I refer, of course, to Mr. Walter Palmer of Bloomington, Minnesota, a tooth-puller by trade and an animal killer by inclination. He is the proud owner of the head of 'Cecil the Lion', a favourite, apparently, of tourists visiting a National Game Park in Zimbabwe. (Couldn't they have come up with something more, er, 'butch' as a name than 'Cecil' for such a magnificent beast?) Here is a photo of him lying down with one of his 'pals', courtesy of The Mail which has the full story:
Apparently, 'Little Willy' Walter Palmer and his Zimbabwean guide went in for some dodgy practices in order to lure 'Cecil' out of the Park area where hunting is forbidden and thus allowing 'Little Willy' to shoot the beast with a crossbow. This only wounded the animal and they had to track him for a couple of days before finishing him off with a rifle. He was then beheaded and skinned.
'Little Willy' has previous in this kind of thing, pleading guilty a few years ago to lying over an infringements of rules in an American Game Park. Here he is with another trophy:
What a 'He-man'!
Now I stand before you, so to speak, conflicted (is that the correct word these days?) over this story. I am well aware that 'Cecil' was definitely no 'Goody Four Paws'. His kill rate amongst all the other 'cuddly-wuddly' creatures in his 'hood was pretty huge. But at least he did it out of necessity. He did it to stay alive. 'Titchy Willy', on the other hand, carries out his slaughter for - dread word - fun! Or perhaps pleasure is a more accurate word because there is, one feels after looking at various pictures of 'Little Willy' and his dead trophies, something distinctly masturbatory about this practice. Notice, for example, that he strips off to the waist before hugging his dead leopard and flexing his muscles.
Now, as I indicated, I am at risk of sounding hypocritical because, for example, I support the practice of hunting foxes on horseback here in the UK. So, as someone else said not too long ago in a different context, "What, at this moment, does it matter?" Well, I can only dissolve into utter soppiness and produce one word - beauty! You really do need a heart of stone - and a very small willy - to deliberately stalk and kill an animal of such awe-inspiring beauty. And it's not as though you require any courage to do it. Armed with an enormously powerful rifle and with a couple of equally well-armed guides there is little or no chance of the hunter suddenly becoming the hunted. It is cold-blooded slaughter.
What interests me now is whether or not the Zimbabwean judicial system will seek the extradition of 'Little Willy' and if they do, what will be the re-action of the (non)Justice Department of the USA who are so fond of reaching out world-wide for the collars of those they accuse of wrong-doing. Will they allow 'Little Willy' to be extradited? Don't hold your breath!