Skip to main content

Cecil the lion was lured with elephant meat before being killed by MN dentist, book claims

The university researcher tracking Cecil has written an account of his death.

What's happening?

Thought you'd heard the last of Twin Cities dentist Walter Palmer? Think again!

The big game hunter features in a new book written by the Oxford University researcher who tracked Cecil the lion until his death at Palmer's hands.

Excerpts from "Lion Hearted: The Life and Death of Cecil and the Future of Africa’s Iconic Cats," have featured in the National Geographic on Sunday courtesy of Wildlife Watch.

Cecil was lured to his death

Author Andrew Loveridge, a UK-based biologist who had tracked Cecil for eight years via GPS collar, put together the book based on interviews with those involved in the hunt, statements given to Zimbabwe authorities, and location data taken from the GPS.

We already knew that Cecil had been lured from protected wildlife land so he could be killed on private property, but the book furnishes us with more details as to how that was accomplished.

The week before Cecil was shot, another big game hunter had killed an elephant at Antoinette Farm in Zimbabwe, with the landowner instructing staff to keep an eye on the carcass in case any lions came to feed on it.

When Palmer arrived after paying $50,000 for the lion hunt, his guide and a tracker moved the elephant carcass a few hundred meters away and then built a "platform and hunting blind in a nearby tree overlooking the elephant carcass."

It was from that platform that Palmer shot Cecil with a bow and arrow as he fed on the carcass.

He didn't die instantly, Loveridge writes. He is believed to have been alive and mortally wounded for 10-12 hours before Palmer and his team arrived and finished him off.

The public outcry that followed forced Palmer to go into hiding, and when he eventually returned to work a month after being outed as the hunter responsible for killing Cecil, he was met by a crowd of protesters.

In an interview with The Associated Press and the Star Tribune, Palmer maintained that he believed he was acting legally when he killed the lion.

He said he had no idea that Cecil was protected and that he had been lured off of protected land.

Loveridge's excerpt does not give any indication that Palmer knew that the hunt was being staged in this manner.

Next Up

Tony Oliva

Tony Oliva and Jim Kaat are finally heading to Cooperstown

The Twins legends were elected to Baseball's Hall of Fame on Sunday night.

Tanner Morgan

Report: Gophers to play in Guaranteed Rate Bowl

The Gophers will reportedly head to Phoenix to take on West Virginia.

Adam Thielen

Winless Lions beat Vikings on final play of game

Adam Thielen also left early with an ankle injury

Payton Willis / Gopher Basketball

Gophers improve to 7-0 on Willis' late 3-pointer

The Gophers earned back-to-back road victories for the first time since January 2017.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

Woman in critical condition after being shot in the head in St. Paul

Officers responded to the incident at around 2:45 a.m. Saturday.

Alexander Mattison

Vikings-Lions: 5 things you can count on

It's a great time for the Vikings to play the Lions.


Omicron variant confirmed in Wisconsin man who traveled to South Africa

Five other cases have been confirmed and linked to a Wisconsin wedding.

Sharon Mollerus - duluth - snow plow car

Sunday snowstorm walloping MN's North Shore with huge totals

Just ridiculous snow totals expected the rest of Sunday.

Screen Shot 2021-12-05 at 6.49.03 AM

Saturday snow causes havoc on Twin Cities roads

There were countless spinouts and crashes across Minnesota.

Kirill Kaprizov

Wild win battle of NHL's hottest teams, extend winning streak to six

Kirill Kaprizov delivered a shootout winner to take down the Maple Leafs.