Charges dropped against hunter who helped MN dentist kill Cecil the lion

Cecil was killed over a year ago, but people have not forgotten his name.

A man who helped Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer hunt and kill Cecil the lion last year will not face any consequences.

According to National Geographic, a court in Zimbabwe has thrown out the charges against Theo Bronkhorst, a professional hunter who assisted Palmer and had been charged with failing to stop an illegal hunt.

The court found the charges "were too vague to enable to him to mount a proper defense," BBC reported.

Bronkhorst testified in court that he had obtained all the permits required to kill an elderly lion that was outside the national park boundaries, BBC said.

Palmer never faced charges either

In July last year, the Bloomington dentist paid about $50,000 to hunt and kill Cecil, a 13-year-old black-maned lion living in Zimbabwe’s Hwange National Park. Cecil was wearing a GPS collar for an Oxford University conservation project when Palmer shot him with a bow and arrow, the Star Tribune noted.

News of the hunt ignited an outrage, as thousands of people took to social media to expose Palmer and criticize killing Cecil, as well as trophy hunting in general.

Hundreds protested outside Palmer's dental office, which had to close down for a bit as he went into hiding. Celebrities, politicians, and animal rights groups spoke out about Cecil's death. Even Jimmy Kimmel cried.

Zimbabwean officials originally wanted Palmer extradited, but abandoned those plans later, saying he had not broken any laws.

Palmer claimed he didn’t know that the animal he’d shot was Cecil, who was known for being friendly to visitors. And after a hiatus, he returned to his practice that September, National Geographic said.

But Cecil's death brought changes

Cecil's death attracted a lot of attention to the subject of trophy hunting, and some countries changed their laws – in America, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service added two subspecies of lion to the Endangered Species Act and strengthened enforcement of wildlife permitting requirements.

Some organizations conducted new studies to assess the benefits and risks of trophy hunting.

And several airlines banned hunters from bringing big-game trophies on flights.

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