The Latest: Hundreds protest lion killing at dentist office

AP News
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Posted: Jul 29, 2015 6:36 PM
The Latest: Hundreds protest lion killing at dentist office

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (AP) — The latest information on the Minnesota hunter and guides in Zimbabwe who killed a protected lion during a hunt in the African nation (all times are Central):

5:15 p.m.

A group of protesters outside the office of a suburban Minneapolis dentist who killed a protected lion in Zimbabwe has grown to a couple of hundred people.

Demonstrators carried signs Wednesday and chanted outside the Bloomington office of Walter Palmer.

Palmer has said he believed the hunt was legal and didn't know about the lion's status. Some of Palmer's patients are among the protesters.

Signs read "Killer" and "I am Cecil" — the name of the slain lion. Members of the crowd chanted, "Justice for Cecil."

Signs also were taped on Palmer's office door, including "ROT IN HELL" and "PALMER There's a deep cavity waiting for you!"

Police are on the scene but are allowing the peaceful protest to continue.

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4:45 p.m.

Actress Mia Farrow joined other angry social media users by posting the business address of the dentist who killed a protected lion in Zimbabwe, but the post was later deleted.

Personal information about Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer, including his business and home addresses, have been tweeted or posted on social media sites thousands of times since he was identified Tuesday as the American involved in the hunt.

The post from Farrow's official Twitter account, which has about 650, 000 followers, was deleted after some questioned her intent. Her manager didn't immediately respond to an email for comment.

A Twitter spokesman said the company doesn't comment on individual accounts for privacy and security reasons.

Palmer has said he was with professional guides and thought the hunt was legal.

2:45 p.m.

A small group of protesters has gathered at the office of a suburban Minneapolis dentist who killed a protected lion in Zimbabwe.

About 15 people are outside the Bloomington office of Walter Palmer, who has said he believed the hunt was legal and didn't know about the lion's status.

A few protesters held signs, including one that said, "Let the hunter be hunted!" and another that said, "Extradite Walter Palmer."

Sarah Madison brought her two children, including her 3-year-old son dressed in a lion costume and carrying a sign that said, "Protect me. Don't hunt me." Madison says the hunt, even if legal, was "immoral" and "disgraceful."

Local artist Mark Balma also was outside the office, painting a large picture of an African lion he intends to donate to an organization that protects animals.

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12:20 p.m.

A Zimbabwean judge has granted bail to the professional hunter arrested for helping an American tourist illegally kill a protected lion.

Defense lawyer Givemore Muvhiringi said Wednesday that professional hunter Theo Bronkhorst was released on $1,000 bail.

The lawyer representing farm owner Honest Trymore Ndlovu, who also appeared in court, said his client was not yet charged and was released from custody.

The two Zimbabweans allegedly helped Minnesota dentist Walter James Palmer lure and kill a protected lion named Cecil.

Zimbabwean prosecutors' documents accuse Bronkhorst of failing to "prevent an unlawful hunt." Court documents say Bronkhorst was supervising while his client, Palmer, shot the animal.

The court documents made no mention of Palmer as a suspect.

The two appeared at the Hwange magistrate's court, about 435 miles (700 kilometers) west of the capital Harare.

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This item has been corrected to show that only the professional hunter has been charged and granted bail, not the farm owner.

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12 p.m.

A U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service official says the agency is "deeply concerned" about the recent killing of a protected lion in Zimbabwe.

Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer killed the lion named Cecil on a big-game hunting trip. Zimbabwean authorities have said they are seeking Palmer on poaching charges, but Palmer says he hasn't heard from authorities.

Laury Parramore of the Fish and Wildlife Service said the agency is "currently gathering facts about the issue and will assist Zimbabwe officials in whatever manner requested."

The agency proposed last year to list the African lion as threatened under the Endangered Species Act. Such a move could limit the importation of African lion carcasses into the United States from some countries. But that rule has not yet been made final.

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11:20 a.m.

Police are monitoring the office of a suburban Minneapolis dentist who has come under fire for killing a protected lion in Zimbabwe.

Bloomington Deputy Police Chief Mike Hartley says his department is putting plans together to manage any protests Wednesday at Walter Palmer's dental office.

Hartley says an extra patrol monitored Palmer's office overnight and a high-visibility camera installed to deter and record any criminal activity detected no such wrongdoing.

Palmer was with professional guides when he killed a beloved lion in Africa. Palmer says he didn't know the lion was protected and he relied on local guides to ensure the hunt was legal.

The lion's death sparked outrage on social media, and protests are planned at Palmer's office. By Wednesday morning, a small pile of stuffed animals, including lions and a monkey, was outside the front door of the office, which appeared to be closed.