The Death of Cecil and the Controversy over Big Game Hunting

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On an African safari in 1909, President Teddy Roosevelt trapped or killed more than 11,000 animals and bragged about it. That was then. This is now. Walter Palmer is hiding out since he brought back the head of a lion he killed in Zimbabwe. He's been called a "monster" and a "criminal" on social media, and the incident has created a new uproar over big game hunting.

The Minnesota dentist said he thought it was legal, but his professional guide faces charges for luring a lion out of a national park in Zimbabwe, where Palmer wounded it with a bow and arrow, then finished it off with a rifle 40 hours later. And it wasn't just any lion. It was Cecil, a kind of national mascot — the "star" of an animal preserve who'd been tagged by researchers at Oxford University. Fiona Miles is director of Four Paws, an animal conservation group in South Africa.

Photo: Bryan Orford