Man Versus Beast: The Unfortunate End of Walter Palmer

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One of the top news stories in recent times is the recent killing of Cecil the Lion by dentist Walter Palmer. In fact, many can observe that this man has suffered from the full backlash of a decidedly angry Internet audience. With millions of Tweets, social media comments and even a handful of death threats, it seems that the hunter has now become the hunted. Indeed, it is a rather horrendous fact that Mr. Palmer spent an estimated $50,000 dollars to participate in the Zimbabwean hunt (much more than most one-year university tuitions cost in the United States). Although that he claims not to have known that he was outside of his legal rights, the fact of the matter is that Walter Palmer has now become the target of an angry virtual audience.


One interesting fact to note is that the majority of the news articles written have focused upon two facets of the story. One can be seen in the tragic and unnecessary killing of a beautiful animal. The other stresses the problems that Zimbabwe and other countries face in regards to illegal poaching. What has largely remained outside of the media spotlight is the other half of the story; Walter Palmer himself.

A Lifelong Stain

His dental business has been closed since the incident occurred over a week ago. He cannot be reached for comment and in all likelihood, any other employees are soon to be out of a job. However, it appears that his reputation has been damaged beyond repair. The Internet can be a very unforgiving place. His seemingly smug face has been plastered across thousands of different websites while a less-than-apologetic letter has drawn scorn from animal activists and normal individuals alike. In other words, the life that this man once enjoyed is likely to be over. He will never be privileged to the relative anonymity that he received beforehand and barring a good amount of plastic surgery and a name change, this single incident will follow Mr. Palmer around for the remainder of his life.


What one must ask is if the punishment that he will inevitably receive justifies the crime. While many will state that it does, the fact that he may very well receive jail time (in Zimbabwe) on top of his permanently tarnished reputation all but guarantees that Mr. Palmer can throw away his previous life. For those who are animal lovers, he will likely draw little sympathy. However, when speaking of genocide and other war crimes that have cost the lives of tens of thousands, it appears as if these individuals have escaped the limelight and Walter Palmer has taken their dubious place.

Whether or not this dentist will be extradited to Zimbabwe to face official charges is yet to be seen. This will depend upon the State Department of the United States. One thing is clear. Life as he once knew it is now over for Walter Palmer.