Lion-Killing Dentist Walter Palmer Could Lose His License Over ‘Gross Immorality’

PETA Calls On Minnesota Board of Dentistry to Investigate and Take Disciplinary Action Against Cecil the Lion's Killer for 'Conduct Unbecoming' and 'Moral Turpitude'

For Immediate Release:
August 5, 2015

David Perle 202-483-7382

Minneapolis – Today, PETA sent a letter calling on the Minnesota Board of Dentistry to investigate Palmer’s history of illegal and unethical activity, which may be grounds for revocation of his dentistry license. Palmer’s previous unethical actions include pleading guilty in 2008 to the federal felony of making false statements to federal authorities about a black bear he killed in an unauthorized zone in Wisconsin. In 2003, he was convicted in Minnesota of fishing without a license, and in 2009, he settled a sexual harassment lawsuit for more than $127,000 and which led to a corrective action by the Minnesota Board of Dentistry that required him to complete a course in ethics.

“People around the world are outraged at the ‘Minnesota dentist’ who paid tens of thousands of dollars for the privilege of callously killing a beloved, protected lion,” says PETA President Ingrid Newkirk. “PETA is calling on the Minnesota Board of Dentistry to spare their profession further discredit by showing this miserable trophy hunter the door.”

PETA points out that Minnesota law allows for disciplinary action against dentists who have committed an act of “moral turpitude” or “gross immorality” or engaged in “conduct unbecoming a person licensed to practice dentistry.” Palmer has admitted that he shot Cecil, and after killing him, there was an attempt to hide his tracking collar. U.S. authorities are investigating Palmer’s actions, and Zimbabwean authorities have labeled him a “poacher” and called for his extradition.

PETA’s comments to the Minnesota Board of Dentistry are available upon request. For more information, please visit

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind