Paging Dr. Palmer
An Open Letter To Dr. Walter Palmer With Some Questions
Paging Dr. Palmer – For heaven’s sake Walt – the whole world is looking for you. You seem to have disappeared the same way that Melissa Bachman did awhile ago amidst her unfortunate little dust up over “lion killing”. Here is her photo in case you two haven’t met. I think she has a bow too – so you’d have so much to talk about. You know arrows and string tension and hide piercing capability and how you can “nail an unfortunate playing card” from 6 miles away.
My goodness the conversation would just be tingling with excitement. You could invite Kendall Jones to tea and maybe old Teddy Nugent – wow what a foursome. Fireside chats about killing and death and guns and bows and safari trips and stuffed animals and bear-skin rugs and trophy rooms and record books and more death and hunting and bravery and hacking off heads and how crazy the “greenies” are. I’m just dizzy with the thrill of it all – the fun you 4 would have!
Paging Dr. Palmer (I’m just going to keep paging you during this little story in the hope you get the message) – but I’m guessing that you may be tied up with a PR firm and an embarrassment of lawyers for some dazzling reputation repair lessons and a nice, little analysis of your legal rights – in case Interpol or the authorities from Washington or Zimbabwe come a calling.
Anyway Waltie – (may I call you Waltie) – here is the text of your letter to your valued patients. You struck such a nice tone – full of gentle concern, caring, passion and family. That’s a really nice touch. I think it’s a good thing that you steered clear of religion and politics – because – wow – those issues can be pretty explosive in these days of a black President in the White House, that silly, silly issue of climate change, debates about gun control, immigration and gay marriage. But I digress – we really want to focus on the two salient facts here – that you killed a beloved, world-famous lion and nothing is your fault.
Paging Dr. Palmer
July 28, 2015
To my valued patients:
As you may have already heard, I have been in the news over the last few days for reasons that have nothing to do with my profession or the care I provide for you. I want you to know of this situation and my involvement.
In addition to spending time with my family, one of my passions outside dentistry is hunting. I’ve been a life-long hunter since I was a child growing up in North Dakota. I don’t often talk about hunting with my patients because it can be a divisive and emotionally charged topic. I understand and respect that not everyone shares the same views on hunting.
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.
The media interest in this matter – along with a substantial number of comments and calls from people who are angered by this situation and by the practice of hunting in general – has disrupted our business and our ability to see our patients. For that disruption, I apologize profoundly for this inconvenience and promise you that we will do our best to resume normal operations as soon as possible. We are working to have patients with immediate needs referred to other dentists and will keep you informed of any additional developments.
On behalf of all of us at River Bluff Dental, thank you for your support.
Walter J. Palmer, DDS
River Bluff Dental
Paging Dr. Palmer
So this is what is important here – in your words:
1) You were in Zimbabwe on a bow hunting trip for big game.
2) You hired professional guides who secured all the proper permits.
3) As far as you knew, everything about this trip was legal and properly handled and conducted.
4) You had no idea that the lion you took was a known, local favorite.
5) That he was a collared animal.
6) That he was part of a study until the end of the hunt.
7) You relied on the expertise of your local professional guides to ensure a legal hunt.
Wow – that’s great Dr.Palmer. The sticky wicket here is that Cecil the stunning black-maned lion, a local favourite and world famous icon is dead and your little fingers are all over the killing. I’ll just put Cecil’s picture here in case you don’t recognize him because the last time you saw him – he’d been skinned, beheaded and his carcass tossed in the dust. Hardly sounds like the king of the jungle any more does he?Anyway I’m sure you have photos aplenty and videos and such.
This Was Cecil – Beautiful Wasn’t He?
I Can Totally Understand Why You Wanted To Hack Off His Head And Stick It On Your Wall
Paging Dr. Palmer
Now where was I – oh yes I need to focus here. I must look up the definition of “fair chase” – that’s hunting talk. So off I went to Wickipedia – so many words and definitions but this one seemed sort of helpful.
The principles of the fair chase have been a part of the American hunting tradition for over one hundred years. The role of the hunter-conservationist, popularised by Theodore Roosevelt, and perpetuated by Roosevelt’s formation of the Boone and Crockett Club – has been central to the development of the modern fair chase tradition.
