Lion killer Walter Palmer just lost one of his only allies: RadarOnline.com has learned that the public relations firm formerly associated with the American dentist has quit, as the outrage against his alleged poaching of Cecil the lion continues to mount.
After being publicly outed by the London Telegraph, Dr. Palmer hired J. Austin & Associates, a public relations firm.
Wednesday afternoon, the public relations firms issued a statement on social media, stating their work with Palmer was finished.
“Yesterday another PR firm asked to help distribute Dr. Palmer’s statement. Having completed that task, we’ve ended our work on this issue,” the post on Twitter stated.
The statement didn’t explain why their contact information was posted on Palmer’s dental office door for members of the media seeking comment.
Meanwhile, officials in Zimbabwe are searching for Palmer after the two men the Minnesota resident was hunting with were arrested and charged with illegal poaching.
On July 1, Cecil the lion was allegedly lured out of a protected national park by hunting bait — a dead animal being dragged by a Jeep — as two of Palmer’s companions used a spotlight to focus on the majestic animal while he aimed his bow and arrow at the animal.
After it was shot, the bleeding lion was then tracked for 40 hours, before it was eventually shot and killed by Palmer’s group. The animal was then beheaded, and skinned, with the remains left behind.
Cecil’s head is now being held as evidence in the criminal case, as Dr. Palmer was going to bring it back to the United States as a trophy, according to reports.
Dr. Palmer has previously said in a statement he believed the hunt was legal, and that he had obtained all legal permits after paying a $55,000 fee for the outing.
A petition has since been posted on the White House’s website, demanding Dr. Palmer’s extradition to Zimbabwe, and already has more than 85,000 signatures. Palmer has reportedly gone into hiding, as his dental office remains closed.
Palmer is a convicted felon with a past links to the illegal slaughter of animals. In 2008, he entered a guilty plea to lying to U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials in regards to the shooting of a black bear in Wisconsin, falsely saying he shot the animal in an area where it was legal to do so. Palmer paid $3,000 in fines, and was on probation for a year, in the wake of the conviction.
Meanwhile, stars have come out to slam Palmer and call attention to the animals’ plight. During an emotional monologue on Tuesday night, Jimmy Kimmel, said, “The big question is: Why are you shooting a lion in the first place? I mean, I’m honestly curious to know why a human being would feel compelled to do that,” he said. “How is that fun?”
Choking back tears, Kimmel asked his audience to turn the tragedy into a positive, by supporting the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit, which had been studying and tracking Cecil before he died.