Zimbabwe To USA: Send Us That Dentist

Reuters reports:

The American dentist who killed Cecil the lion was a “foreign poacher” who paid for an illegal hunt and he should be extradited to Zimbabwe to face justice, environment minister Oppah Muchinguri said on Friday. In Harare’s first official comments since Cecil’s killing grabbed world headlines this week, Muchinguri said the Prosecutor General had already started the process to have 55-year-old Walter Palmer extradited from the United States. Muchinguri, a 91-year-old veteran from President Robert Mugabe’s ruling ZANU-PF party, described Cecil – a black-maned lion well-known to foreign tourists in the Hwange National Park – as an “iconic attraction”. “The illegal killing was deliberate,” she told a news conference. “We are appealing to the responsible authorities for his extradition to Zimbabwe so that he can be held accountable for his illegal actions.”

Late yesterday the White House announced that it will respond to the petition created by JMG participant Scott Wooledge.

  • Andy King

    Extraditing him (or harshly penalizing him here) would hopefully send the message that the US will take a stand against poachers, no matter their personal wealth. Maybe the next rich dentist will think twice.

  • LADY MABELINE

    Into Africa.

  • Looks as though Poacher Palmer should start researching which countries do not have extradition treaties with Zimbabwe and get his ass to one quickly.

    • billbear1961

      Don’t give him any ideas, Stogie!

      • PiperPine

        Oh I’m sure the fellow is looking into it at this point if he’s smart. At the very least he should have, quietly, retained a lawyer who specializes in extradition and international law when he got that PR firm

        • billbear1961

          I’m sure his MONEY is at work.

          Half his savings should be seized to go to nature reserves in Africa.

          He should spend a few years in prison, as well–all of this to serve as an example to others of what will happen to them if they commit a similar crime.

          • PiperPine

            I completely agree that would be an interesting way to do it and something I’d completely support.

            However, sadly, that will not happen legally because the laws both nationally and internationally are not set up that way. There are people trying to change this form of hunting at the least and they deserve credit for working to do that.

            I’d be happy to see him in an American Prison. However, My emotional feelings of this lion being hunted and being lured off the
            reserve and the moral issues I have with this hunt aside, I wouldn’t wish the Zimbabwe prison on my worst enemy. They are deplorable in every sense of the word.

    • Blake Jordan

      Then just employ a local on that country to handle him, problem solved

      • TampaZeke

        NOPE! Completely inappropriate comment. That is precisely the kind of comment that Joe has begged his readers to refrain from posting on his site. Please remove it immediately.

    • BobSF_94117

      Putin’s a big fan of hunting. Maybe Moscow..

  • billbear1961

    Extradite him–send the lying sadist BACK to Zimbabwe!

    Make the POS answer for his crime!

    • TheManicMechanic

      Lure him into the jungle with a pardon and a bacon necklace.

  • oikos

    I’m hoping for extradition and jail time in a comfy Zimbabwe facility. Fining him will not do anything. Anyone who can shell out tens of thousands of dollars to kill animals will not be deterred from repeating their crime.

    • Andy King

      His conviction in ’08 on charges related to illegally killing a black bear resulted in a fine of $3000 and a year’s probation. Considering the amount he paid to kill this lion, I’d be surprised if the loss of three grand stung. He clearly wasn’t dissuaded from committing similar crimes in the future.

    • ScottJL

      It didn’t deter him when he was on probation from illegally killing a bear in Wisconsin either. #richpeoplepunishments

    • SockMikey

      I hope he doesn’t flea [sic] to a country with non-extradition laws in this regards.

      • bambinoitaliano

        You mean like Russia?

    • Corey

      I send a link to the White House petition to a friends of mine who is a senior govie and he reminded me that there is no extradition treaty with Zimbabwe.

      • bambinoitaliano
        • SockMikey

          I wonder if he imported a trophy (head/pelt that was said to be taken) to U.S. and they can be found?

