News Daily Spot: Game Hunter: From Obscurity To Global Infamy

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Game Hunter: From Obscurity To Global Infamy

Eden Prairie is a verdant suburb of Minneapolis. Big houses set back from well kept kerbs and SUVs purring past dog walking couples and lone joggers.
But here in a leafy suburban paradise lurks the latest villain to be created and destroyed by social media.
Dentistry clearly pays well in Minnesota. Walter Palmer's imposing mansion is set back up a long drive.
Under a double storey porch a pile of notes from journalists seeking an audience attest to the fact that he is not in.
He could also afford hunting trips costing tens of thousands of dollars.
But one of them in Zimbabwe has earned the American hunter a firestorm of hate on social media.
He and his hunting guides are accused of luring Cecil the lion out of a national park where he shot him with a crossbow.
They then tracked the animal for 40 hours before killing it using a rifle.
In a written statement he has tried to defend himself.
"I had no idea that the lion I took was a known, local favourite, was collared and part of a study until the end of the hunt," Mr Palmer said.
"I relied on the expertise of my local professional guides to ensure a legal hunt."
Mr Palmer has shot big game for years without attracting international attention.
This is despite US court records showing he pleaded guilty in 2008 to making false statements to the US Fish and Wildlife Service about a black bear he fatally shot in western Wisconsin.
Mr Palmer had a permit to hunt but shot the animal outside the authorised zone in 2006.
He then tried to pass it off as being killed elsewhere, according to court documents.
He was given one year probation and fined nearly $3,000.
However, Mr Palmer's latest kill has gained him unwanted notoriety.
Outside his dental surgery is an unusual shrine to the slaughtered lion.
Local residents have laid cuddly toy leopards, lions and monkeys and left notes condemning the hunter dentist.
America may be more ambivalent than most nations to hunting and shooting wild animals.
Not least in Minnesota, a state of lakes and vast open spaces.
But Mr Palmer's conduct is unacceptable even here it seems.
Mary Woodward was putting up flyers condemning him.
The general consensus, she told Sky News, is he is finished as a dentist here.

In less than a day, Mr Palmer has gone from suburban obscurity to global infamy and could now face professional ruin.

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