Cecil the lion killer Walter Palmer in first interview: ‘I didn’t know he was a famous lion’

The man who hunted Cecil the lion has spoken in his first ever interview since the horrific trophy killing

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by Fiona Day |
Published on

Over a month after he made headlines for killing ‘famous’ lion Cecil at an African reserve, dentist Walter Palmer has opened up in his first interview.

Alongside a lawyer and PR manager, Palmer claimed that he had not gone into hiding following public outrage. Instead, he told the Minneapolis Star Tribune, he had simply been ‘seeing family and friends’.

Palmer received death threats after pictures of him posing next to Cecil’s dead body after horrifically tracking and hunting him for £50,000.

He claimed that his family were left in danger, telling the paper: “This has been especially hard on my wife and my daughter.

Palmer with a lion he caught in 2008

"They’ve been threatened in the social media, and again... I don’t understand that level of humanity to come after people not involved at all."

Palmer also said that he would not have hunted Cecil if he had known previously that he was a ‘famous’ lion.

"If I had known this lion had a name and was important to the country or a study obviously I wouldn't have taken it.

"Nobody in our hunting party knew before or after the name of this lion."

Those who took Palmer on the hunting trip are now facing illegal poaching charges in Zimbabwe.

The county’s authorities have asked the US to extradite Palmer back to Africa so that he too can face poaching charges.

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