Petition Watch: ‘Demand Justice for Cecil the Lion’ Growing Like Wildfire Online

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(EnviroNews World News) — In what is likely already the largest international media firestorm the world has ever seen over a poached wild animal, stories continue to flood the airwaves from all corners of the globe displaying stunning pictures of the beloved giant Zimbabwean cat, ‘Cecil the Lion.’

Cecil The Lion -- Photo via News.NationalGeographic.com

Cecil The Lion — Photo via News.NationalGeographic.com


Cecil was adored by locals and tourists alike, and had a reputation for being a gentle cat who loved to interact peacefully with humans. He was illegally lured out of the park by Dr. Walter James Palmer, a dentist from Minnesota who reportedly paid a sum as high as $55k to kill the famous creature — all for the purpose of getting his jollies.

Demands have come in from all over the world demanding Palmer be arrested, prosecuted, and according to some people, hanged. The animal rights activst group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, a.k.a. PETA, said this in a tweet:

Former CNN host Piers Morgan said he’d like to do to Dr. Palmer what Dr. Palmer did to Cecil:

I will sell tickets for $50,000 to anyone who wants to come with me and track down fat, greedy, selfish, murderous businessmen like Dr. Palmer in their natural habit. We would all take a bow and fire a few arrows into his limbs to render him incapable of movement. Then we’d calmly walk over, skin him alive, cut his head from his neck, and took a bunch of photos of us all grinning inanely at his quivering flesh.

Even Newt Gingrich was in with a Tweet calling for the arrest and prosecution of Palmer:

Late night television star Jimmy Kimmel put the animal poaching dentist on blast on his show, calling him a “jack hole” among multiple other things.

Palmer has closed his dental practice for the time being, amid a hail of calls, criticisms, emails, social media posting, yelp reviews, and threats, as people from nearly every sector of society, including many celebrities, have been lambasting the dentist for Cecil’s murder. In short, Palmer has probably been called a “redneck asshole with a small penis” in one way, shape or form thousands of times an hour over the last day.

Walter James Palmer Closes Dental Practice

Walter James Palmer Closes Dental Practice


Thousands of animals from dozens of imperiled wildlife species are hunted, or flat-out poached ever single week around the world. So, the question remains: Will Cecil the Lion’s death bring about a new level of action or a lasting awareness around the poaching issue on a global scale?

Palmer has tried to shrug off responsibility for the agonizing 40-hour death Cecil experienced after the dentist shot him with a bow-and-arrow, saying he thought his tour was legit, blaming guides for luring the cat out of the park illegally so he could be butchered on private land.

That said, Palmer has a felony record for lying about where he was when he shot a bear in Wisconsin, having reportedly moved that creature 40 miles from where he killed it. This of course points to a behavioral pattern with Dr. Palmer. This time around, along with his team, Palmer may have tried a new strategy: lure the animal off land where its protected, and onto private land.

Unbeknownst to Palmer and his team was that Cecil was wearing a radio collar installed by Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU), and they were able to track the location of the fallen beast. Then after, it was allegedly discovered that Palmer and his team had attempted to destroy the tracking device.

Walter James Palmer After Killing White Rhino

Walter James Palmer After Killing White Rhino


Walter James Palmer After Killing Leopard

Walter James Palmer After Killing Leopard


People around the world are insisting Palmer face the music on the case, and that he is arrested and brought to legal justice. A Care2.com petition has over 450,000 signatures and is moving like wildlife over the internet to make sure that happens. The entire petition titled “Demand Justice for Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe” by username Ruth McD can be viewed at this link: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/821/738/351/demand-justice-for-cecil-the-lion-in-zimbambwe/?TAP=1007&cid=causes_petition_postinfo

Cecil The Lion -- Photo via www.grindtv.com

Cecil The Lion — Photo via www.grindtv.com

WildCRU, the group that had been studying Cecil since 2008, said this as part of a statement on its website:

Cecil was one of our study lions. We had followed his movements in minute detail since 2008 – these are remarkable data. Of course, as people devoted to wildlife, and having known Cecil personally, we are deeply saddened by his death, and insofar as this happened allegedly illegally we consider it deeply reprehensible (and we are working closely with the National Parks authorities to support their meticulous work in prosecuting this case). We support all efforts to prevent illegal and unscrupulous hunts.

Despite our sadness, as scientists, we seek to learn from this event, and to find some benefit from it. A very important aspect of lion conservation is what we call the perturbation effect: namely the cascading effects on the surviving lions of the death of one of them – in brief, we have found that when a male lion is killed, because of the way their society works, a likely consequence is the overthrow and death of other adult male members of his weakened coalition (normally of brothers), and the subsequent infanticide of his cubs by the incoming new coalition of males. We are working hard to study the consequences of Cecil’s death on his pride and their neighbors, so that we learn as much as possible.

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One Response to “Petition Watch: ‘Demand Justice for Cecil the Lion’ Growing Like Wildfire Online”

  1. Phillip Clair
    August 2, 2015 at 5:01 pm #

    Extradite the ignorant SOB! He initiated the whole affair, he should face the justice of the country he defiled. Otherwise the already tarnished reputation of the U.S. will suffer even more. His personal greed and insecurity should pay the price. Let’s hope the U.S. FWS doesn’t blow this one like they did the wolf illegally killed in Utah this spring. Let’s hope ignorance is only an acceptable excuse in Utah!

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