Cecil the lion death scandal: 'Permit to hunt a dentist' advertised on eBay

Dentist Walter Palmer has been widely criticised for hunting Africa's most famous lion

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The Independent US

An artist has listed a "permit to hunt a dentist" on eBay amid a worldwide uproar aimed at a US hunter who shot a beloved lion in Zimbabwe.

The advert on the bidding website is a tongue-in-cheek protest against Walter Palmer, who has been accused of paying a hunter and a farmer $50,000 (£32,000) to help him kill the lion named Cecil. The farmer has since been accused of not having a permit, according to Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Authority and the Safari Operators Association.

The dentist has defended his actions in the face of an international outcry and said he thought the trip was legal.

Bidding for the permit – which only lions can buy – starts at a paltry £0.99.

The image advertising the license features a lion prowling inside a dentist’s office.

“I only sell 3 of these permits per year!!!!” illustrator and designer Tokyo Sexwhale, from Norfolk, writes in the fake listing.

“The winning lion will win one hand written permit (by me) which allows you to hunt a dentist.”

“I will provide an experienced dental tracker (also me, 35 years experience) who will book a (fake) appointment and open any doors that you may find tricky to negotiate."

The listing stresses that only “biological lions” can bid on the permit, and the “seller is an experienced animal spotter and has been pointing at and recognizing lions since he was three years old.”

The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force has said Mr Palmer and two other men tied a dead animal to a car to lure Cecil out of a national park before shooting him with a crossbow.

Cecil was found wounded almost two days later, and was shot dead with a gun, said Task Force chairman Johnny Rodrigues.

The lion, which was being studied by researchers at Oxford University, was then skinned and beheaded and attempts were made to destroy its collar which was fitted with a tracking device, according to the Task Force.

Professor David Macdonald, who founded the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit at Oxford University, warned Cecil's death would lead to a “cascade” of other deaths.

“The death of one lion is not just the death of one lion - it is a cascade. It has consequences,” he said. “Cecil was the only male so it is highly likely that the incoming males will kill his offspring.”

Two Zimbabwean men have been arrested on suspicion of poaching, while congresswoman Betty McCollum has called for US authorities to investigate see whether Mr Palmer violated any US laws.

Additional reporting by PA