Rocker and noted hunter Ted Nugent has jumped to defend the Minnesota dentist who killed Cecil the lion with a crossbow on a safari in Zimbabwe, saying that anyone who is outraged is “stupid.”
On the other side of the aisle, actress Mia Farrow caused an uproar after she Tweeted the dentist’s business address.
Several Twitter users thought the Rosemary’s Baby star had Tweeted Dr. Walter Palmer’s home address instead of the address to his dental practice and demanded the social network suspend her account. But Twitter’s policy states that “if information was previously posted or displayed elsewhere on the internet prior to being put on Twitter it may not be a violation.”
Dr. Palmer’s River Bluff Dental address in Bloomington, Minnesota, was already widely known. The dental office closed abruptly on Tuesday after Palmer was identified as Cecil’s killer. It has since become a shrine to the beloved 13-year-old lion, with stuffed animals set among signs calling Palmer a “killer” and “coward.”
Palmer’s business website was yanked from the Internet following a surge of anger and negative postings on various online outlets. A page called “Shame Lion Killer Dr Walter Palmer and River Bluff Dental” popped up on Facebook this week and had garnered more than 27,000 likes by Thursday morning.
Farrow’s Tweet added more confusion to the fire, and it too was deleted, though she made her stance clear: “Animals are not trophies. Ever. #CecilTheLion” on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Ted Nugent is defending Palmer – albeit insulting everyone who stands in opposition – calling all those upset “stupid.”
“The whole story is a lie. It was a wild lion from a ‘park’ where hunting is legal & ESSENTIAL beyond the park borders,” he wrote on Facebook. “All animals reproduce every year & would run out of room/food to live w/o hunting. I will write a full piece on this joke asap. God are people stupid.”
For his part, Palmer says he regrets killing Cecil and blames the guides he hired for allowing the death to occur. In a public statement released on Tuesday, Palmer said he’d hired guides to secure permits and was under the impression his activity was legal. He also said he had no idea the lion he took down was a local favorite or part of a study.
Cecil the lion was part of an Oxford University research project and wore a GPS collar. He was a fixture on safaris and was lured out of the Hwange National Park with food, shot with a crossbow, tracked for 40 hours and finally killed with a gun on July 6.
Authorities in Zimbabwe say Walker paid $55,000 to illegally kill Cecil. The two men arrested in the lion’s death were released by a court in Zimbabwe, each on $1,000 bail, on Wednesday, CNN reports.