Beyond Fair Chase – The Ethic and Tradition of Hunting, a book by Jim Posewitz – describes fair chase:
“Fundamental to ethical hunting is the idea of fair chase. This concept addresses the balance between the hunter and the hunted. It is a balance that allows hunters to occasionally succeed while animals generally avoid being taken.”
Paging Dr. Palmer – Okay so that didn’t work out so well for Cecil did it – that “fair chase” stuff? . But I do have some questions Waltie. Let’s just pretend that we’re sitting in your trophy room – and I bet you have one. Wow – I’ve heard that you’ve been hunting since you were five years old. So much killing – so many dead animals missing their heads. A rhino and a polar bear and big horned sheep and elk and a black bear. Lots and lots of dead animals – every imaginable big game from North America and then off to Africa and God only knows where else – on trips of mayhem and destruction and open, seeping wounds and guts and thrashing limbs and drooling tongues and pleading eyes and the blood – always the blood. The powerful glory of killing – the mind numbing fucking, manly, explosive thrill of taking a life!
Paging Dr. Palmer.
Okay Waltie – I’m just going to start without you – you do understand that I have to get these two issues out of the way right up front. Is it true that you settled a lawsuit for the sexual harassment of a former employee? Did you pay a fine and were you on probation for a year for lying to the authorities in the USA about killing a black bear when it was a great, big”no-no”. Oh Waltie – you may have been a bad boy in the past (allegedly) – forced to sit on the naughty seat. So why should we believe you now?
Anyway these are my questions:
Did you look at the permits that the guides got for you? You are a world renowned hunter – travelling to far off places in foreign lands – countries with rules and regulations and laws. So I’m sure that you would check to see that everything was in order – right?
Did the permit (that you may or may not have looked at) say that:
Waltie Palmer – you are a very special, brave hunter with many records so you can:
1) Hunt at night with flood lights.
2) Hunt just outside a renowned protected national park in Zimbabwe.
3) Target a world famous lion. His name was Cecil.
4) Use dead animals as bait to lure the big cat outside of his protected area.
5) Kill a collared lion.
6) Shoot an animal with a bow and arrow?
Once Cecil was feasting on his unexpected dinner – did you light up the night sky with lights – line up your powerful big bow and – zoom – send your arrow flying right into Cecil’s flank. I guess a heart shot was out of the question because the chase is the thrill. But damn – it’s late at night – time for a nap. You sure smacked that big old arrow of yours into that lion’s side so he’s gotta be hurting. So I’m guessing that you and Theo and Honest (your guides with all the proper legal permits) had a nice little picnic and a couple of brewskies and maybe stretched out by the camp fire in your camo clothes and braved the night like real men.
Paging Dr. Palmer.
Oh Waltie – you must have been so excited. Morning at last and now the real hunt was on. For 40 hours you chased (fairly of course) your wounded, dangerous foe. And finally – there he was in a pool of blood – your lion. Perhaps someone said “Oh fuck me – this is a collared lion” – Oops – what to do? Who to call? Where to hide to collar? Who to blame?
So now more annoying questions!
1) Did you finish him off Waltie or did one of your hired minions do the deed for you?
2) Did you have the ‘cahones” to look him in the eyes?
3) Did you once – ever – just for a second – think about how this lion (habituated to people) suffered?
4) Did you imagine 40 hours of pain and fear and misery?
5) Did you hack off Cecil’s head Waltie?
6) Did you use a little pocket knife or a machete or maybe a power saw? It must have been a bit messy!
7) Did you help to skin Cecil? Oh that rug is gonna be great in your man cave
8) Did you feel anything when his shredded body was unceremoniously tossed in the dirt?
9) Did you send lots of juicy phone messages and photos back home?
10) Or maybe your family was with you – taking part in this hunt of a life time!
11) Did you try to hide Cecil’s tracking collar Waltie?
12) Did you reclaim your special arrow to be part of your trophy display?
13) Waltie – did you have anything to do with planting a story that the killer was Spanish?
Paging Dr. Palmer – Paging Dr. Palmer – Paging Dr. Palmer – Paging Dr. Palmer …
Your wife and kids must be so proud – and your hunting buddies – just tied up in knots of excitement.
Wow – what a man that Dr. Walter James Palmer is!
Oh – just one more question – if you are innocent and have done nothing wrong – why are you hiding?
Because in your own words on July 28, 2015 you declared:
“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”.
And people are being so damn mean!
Oh Gosh – I’ll Try One More Time …
Paging Dr. Palmer!