          ****
          We took the head and skin, as the client had paid for the trophy. – Bronkhurst

          Bronkhurst is forbidden from continuing with his hunting business, which he has run since 1992, and has been left devastated by the international fury directed at him since Cecil’s death.
          ****

          The big cat was skinned and had his head removed.
          http://news.nationalgeographic.com/2015/07/150728-cecil-lion-killing-trophy-hunting-conservation-animals/

          Then he could possibly (when the facts & legalities play out) be prosecuted under U.S. laws too.

          Palmer’s actions could have violated the U.S. Lacey Act, a conservation law meant to shield animals from harm. The act, tied to a United Nations treaty for the protection of animals, governs the actions of Americans who violate the laws of foreign governments.

          U.S. Lacey Act
          http://eia-global.org/lacey/

          U.S. Fish & Wildlife – Lacey Act
          http://www.fws.gov/international/laws-treaties-agreements/us-conservation-laws/lacey-act.html

          The Lacey Act provides for both civil and criminal sanctions for trafficking in illegal wildlife (importing parts of this lion would constitute trafficking),” Rohlfe said. “However, as an element of the offense, the hunter would have to bring or attempt to bring a part of the lion into the US.

          • bambinoitaliano

            Search warrant should be issue asap. Turn his house and other property he owns upside down. Confiscate all trophies he accumulated and painstakingly match up proper documentations. Audit the hell out of him.

      • oikos

        There is one.

        Zimbabwe
        Signed: July 25, 1997
        Took effect: April 26, 2000

        • Corey

          Thanks @bambinoitaliano1:disqus and @oikos65:disqus. i just forward the doc to the govie. Let’s see what he can do.

      • gaymex

        .

    • Blake Jordan

      And they should use any savings he has to fund his stay in prison!!!

  • SockMikey

    One good thing that could come of this is the U.S. tightening Trophy Hunting game and importation laws.
    .

  • JT

    I guess the government actually did some homework and found out who Cecil was. Yesterday it was all “What lion?”

    “What lion?” acting information minister Prisca Mupfumira asked in response to a request for comment about Cecil, who was at that moment topping global news bulletins and generating reams of abuse for his killer on websites in the United States and Europe.

    • Andy King

      Environment minister Oppah Muchinguri is the one who called for extradition, not information minister Prisca Mupfumira.

      • Peter Wde

        Relax, our “poaching dentist” will remain in the US, he’s going nowhere.

        • medaka

          Nowhere? And where might that be?

    • Mark

      Their homework was how much money they can get. Sounds inflammatory – but see my post concerning the CBS news article on the lion industry in ZIM.

  • ScottJL

    Let’s be honest here, this guy isn’t going anywhere. Obama isn’t going to send an American over to some 3rd world country to face a hanging over an animal even if the scum deserves it. The GOP would have a field day with “liberals” valuing animal life more than human life and the good old ‘merican tradition of hunting. Obama will hem and haw, say he’s trying to work with our friends in Zimbabwe, and hope this whole thing blows over. The dentist will lie low for a year or two, maybe change his name, and open up shop someplace else.

    • canoebum

      I’m not quite as cynical. They may work out an arrangement whereby, if he is convicted of the crime, he serves his time in a third country, not the US and not Zimbabwe.

      • ScottJL

        Lol, another African country with plenty of hunting?

    • GarySFBCN

      Do we know that he made it back to the US?

    • John30013

      I imagine it would depend on the potential punishment (I doubt it’s death) and our government’s faith in the Zimbabwe justice system…

      • ScottJL

        It’s not death, the 2 other people involved face 10-15 years in prison.

    • CanuckDon

      And Reuters has another side of the story out there for public consumption….
      http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/07/30/us-zimbabwe-wildlife-lion-idUSKCN0Q41VB20150730

      I’m sickened by this senseless killing by a typical wealthy sociopath but the only positive that may come out of this is more of a public awareness to the self-absorbed, barbaric thrills of rich men.

      • SockMikey

        .. and crazy people like Ted Nugent.

        Draft-dodger, pedophile, liar, hunting criminal and NRA darling.

