marius, an 18-month-old healthy giraffe in Copenhagen Zoo
Copenhagen Zoo made the controversial decision to euthanise a healthy giraffe named Marius, which was later dissected and fed to lions as visitors watched. The slaughter sparked a furious backlash from social media users and zoo staff have received death threats by phone and email. Soon after the incident, Copenhagen Zoo faced an international outcry once again after four healthy lions were put down
6/6 Swiss Dählhölzli zoo kills healthy brown bear cub
A Switzerland zoo faced heavy criticism from animal rights groups, after keepers put down a healthy brown bear cub to spare it from being bullied by its dominant male father. The 360 kg male bear Misha had already killed one of his 11-week old cubs in public and was bullying the second, staff at the zoo said, because he was jealous of the attention the cubs were receiving from their mother, Masha. Both adult brown bears had been donated to Bern’s Dählhölzli zoo in 2009. Campaigners condemned staff there for not separating the cubs, who are being referred to as Baby Bear Two and Baby Bear Three, and their mother from Misha after their birth in January
Two Zimbabwean men have appeared in court charged with poaching in connection with the case. If they are found guilty they could face up to 10 years in jail.
Dr Palmer has not been charged in connection with Cecil’s death but a Change.org petition has called on President Barack Obama to extradiate Walter Palmer to Zimbabwe because “his actions have damaged the reputation of the United States”.
Additional reporting by ReutersReuse content