On July 1, an American hunter killed Cecil the lion, one of the most famous creatures in Zimbabwe, causing widespread outrage. Musician and National Rifle Association board member Ted Nugent has since spoken out about the controversy, calling it "a lie" and a "joke."
In a Facebook post, Nugent attacked all the people who were upset by the lion's death, writing:
"the whole story is a lie. It was a wild lion from a "park" where huntng is legal & ESSENTIAL beyond park borders. all animals reproduce every year & would run out of room/food to live w/o hunting. I will write a full piece on this joke asap. God are people stupid."
Nugent is a known gun activist who once penned an op-ed on WorldNet Daily arguing that fellow gun activists should take a cue from Rosa Parks and be more firm in their convictions.
Cecil, the 13-year-old lion who rose to fame after his participation in a scientific study that tracked his movements with GPS technology, was killed by a dentist from Minnesota named Walter James Palmer. BBC is reporting Palmer may have paid approximately $50,000 to kill the animal.
Palmer also claimed that, at the time of the hunt, he was unaware of Cecil's celebrity status. He also insisted he had secured all proper permits for the hunt and was led by two local guides. The Hollywood Reporter notes the men led Cecil out of the national park, shot him, tracked him for 40 hours and then killed him.
The New York Times has pointed out that Palmer, who is being sought on poaching charges by Zimbabwean authorities, already has a felony record in the U.S. for shooting a black bear in Wisconsin.
According to the BBC, Palmer expressed regret for killing the lion, saying in a statement, "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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