Will America extradite Minnesota dentist Walter Palmer to face trial in Zimbabwe on poaching charges for the senseless killing of beloved Cecil the lion?
He readily admits he did it. He must have seen how his "guides" used a dead animal tied to their truck as bait to lure the magnificent male lion out of the nature preserve, presumably to some ideal clearing where he could poke it in the side with an arrow, leaving it wounded until his guides ran it down and killed it with a gunshot 40-hours later.
I wonder what Dr. Palmer and his companions talked about while they were on that truck watching Cecil follow behind them? I'm sure they had plenty of time to discuss the situation during the 40-hours it took to find and dispatch the wounded creature? I'd even bet they had a chat or two about the lion's tracking collar they tried to destroy as part of their getaway.
What about the obligatory, for Palmer, photo-op? He loves taking pictures with the creatures he slaughters. And even after the tracking collar left no doubt that it was an illegal kill, they still proceeded to skin and behead the animal, taking their prizes with them.
No, this isn't a crime Dr. Palmer is going to be able to lay off on his guides. Not a chance. Any halfway decent prosecutor will have no problem getting a conviction and asking for the maximum prescribed punishment.
Still it is Zimbabwe, a nation not known for always playing by the rules. It's the whole Mugabe thing. Will the White House deliver Palmer into their hands for trial? Not so sure. Although there's a virtual mob in the United States that would happily see Dr. Palmer fed an arrow, skinned and then tossed to a pride of needy lions in retribution. One way or the other, Washington's decision is going to be enormously controversial.