Walter Palmer, Cecil the Lion killer, will not face charges because his 'papers were in order'

Walter Palmer shot Cecil dead in July 

Caroline Mortimer
Monday 12 October 2015 14:26 BST
Walter Palmer
Walter Palmer (Reuters )

The US dentist who shot Cecil the Lion dead will not face charges because his papers were in order.

Walter Palmer provoked worldwide condemnation when he shot the famous lion dead near Hwange National Park in July.

Mr Palmer has repeatedly insisted he believed the hunt to be legal but animal rights campaigners called for his extradition to Zimbabwe to face charges.

According to Reuters, Environment minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri told reporters: "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."

His guide, Theo Bronkhorst, and local landowner, Honest Ndlovu, were arrested in Zimbabwe and charged with failing to prevent an illegal hunt.

Cecil the lion was shot by Dr Palmer in July
Cecil the lion was shot by Dr Palmer in July (AP)

13-year-old Cecil the Lion was believed to have been lured out of his protected enclosure before being shot by Dr Palmer with a bow and arrow. He was then tracked for approximately 40 hours before being shot to death.

He was being tracked by the University of Oxford using a GPS collar for a study by their Wildlife Conservation Research Unit.

The dentist from Minnesota and his family were forced into hiding for six weeks after protesters picketed his dental surgery and he received death threats.

His Florida holiday home was vandalised in August with "Lion killer" written on the garage door and pickled pigs' feet left in the front driveway.

Last month, President Robert Mugabe's wife Grace waded into the debate saying Dr Palmer should be left alone.

She said: "I say the dentist who killed the lion must be left alone" and said he "was not aware of the importance of Cecil", reported the Johannesburg-based Rand Daily Mail.

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