Walter Palmer Closes Practice: Hunter Who Killed Cecil The Lion Shuts Down Dental Practice

Heather Tooley

Killer of Cecil the lion, Walter Palmer, closes his practice in Minnesota as he's the target of sheer outrage over poaching a beloved animal apparently lured by a park ranger out of a protective sanctuary in Zimbabwe.

CBS 2 News reports that with the public outcry over Cecil's cold blooded death at the hands of the American dentist, Palmer's practice is shutting down.

Palmer paid an estimated $50,000 for the "privilege" to hunt down and kill Cecil the lion, according to the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force. The animal was lured out of the park he was in, shot with a crossbow, then shot with a rifle a few days later. Cecil was beheaded and skinned as part of Palmer's trophy collection. Investigators, however, tracked down and confiscated all of it after learning it was an American -- not a Spaniard as originally reported -- who shot and killed the beloved animal.

Walter Palmer closes his practice in Bloomington amid death threats and dealing with a severe backlash that even celebrities are a part of.

People have been leaving stuffed animals and signs outside of Palmer's dental office as a makeshift memorial for Cecil -- a lion distinguished by his black mane.

As the New York Times reports, Palmer apologized for killing Cecil, but claimed he had no idea he was a famous animal. No one is buying it since he paid a large sum of money and allegedly bribed a park ranger to lure Cecil out of sanctuary boundaries with the scent of food before shooting a crossbow at the majestic creature, and finishing him off with a rifle.

Ever since it was discovered that the American dentist was the one who poached the famous lion, Walter Palmer's office has been getting angry phone calls and people disrupting his practice. He had to have patients referred to other dentists as the firestorm escalated.

The trophy hunter has a criminal record when it comes to poaching animals. In 2006 he made false statements to federal authorities about where he illegally killed a black bear in Wisconsin; there are only three zones within the state where it's legal to hunt them and he killed a bear outside of the zones. He later admitted that he lied and got a felony conviction in 2008, Heavy reveals in its coverage on Cecil's killing. It also notes that in 2003, he was convicted of fishing without a license, which is a misdemeanor, in Otter Tail County, Minnesota.

It's unclear what charges and penalties Palmer faces after the investigation concludes. The Inquisitr reports that there's a possibility Palmer could face up to 15 years in a Zimbabwe prison for his actions. Walter Palmer's practice being closed down shows just how distraught the world is that Cecil the lion was killed by the hunting enthusiast.

[Photo Credit: YouTube screenshot]