Jimmy Kimmel condemned the American hunter who killed Cecil the Lion in his monologue on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’ on Tuesday, July 28. The hunter was identified to be Walter Palmer, a dentist from Eden Prairie, Minnesota earlier that day.
Cecil, a local favorite was thirteen years old. He was well-known by the public due to research papers written on him by Oxford University. Cecil was skinned and beheaded by Palmer and two Zimbabweans he had hired for a lump sum of $55,000.
“Stop saying you took the animal. You take aspirin. You killed the lion. You didn’t take it,” said 47-year-old Kimmel, referring to Palmer’s statement and formal apology.
Kimmel said that he is not personally against hunting if it is to eat, to keep the animal population down, or if it is a part of someone's culture. He just did not understand why a dentist would feel the urge to shoot a lion for recreational purposes. He described the action as “vomitous.”
The Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force (ZCTF) stated that Palmer went night-hunting with professional hunter Theo Bronkhorst in Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe, Africa on July 6. They used a spotlight on Cecil and lured him out of the park by tying a dead carcass to their vehicle.
“I had no idea that the lion I took was a known, local favorite, was collared and part of a study until the end of the hunt. I relied on the expertise of my local professional guides to ensure a legal hunt,” said 55-year-old Palmer. “Again, I deeply regret that my pursuit of an activity I love and practice responsibly and legally resulted in the taking of this lion.”
Kimmel said that when he read the initial reports of Cecil’s death, which then stated that the hunter was a Spaniard, he thought, “This is terrible, but thank God it wasn’t one of us for once.” Kimmel found out the next morning that it was an American.
Kimmel added that Palmer “killed like half of Noah’s ark,” after showing the audience a slideshow of Palmer’s previous kills of a leopard, elephant, black bear, and another lion. He closed his monologue by saying that it is “important to have some good come out of this disgusting tragedy.” He urged viewers to make donations to support Oxford University’s research team at www.WildCru.org.
Palmer shot Cecil with a bow and arrow. Cecil escaped the initial attack by his predators, but was tracked down within 40 hours and shot dead with a gun. ZCTF reports that the hunters made attempts to destroy Cecil’s GPS collar, but were unsuccessful.
“Cecil, who was known all over the world would have earned millions of dollars just from sightseeing. There was apparently no quota or license for a lion to be killed in this area,” stated ZCTF.
Cecil’s death will likely result in the death of all of his cubs. The next lion in hierarchy is expected to kill the cubs in order to “insert his own bloodline into the females.”