        • medaka

          pants-pooping draft dodger

          • SockMikey

            Ted Nugent agrees to plea deal over illegal killing of black bear in Alaska
            http://www.cnn.com/2012/04/21/justice/alaska-nugent-bear-hunting/

            The Artful (Draft) Dodger
            http://www.snopes.com/politics/military/nugent.asp

            I got my physical notice 30 days prior to. Well, on that day I ceased cleansing my body. No more brushing my teeth, no more washing my hair, no baths, no soap, no water. Thirty days of debris build. I stopped shavin’ and I was 18, had a little scraggly beard, really looked like a hippie. I had long hair, and it started gettin’ kinky, matted up. Then two weeks before, I stopped eating any food with nutritional value. I just had chips, Pepsi, beer-stuff I never touched-buttered poop, little jars of Polish sausages, and I’d drink the syrup, I was this side of death, Then a week before, I stopped going to the bathroom. I did it in my pants. poop, piss the whole shot. My pants got crusted up. – Ted Nugent

            Ted Nugent’s Jailbait Problem
            http://www.huffingtonpost.com/larry-womack/ted-nugents-jailbait-problem_b_4840060.html

            In the same (VH1) documentary, he claimed to have had several relationships with young girls, and seems to brag about gaining their parents’ approval, too. (Though he didn’t go so far as to adopt any of them.)

            But we have pretty good reason, even beyond the autobiographical details, to believe that the choice of 13 in “Jailbait” is not entirely comedic exaggeration. For example, Courtney Love claims to have performed oral sex on Nugent when she was 12 and a half. When pressed, an uncharacteristically somber Love elaborated, “I didn’t have breasts yet… it’s sick.” This would have been around the time of Nugent’s 29th birthday.

          • medaka

            Thanks for the details SockMonkey!

            Whenever Ted Nugent’s name is even mentioned online, that link and text should be posted over and over again….

          • TampaZeke

            I honor and salute anyone who refuses to be forced to fight in a war that they are not motivated enough to volunteer for UNLESS that person is himself a warmonger who supports sending OTHER people’s kids off to be slaughtered and has the audacity to look down his nose at other people who refuse to fight.

            Ted Nuggent and Donald Trump are two such people.

      • ultragreen

        The end game of that kind of thinking is extinction. Africa is the last stand for the survival of ecosystems involving healthy populations of diverse megafauna. The megafauna in the rest of the world were largely driven into extinction by the end of the last Ice Age by human hunters.

    • BobSF_94117

      If I were his lawyer, I’d be begging the U.S. govt to file charges and put him in jail here.

      • Peter Wde

        Charge him with what precisely?

        • BobSF_94117

          Finding something, anything, is the lawyer’s job. Here’s hoping he/she is good at it.

          • Peter Wde

            FIne, if he’s actually broken any US law(s).

          • BobSF_94117

            Answer honestly, if you were Dr. Palmer and had a choice between a poaching trial in Harere or facing trumped up charges in, say, Baltimore, which would you choose?

          • Peter Wde

            This little scenario doesn’t place US justice in a very positive light!

            In Baltimore!! I’m takin’ the Harere option!

  • Ginger Snap

    Maybe this will make sport hunters that go to Africa stop and think. I highly doubt as the wealthy only think of themselves.

    • billbear1961

      It may make them more secretive about what they get up to, but little else, I suspect.

  • SockMikey

    World Lion Day – August 10, 2015
    https://www.facebook.com/WorldLionDay

    Nat Geo Wild announces World Lion Day programming in response to Cecil the Lion’s death
    http://www.channelguidemagblog.com/index.php/2015/07/29/nat-geo-wild-world-lion-day-cecil-the-lion/
    .

  • bambinoitaliano

    Does US has law like Canada where we do not extradite anyone to the US if the individual face death penalty?

    • billbear1961

      I’m sure Harper is working on eradicating that law.

      • bambinoitaliano

        Not if we eradicate him first in the ballot box this fall.

        • billbear1961

          Hear, hear!

    • BobSF_94117

      No. It would be remarkably hypocritical of us to have a law like that.

      • bambinoitaliano

        But I doubt US would honor the extradition treaty if Zimbabwe seek death penalty on that douchebag.

