With almost 28 million U.S. small businesses to choose from, protesters made their voices heard outside a very specific one this week. According to a report from USA Today, hundreds of people gathered outside the office of Minneapolis dentist Walter Palmer, who killed a protected lion named Cecil in Zimbabwe earlier this month. Toting signs that read “Killer” and “Justice for Cecil,” the protesters also taped messages on the door of the office, with various messages telling him to “rot in hell.”
Palmer reportedly claims that he didn’t know that the hunt was illegal, and had no prior knowledge about the lion’s protection status. He offered remorse in a letter sent to patients of his office, apologizing for the delay in appointments due to the protests:
“In early July, I was in Zimbabwe on a bow hunting trip for big game. I hired several professional guides and they secured all proper permits. To my knowledge, everything about this trip was legal and properly handled and conducted. I had no idea that the lion I took was a known, local favorite, was collared and part of a study until the end of the hunt. I relied on the expertise of my local professional guides to ensure a legal hunt. I have not been contacted by authorities in Zimbabwe or in the U.S. about this situation, but will assist them in any inquiries they may have. Again, I deeply regret that my pursuit of an activity I love and practice responsibly and legally resulted in the taking of this lion. That was never my intention.”
Police were stationed at the office during the protest, but did not intervene, maintaining that the protest was a peaceful one. There are no updates concerning Palmer’s legal status, or whether law enforcement has made any contact for reparations.