Jul 282015

So, a few days ago news broke that a famous, and beloved, male lion in Zimbabwe had been killed by a trophy hunter. At first the hunter was reported to be a mysterious Spanish hunter, but now it has been claimed to be a rich dentist from Minnesota. A guy who plunked down $55 large for the utter joy of hunting a lion that, reportedly, was reasonably friendly with people.

Full disclosure: in general I’m fine with hunting and fishing and such. I eat as much meat as I can. But trophy hunting fills me with a distinct uncomfortableness. You want to hang a deer head on your wall? Well, OK, we’ve got lots of deer. But a *lion?* The world isn’t exactly overloaded with those. Plus… lions are a lot higher up the ladder than deer and gazelle and the like.

Well, beyond the “dude, why?” aspect of hunting a lion, it turns out that the hunt itself was apparently carried out illegally in several ways:

1) It was done at night, which was illegal

2) It was illegal to hunt the lion on the park the lion was in… so they tied a dead animal to a car and lured it out of the park, then shot it with a bow and arrow (or crossbow).

3) The lion had a GPS collar, which they removed and attempted to destroy

Well, the internet has discovered the guy and has begun the inevitable.

Here’s the Yelp review page for his dental practice ( currently… 60 5-star ratings, 7 4-stars, 14 3 stars, 17 2-stars and 1,664 1-star ratings). Their Facebook page has vanished. The practice’s webpage seems to be *sorta* functional, though it’s even lamer than mine and much of it seems to be broken. The dental practice was closed rather abruptly, and inquiries are being directed to a PR firm.

Its unclear that this guy broke any US laws. But it’s also clear that he’ll be taking a little break from making money as a dentist.

 Posted by at 11:45 am
  • Kjell Stegner

    Headlines in Sweden as well.
    After this herous deed was done. Probablly the next male lion in the pac will kill every cub from the shot lion.
    A proper adjustment for this poacher and the people that helpt him, might be, to be put them in the lion´s den to protect the innocent cubs (no fireing arms) until they grow up . They can build a special den for the abandond cubs . Then raise them.
    After this shift in career they will never kill a lion anymore.
    But maybe poachers?

    • Rick

      the other side: old lion was protected by “well meaning” western idealists long past his prime. Now the next lion that would have taken him down naturally anyway, does the same as lions have done for millenia, and places his genes on top of the food chain, continuing the actual circle of life that was interrupted by western cultural imperialists.

  • Brianna

    There’s a book called “The Unincorporated Man,” where the plot is basically that a guy from the past who cryofroze himself wakes up in a libertarian future where everybody is a personal corporation. At one point, the main character asked what happened to someone who did something which, while technically not illegal, was widely considered morally reprehensible. The answer was that while that person wouldn’t be punished under the law, he’d probably lose his job, his stock price would plummet, and he’d basically be socially ostracized to death. Rather like this, actually.

    • James

      ? Thats weird what happens when its a lie and they get people to believe it.

  • palpcaso

    How could he be that stupid? He just destroyed everything he’s worked for. Hope he had some cash saved up.

    • Scottlowther

      “How could he be that stupid” is perhaps the most common question in the Internet Age. But I’m sure he’ll be fine… anyone capable of plunking down 50 grand for a vacation likely has a whole lot more money socked away.

      • publiusr

        Well, he was a dentist after all. Sadists, the lot of them.

        If I had to go hunting overseas, I’d target wildebeest. (Yes, that’s how that’s spelled).

        Everything eats them:
        Crocs, wild dogs, leopards, lions, hyenas….rabbits…

  • RLBH

    I get why he wanted to hunt lion, even with a bow. Wouldn’t do it myself, but it takes all sorts.
    I can’t quite figure why he didn’t do enough homework to figure out that something was amiss with the way the hunt was conducted. He claims that he didn’t realise anything was wrong until the morning after and he saw the tracking collar on the lion. But I’ve got to figure, you don’t spend the price of a decent car or downpayment on a decent house without checking what the hell you’re actually paying for, and whether it’s legal.

  • What is it about dentists? Law enforcement notes them as more susceptible to financial scams and con artists. A couple of friends who are track day instructors have told me they are more likely to (a) have a car that is well beyond their capability to handle safely and (b) more likely to ignore instructions and end up sticking it into the fence.

    I’m not a hunter, so I don’t get the appeal, but responsible sportsmen are part of the wildlife conservation system at least here in New England, are typically respectful of the laws and regulations, and are self-policing. But this . . . I can’t fathom how this kind of thing is satisfying or enjoyable. Again that’s me, and I don’t mean to sit in judgment of anyone.

    And finally, not for nothing, but the guy just looks like a d-bag.

    • Scottlowther

      > What is it about dentists?

      Pure anal extraction speculation: all day you spend it in other people mouths, breathing in their halitosis, dealing with their unpleasantness. Virtually nobody goes to the dentist for an exciting, pleasant adventure; instead, most of the people there hate being there and wind up in pain. Even something no more involved than a cleaning involves the dentist inflicting some measure of pain on the patient. Even if the dentist starts off as the greatest person ever, I can imagine that day after day after day of screaming children and writhing adults can have a cumulative effect.

      Then again, maybe the idea of sticking sharp metal implements into other peoples teeth and gums appeals to sociopaths.

    • sferrin

      The crookedest guy I’ve ever known personally was a dentist. Just sayin’.

    • publiusr

      “What is it about dentists? Law enforcement notes them as more susceptible to financial scams and con artists.”

      Nurses on the other hand, are rather more friendly

  • Thucydides_of_Athens

    As a Canadian I noticed something rather interesting. This story comes out the same week the Planned Parenthood videos on selling fetal body parts is released (as well as revelations of more ad nausium criminality committed by Mrs Clinton), but which story is broadcast sand endlessly discussed on CNN, MSNBC and other American media channels which are received here?

    Deflect and distract is certainly the motto of the day, and it almost seems like this was too well timed to be a “coincidence” (although the logistics of planning and pulling a stunt like this off at just the right time would be mind boggling).

    I wonder what else is being pushed aside in favour of what is essentially a two minute non story…..