        • BobSF_94117

          I doubt they’d seek the death penalty. In the real world chess of diplomacy, you don’t kill the pawns.

          • bambinoitaliano

            I like one of the readers from another site suggestion. 10 years of free dental services for the poor folks of Zimbabwe as punishment.

  • Webslinger
  • bryan

    Perhaps he could try hiding out in a jungle…

  • Mark

    I think this guy is scum – but! – I read a report from CBS on this entire “industry” – and while this particular lion was indeed ‘reserved’ – the integrity of the mess is less than honorable.

    The parks and zoos churn out lion cubs because that is what tourists want to see – and pet. But, once the cub is handled by humans, it no longer fit to be set free in the wild to fend for itself. At a certain age, the young lions are then sold off to other parks, zoos, and preserves – yet the higher balance are sold to canned hunting. Permits are issued and fees are collected by the govt. So, in the end, the true culprit is tourism.

    As for the canned hunting, the lions require meat. Meat in ZIM is expensive. Hence, everyday that a lion eats is money straight off the profit line.

    The adage from sports hunters about conservation, etc – isn’t entirely true or false. These lions are the waste product of the tourism industry there.

    Here’s a link to the CBS piece. It’s an interesting read with sad revelations.
    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-lion-whisperer/

    And here’s the guy interviewed:
    http://www.lionwhisperer.co.za/

    • BobSF_94117

      the true culprit is tourism

      And the savior of wildlife is tourism. Even ugly tourism is better than reducing Africa’s wilderness to their version of Kansas. It’s not my preference, but no one wants my preference.

  • SockMikey

    Cecil the lion’s killer Walter Palmer ‘wanted to stalk an elephant next – but couldn’t find one big enough’
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/zimbabwe/11773653/Cecil-the-lions-killer-Walter-Palmer-wanted-to-stalk-an-elephant-next-but-couldnt-find-one-big-enough.html

    The client asked if we would find him an elephant larger than 63 pounds, [the weight of one tusk] which is a very large elephant, but I told him I would not be able to find one so big, so the client left the next day and went to Bulawayo for the night and then flew out [to Johannesburg] midday the following day.

  • billbear1961

    Please sign this petition that JMG poster Mark–posting here today, I see–brought to our attention 3 days ago.

    https://petitions.whitehouse.gov//petition/stop-exotic-animal-trophies-killed-us-citizens-or-residents-entering-country

    It aims at stopping hunting trophies from entering this country–the country where most of the infamous things end up–by closing loopholes in a law that currently let them in by interpreting certain parts of the law far too laxly.

    • Mark

      billbear – thanks! I’ve been digging into this the last couple days – and it ain’t pretty from beginning to end. While my take on trophy hunting remains – the greed for the dollar make these lions nothing but ‘livestock’ bred for slaughter.

      http://www.lionwhisperer.co.za/index.php/conservation/captivity

      • billbear1961

        Credit where credit is due, Mark. (I appreciated the opportunity to sign the petition!)

        Sad, disgusting and enraging how the lions are treated–but not very surprising.

        Consider how human beings are treated in this world: to the corporate fascists–and their lackeys in the GOP–is there any doubt that WE are nothing but CATTLE??

      • PLAINTOM

        Thanks for the heads up.

    • PLAINTOM

      Signed

      • billbear1961

        Thanks for acting, Tom!

  • Bill

    The problem I have with this particular story, as horrific as it is. There has been over decades, Poachers, of all kinds murdering all kinds of animals.

    Where is really has become extremely dangerous to the animal populations. Naturalist Dian Fossey was murdered and never found, as she studied Gorilla’s. Elephants for their tusks, Various tropical fish, and birds.
    As much as their is and still is human trade, I am not positive that “one example” would ever stop the trade or the market, of such goods. Even in
    another horrific “trading of human organs”. I was a Kidney donor to a friend, and that “trading” first is extremely dangerous, to both persons.
    That again is a HUGE MONEY business, and really rather disgusting.

  • Antinousian

    I’m positive Minister Muchinguri isn’t 91.

