PETA Wants Lion-Hunting Dentist Executed

Cecil the Lion - H 2015
Bryan Orford/Screengrab

Cecil the Lion - H 2015

"He needs to be extradited, charged, and, preferably, hanged."

PETA has released a shocking statement in the wake of Cecil the Lion's death, saying the dentist who hunted and killed the animal should be killed.

“Hunting is a coward’s pastime,” PETA president Ingrid Newkirk said in a statement to Time. “If, as has been reported, this dentist and his guides lured Cecil out of the park with food so as to shoot him on private property, because shooting him in the park would have been illegal, he needs to be extradited, charged, and, preferably, hanged.”

On July 1, Cecil was lured out of a protected area by a hunting guide and shot with a bow and arrow by Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer, who reportedly paid $50,000 for the privilege.

Palmer has since issued a statement saying he "deeply" regrets killing the lion and that he didn't know it was such a beloved animal. Read Palmer's full statement below:

"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."