“I’d Shoot Him with a Big Bore Rifle”: Walter Palmer’s Hometown Talks Lion Hunting

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The Minnesota dentist at the center of the controversy surrounding the death of Cecil the Lion is from Lisbon, North Dakota.

The death of Cecil the Lion has broken hearts across the world.

“It’s an inhumane thing what they did,” says Marg Siegler of Lisbon.

But Dr. Walter Palmer, the Minnesota dentist behind the hunt, was born and raised here in Lisbon, North Dakota.

“I think the man is reprehensible. He should be in prison and I think that he should also have to do volunteer time at a big humane society,” Siegler says.

Like many across the world, several people here in Lisbon are disgusted with what Palmer did. But one man who knew Palmer as a child is on his side.

“You’ve got to wait for a while and get the full story,” says Dr. Rod Butzon of Lisbon.
Dr. Rod Butzon says he used to drive Palmer and his friends to Boy Scout camp and he says Palmer has always been an outdoors-man.

“When we’d stop at a roadside store, the rest of them would go and buy pop and candy bars. Walter would buy fishing equipment,” Butzon says.

And as a hunter himself, Butzon doesn’t understand why the public is up in arms about Cecil. In fact he says he would have done the same thing.

“You would kill a lion if you had the opportunity?” we asked.

“Yeah, but I’d shoot him with a big bore rifle,” says Butzon.

Dr. Palmer was criticized for his weapon of choice because it reportedly left Cecil wounded for 40 hours before dying.

But regardless of the details, Butzon says hunting any animal is okay…

“As long as you’re not down to such a small group that they can’t continue to breed and multiply,” Butzon says.

There is a chance Palmer will face charges in either Zimbabwe or the United States.

Palmer is nowhere to be found. He has not been seen at his Eden Prairie or Barnesville homes.