Skip to main content

Zimbabwe official: Walter Palmer won't be charged in death of Cecil the lion

  • Author:
  • Updated:

Walter Palmer, the Minnesota dentist who became the subject of international uproar after admitting to killing a famed African lion, won't be charged, Zimbabwean officials said Monday.

Environment Minister Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri told reporters the police and prosecutor general were approached, but that all Palmer's papers "were in order," according to Reuters.

Zimbabwean officials had called for Palmer's extradition to the African nation so he could be held accountable for his "illegal action" when he killed Cecil the lion outside of Hwange National Park back in July, but now officials have called off that request, the New Zimbabwe says.

“He is free to come, not for hunting, but as a tourist,” Muchinguri-Kashiri said, according to New Zimbabwe.

According to the Star Tribune, a Palmer spokesperson said the dentist wouldn't have a comment about the update.

Cecil, who was wearing a GPS collar as part of an Oxford University research project, was reportedly lured from the park with bait, shot with an arrow and then tracked for 40 hours before he was fatally shot with a rifle, beheaded, and then skinned.

Palmer, who is believed to have paid roughly $50,000 for the hunt, admitted to killing Cecil, but maintained everything about the hunt was legal and said he was unaware the lion was famous.

The lion's death sparked global outrage and forced Palmer to temporarily close his Bloomington, Minnesota, dental practice. Palmer has been the subject of protests and vandalism in the months since the lion's killing.

Two Zimbabwean men have been implicated in Cecil's killing, the New Zimbabwe notes.

Next Up

Andy Trowbridge

Tributes to KARE 11 sports producer who has died at age 35

KARE says Andrew Trowbridge died following a 'brief illness.'


Man pleads guilty to murder of Inver Grove Heights father

Michael Chang-Beom Lee, 43, was killed during a burglary at his home.

Eggs at Hy-Vee

Price comparison: How much do eggs cost at Twin Cities grocery stores?

Prices have been spiking, so where can you find the cheapest eggs?


FOX 9 promotes Hannah Flood to anchor, adds new reporter

Hannah Flood will co-anchor mornings while Se Kwon joins the team.

Carjacking pursuit in Little Canada

Watch: Suspects drive wrong-way on I-35E, before carjacking separate vehicles

The Ramsey County Sheriff's Office said the suspects are still at large.


St. Paul restaurant damaged in Sunday night fire

The fire department said the fire is considered to be "accidental."

Lake Superior.

MPCA: Minnesota's emissions fell by 23% between 2005 and 2020

Clean energy investments have driven the decline.

Dave Durenberger

Former U.S. Senator for Minnesota Dave Durenberger dies at 88

Durenberger served two terms before his disgraceful exit in the mid-1990s.

Screen Shot 2023-01-31 at 10.17.33 AM

Two new breweries join Minneapolis, St. Paul downtowns

There are new spots in North Loop and Lowertown.