    • Prixator

      Why not? Mugabe is also 91.

      • Antinousian

        Because she was born in 1958.

        • Prixator

          That was a very good year in which to be born! 😉

  • Joseph Miceli

    I can see the backlash now, “Obama hands U.S. citizen over to foreign government’s kangaroo court!” You just KNOW the righties are salivating over the idea. Treaties, crime…those don’t apply to Americans abroad! We are exceptional!!!
    /snark

    • Jean-Marc in Canada

      Sadly, there’s a great deal of truth to what you say. It’s reminiscent of the ancient cry “Civis Romanus Sum”, which was used with equal aplomb to vacate or escape any foreign justice.

      • Peter Wde

        I would hope any American President or principled statesman would refrain from handing a citizen of their country over to corrupt despots.

        • Joseph Miceli

          And I would hope that respect for treaties and the rule of law would triumph. Of course we aren’t handing anyone over to South Korea, but if we have extradition treaties with a foreign government then we should at least respect those treaties enough to give the individual case a hearing.

    • Antinousian

      Point of order: white Americans abroad.

      • Joseph Miceli

        Point conceded. Minorities and LGBT need not apply.

  • TampaZeke

    Just YESTERDAY the right-wing AP reported that no one they spoke to in the government had heard of the incident and that no one even knew who Cecil the Lion was. It reported that Zimbabwean government officials said that had bigger fish to fry than worrying about a dead lion.

    That should put the AP and their agenda into perspective, including their recent “poll” that, contrary to ALL other national polls, showed a sharp decline in support for marriage equality and a large preference for religious rights over gay rights.

    • BobSF_94117

      I think AP was probably right. But now the utterly corrupt Zimbabwean government has realized they have an angle. It ain’t gonna be pretty for Dr. Palmer and, frankly, for us either.

      • Peter Wde

        I seriously doubt the Zimbabwean “government” has any leverage over the US.

        • medaka

          over the US “government”?

          • leastyebejudged

            There is no comparison so far as the extent of corruption and the outright murders committed by the Zimbabwe government. It’s laughable to put “government” in quotes in this context, to even approach the level of corruption the US would have had to have the same President and Congress for thirty years.

          • ultragreen

            Oh, I don’t know, if you include our silly wars abroad in Vietnam, the Middle East, and elsewhere, the U.S. has killed millions of people, either directly or indirectly, by the destructive activity of such wars.

        • BobSF_94117

          However air-quotable it is, Mugabe and his clique have remained in power for decades against almost universal opposition. Whatever they are, they’re not stupid. They’ll find some benefit in this.

          • Peter Wde

            Not stupid, just thugs holding the reins of power that have reduced Zimbabwe to a Hobbesian nightmare failed state.

          • leastyebejudged

            I’m pretty shocked so few people comprehend how horrible Zimbabwe is.

            The human rights violations alone are chilling. The complete economic disaster that Zimbabwe is, particularly compared to it’s former Rhodesia is inexcusable.

          • ultragreen

            There’s no shortage of poverty in this world and human rights abuses are widespread. Zimbabwe doesn’t stand alone in this regard. For a first world country, the U.S. has its fair share of poverty and human rights abuses. Government corruption? That’s nothing unusual.

      • TampaZeke

        Not buying that. The entire article was written to be supportive of the lion killer and to make it sound like the people of Zimbabwe didn’t care about and didn’t even know about Cecil. I doubt there is anyone in the Zimbabwean government unfamiliar with Cecil.

        • BobSF_94117

          I doubt there is anyone in the Zimbabwean government who didn’t get a cut of the $50K paid to kill Cecil.

          • Peter Wde

            And if Dr Palmer does “decide” to have another little “vacation” in Zimbabwe those same officials will double-dip!

        • leastyebejudged

          Really ? LOL. Ok then.

  • Ninja0980

    Someone is about to have a bad day.

  • PiperPine

    Zimbabwe is heavily debt laden, has serious issues with corruption and political nepotism, and frankly horrific prisons. Likely Mr. Palmer will attempt to, quietly, pay the bribes to get out of the situation. Likely they will be very expensive bribes due to the international attention.

