Walter James Palmer, the wealthy American dentist who illegally poached Africa's most beloved lion, is in fear for his life.
Palmer, of Minnesota, has gone into hiding and hired a PR firm to contain the damage after he was identified as the heartless big-game hunter who killed Zimbabwe's Cecil the lion.
Palmer allegedly paid 3 tour guides $55,000 to lure Cecil the lion from one of Zimbabwe's National Parks on July 1.
Zimbabwe officials say Palmer and his guides lured Cecil out of the game reserve park at night using a dead animal as bait.
Palmer then shot the animal with a compound bow and arrow. It took 2 days for Palmer and his guides to find the bleeding lion. The men shot and killed Cecil, then beheaded and skinned him for trophies.
The men also removed a radio collar from around Cecil's neck, a violation of park rules.
Zimbabwe officials have arrested 2 of the men who were with Palmer.
Researchers say Cecil and another lion, Jericho, led two prides with six lionesses and a dozen young cubs.
"Jericho as a single male will be unable to defend the two prides and cubs from new males that invade the territory, researcher Dr Andrew Loveridge told The Telegraph. "This is what we most often see happening in these cases. Infanticide is the most likely outcome."
Palmer's attorney said Palmer had a permit to hunt lions. But park officials say the permit does not allow hunting at night.
After Palmer was outed by the London Telegraph newspaper, he began receiving death threats at his River Bluff Dental practice and at his home in Eden Prairie, MN, where he hangs the heads of animals he has killed all over the world.
Thousands of negative comments flood the Yelp page for his dental practice in Bloomington, MN.
Drew C. of Ardmore, PA. wrote:
"I needed a tooth extracted, so Dr. Palmer shot me in the neck with a crossbow, chased and tracked me for 40 hours, and (once I collapsed from pain and exhaustion) removed my entire head and skinned me.
Best part, they accept my insurance!!
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Andy C. of Toronto, Canada wrote:
"I was lured to this business because of the promise of free meat. The dentist tried cleaning my teeth from an arrow in his crossbow which I found odd. The 1 star is for the $50,000 bill I got afterwards."
On Tuesday, Palmer released a statement through a PR firm. He said he hired professional guides who "secured all proper permits," and "everything about the trip was legal and proper."
Palmer does not admit hunting Cecil under the cover of darkness, like a coward, or removing the radio collar from the animal's neck.
"I deeply regret that my pursuit of an activity I love and practice responsibly and legally resulted in the taking of this lion," he said in his statement.
Like a typical narcissist, Palmer taunted readers who left angry comments under an article about him. He later deleted the comments.
In 2008, Palmer was convicted of illegally poaching a bear in Wisconsin. He was sentenced to probation for one year.
Palmer's dental practice is closed for the rest of the week.