Before He Hunted Cecil the Lion, American Dentist Illegally Killed This Black Bear
This newly-released photo shows Dr. Walter Palmer posing with a black bear he killed illegally - years before he hunted down Cecil the lion.
The Minnesota dentist, who was widely condemned for killing the lion in Zimbabwe, is seen proudly grinning beside the slain bear following a hunt in Wisconsin in 2006.
The photos were released to ABC News by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources following a Freedom of Information request.
Palmer shot the bear with a bow and the aid of dogs, according to the Department, and he killed it in an area where he did not have a permit to hunt, ABC reported.
U.S. Attorney John Vaudreuil told ABC that Palmer wanted the three guides he was with to lie with him and Palmer offered to pay them $20,000.
But the guides didn't lie and in 2008, Palmer pleaded guilty to felony charges of making flase statements to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He paid $2,938 in fines and was sentenced to a year of probation.
Following Cecil's death and the subsequent uproar earlier this summer, he apologized.
"I relied on the expertise of my local professional guides to ensure a legal hunt," he said. "Again, I deeply regret that my pursuit of an activity I love and practice responsibly and legally resulted in the taking of this lion."
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