    Good luck to Mr. Palmer this is going to be an expensive if he wants to avoid the abuse of a Zimbabwe prison.

    If he’s smart he’s already retained a lawyer trained in international law to look for ways to avoid extradition or at least slow the extradition until scrutiny has lessened.

    • Peter Wde

      Nope, he’ll just pay his lawyer to block the extradition request or the US Justice Dept. will “block” it for him.

      • PiperPine

        That’s essentially what I said in my comment int he final sentence.

        • Peter Wde

          He’s going nowhere… the ardent wishes and revenge fantasies of many here notwithstanding.

          • PiperPine

            Which is what I said. Obviously.

          • Peter Wde

            Obviously.

          • PiperPine

            Clearly #senpainoticedme

  • Queequeg

    Good. There may be a little justice after all. I hope he serves time in their worst jail.

  • PLAINTOM

    Job well done Scott.

  • MikeBx2

    The biggest horror of all of this is that the “sport” of big game hunting can be done legally. It’s disgusting. I wish that pic of Donald Trump’s sons holding up a “trophy” would get more traction. I’m sure what they do is perfectly legal, but many, maybe most, find it reprehensible.

  • leastyebejudged

    It is absolutely INSANE to send ANY US citizen to be judged by Mugabe’s murderous, corrupt government.

  • Pogovio

    I despise the guy and what he did as much as anybody. But let’s try to have some perspective.

    As far as I know, trophy hunting by an American in Zimbabwe is not illegal, either by U.S. laws or Zimbabwe laws. There’s no indication that he went to Africa to kill Cecil specifically – he only went to kill a lion. The choice of Cecil and the arrangement of the kill was the doing of the safari business in Zimbabwe.

    Zimbabwe, under the dictator Robert Mugabe for the last 35 years, has a terrible human rights record. It’s hard for me to imagine any circumstances under which I would be in favor of extradition of anyone, much less an American citizen, to Zimbabwe.

    There are people in America getting away with much worse crimes and outrages every day. Getting your underwear in a knot over this seems misdirected to me. Big game hunting is a billion-dollar industry that draws 10,000 hunters every year to Africa (mostly from the U.S.). Compared to that, this one hunter is nothing. Save your outrage for something worthwhile, instead of a childish tantrum.

    • Peter Wde

      By far the most balanced and sensible words written on this issue to date.

    • James

      “anyone, much less an American citizen”

      The US and Zimbabwe have an extradition treaty. He did something illegal. What difference does it make whether he’s an American citizen?

      The two guides have already appeared in court, and both are currently free. I see no reason why this man shouldn’t answer in court for the crime he committed. It’s highly unlikely he’ll face prison time, since as you mention letting foreigners come over to kill endangered animals is a huge industry in Zimbabwe. But he might get a fine, it might be a deterrent to others who would do what he did, and I don’t see how that could be seen as a bad thing.

      • Peter Wde

        Not quite so simple:

        Lawyer Alec Muchadehama said no American had been extradited to Zimbabwe since the treaty was signed, and that Harare would face legal and political hurdles with Palmer.

        First, it has to apply to U.S. courts and satisfy them that Palmer committed an offence and that he would be jailed for more than a year if convicted. Courts in Zimbabwe consider a fine first for lion poachers before imposing a jail term, he said.

        “They (U.S. courts) may actually doubt the competence of the judiciary here to try him in an objective manner, particularly given these prejudicial pronouncements that the politicians are already making,” said Muchadehama.

  • Ore Carmi

    For what it’s worth, here’s a good interview with one of the biologists who studied Cecil:
    http://www.nature.com/news/charismatic-lion-s-death-highlights-struggles-of-conservation-scientists-1.18101

  • Peter Wde
  • TexPlant

    I say send ’em, could the justice be any worse than what was given to cecil

  • Let Oprah do it as part of a special. “What’s the one thing you’ve been dreaming of? I’ll give you a clue, it’s rich, white, entitled, and would look good hanging over your mantle!”