Oppah Muchinguri, Zimbabwe's Environmental Minister, has called for the extradition of Walter Palmer from the United States.
Palmer's first appointment back is going to be super awkward. (via Getty)
Zimbabwe wants the U.S. to send Walter Palmer back so they can prosecute him, if you couldn't already tell by the nine million "the hunter has become the hunted" headlines in the news recently. According to Muchinguri:
"The illegal killing was deliberate. [...] We are appealing to the responsible authorities for his extradition to Zimbabwe so that he can be held accountable for his illegal actions."
People are unsure, however, whether or not the request is actually going to be honored. Even though the U.S. signed an extradition treaty with Zimbabwe in 1998, no American has actually been extradited as a result of this treaty. And even though Palmer meets the criteria for extradition, most Zimbabwe courts impose a fine before considering a jail term.
"We only like to go to the fun protests!" (via Getty)
So the U.S. first needs to investigate whether or not Palmer meets extradition criteria, and on top of that, they need to be willing to send one of their own citizens to a Zimbabwean prison, which I find pretty unlikely. Most Zimbabweans don't even care about Cecil themselves, really. I mean, they care for his death as much as that of any other innocent animal, but they have way, way bigger problems, such as a national unemployment rate above 80%, an average annual income under $1,000, crazy government corruption, and multiple human rights abuses. But of course, everyone only started paying attention when a pretty lion was involved.
Still, the U.S. Wildlife Service has been trying to get in touch with Palmer to see if his overseas actions have broken any U.S. hunting laws. They haven't had any luck finding him, however, since he's been ignoring their attempts to contact him. I assume he doesn't have read receipts.