GBA Short : Walter Palmer & Cecil the Lion – An Internet Win
A dentist from Minnesota has officially lost his practice for being a complete and utter, Class A, high-and-mighty douchebag. Walter Palmer isn’t gaining any friends lately after he decided to hunt and kill a famous lion in Zimbabwe. Cecil the lion was a favorite of the Hwange National Park for 13 years before Palmer lured him out of the reservation zone, cut off his collar, and shot him with a bow and arrow. The strike didn’t kill Cecil, so Palmer hunted him for another day or so before finally shooting him. Palmer then skinned and beheaded Cecil so that he could take home his trophy.
Yesterday, visitors to River Bluff Dental website, the office in which Walter Palmer worked, got a message stating the service is unavailable. Google reviews (all 2,700 of them and counting) have rated the dentistry at a 1.1…which isn’t too great. Most of the reviews are just angry rants and comments to Palmer himself, one of them starts with “Hey Shit Bag.” Basically, people aren’t happy that Dr. Palmer killed such a rare and beautiful creature. Cecil was well known, good with human interaction, and a main breeder for his pride. Yelp is deleting angry messages left and right about Palmer, but people are now posting photos of their deleted reviews in order to make their messages clear. The dentist is being compared to serial killers and sociopaths. Moms are stating that they aren’t comfortable bringing their children to River Bluff Dental, stating that Palmer is violent and dangerous. Killing Cecil has ruined Palmer’s career.
Of course, Palmer is no stranger to hunting big game, he has a plethora of photos with his previous trophies.What changed the game this time was the fact that everyone heard about it. He was put on parole several years ago for lying about the location of a black bear kill in Wisconsin. His intentional lure and kill of Cecil the lion could have been a repeat of previous years, and people are talking about it. They’re also talking about the price of Cecil’s kill. Tens of thousands of dollars were put into this big game hunting trip with the travel, the permits for it, the guides, the skinning & beheading, the list goes on. Questions are rising about how a Minnesota dentist could afford such a lavish excursion.
The Internet really made the difference in this story. The news, which went viral, enraged the public. If Palmer wasn’t affiliated with a business, he might still hold his job. But, when the masses get angry, they get destructive, and this story has systematically ruined Palmer’s reputation. Maybe the scrutiny won’t last long, but for now things are looking bleak. While I completely agree that big game hunting is immoral, cruel, unnecessary, and self-centered, it’s interesting to look at the aftermath of this viral story on such a monumental level.
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