Conservations have alleged Walter Palmer, who provoked global outrage last July for killing the country’s most beloved lion, broke a law when he and his hunting guide baited the animal outside a protected area. But according to Reuters, he won’t be prosecuted in the country.
Zimbabwe’s Environment Minister, Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, said on Monday that Palmer could not be charged in the country because his hunting papers were legally obtained.
“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,” Muchinguri-Kashiri told reporters. He also said that Palmer would be allowed to enter Zimbabwe as a tourist, but “not for hunting.”
Like the other 600-plus foreign hunters who export the carcasses of lions out of Africa every year, Palmer is free to return to his Minnesota practice and the throng of protestors that camp outside it.
Meanwhile in Zimbabwe, two men who did not kill an African lion named Cecil were arrested for his death in July. Professional hunter Theo Bronchorst and landowner Honest Trymore Ndlovu, both Zimbabweans, were charged with allowing “a person who is not ordinarily resident in Zimbabwe to hunt the said animal which was not on the hunting quota.”