Outrage grows over the killing of Cecil the lion - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Outrage grows over the killing of Cecil the lion

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Minnesota dentist Walter James Palmer is accused of killing Zimbabwe’s Cecil the lion. Minnesota dentist Walter James Palmer is accused of killing Zimbabwe’s Cecil the lion.
In this frame grab taken from a November 2012 video made available by Paula French, a well-known, protected lion known as Cecil strolls around in Hwange National Park, in Hwange, Zimbabwe. In this frame grab taken from a November 2012 video made available by Paula French, a well-known, protected lion known as Cecil strolls around in Hwange National Park, in Hwange, Zimbabwe.
Bernie the dog sniffs stuffed animals placed at the doorstep of Dr. Walter Palmer's River Bluff Dental office in Bloomington, Minn., Tuesday, July 28, 2015. Bernie the dog sniffs stuffed animals placed at the doorstep of Dr. Walter Palmer's River Bluff Dental office in Bloomington, Minn., Tuesday, July 28, 2015.
Theodro Bronkhorst, centre, a professional hunter, arrives for his appearance at the magistrates courts in Hwange about 700 kilometres south west of Harare, Wednesday, July 29, 2015. Theodro Bronkhorst, centre, a professional hunter, arrives for his appearance at the magistrates courts in Hwange about 700 kilometres south west of Harare, Wednesday, July 29, 2015.

SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - A Minnesota man is at the center of a social media storm following the killing of a protected lion in Africa.

The lion was allegedly lured away from a national park so it could be killed.

Messages of outrage and disgust towards the hunter have gone viral on social media. The doctor who was identified as Walter Palmer is being accused of luring a famous lion in Zimbabwe off a preserve then shooting him with a bow and arrow.

Palmer has gone into hiding and experts said life for the dentist will never be the same.

Dr. Palmer's practice in Bloomington, Minnesota was closed on Monday. Protesters, outraged over the killing of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe, placed stuffed animals outside his doors.

[READ RELATED: Zimbabweans in lion hunt in court; kill was "unethical"]

The backlash has extended far beyond Bloomington and Palmer is now the subject of a worldwide social media crusade.

People have lashed out at him on blogs, calling him a sick man who should be shot with his own arrow.

Public relations specialist Jeff Marston, with IVC Media in San Diego, said the allegations against Palmer are so controversial he may never be able to work again.

"It's a snowball going down the hill and it's becoming bigger and bigger. I'm not sure how you move on. This is one of those things that is part of social media. You can't ever get away from it," said Marston.

[READ RELATED: Tourist suspected of killing famous African lion thought hunt was legal]

In just one day, half-a-million signatures were gathered demanding justice for Cecil the lion on an online petition page.

Palmer's dental business listing on Yelp has been trashed with unfavorable comments and reviews.

The subject is the talk of Twitter. Users have called Palmer the most hated man in the world right now.

PETA, wants him preferably hanged.

In a statement released on Tuesday evening, PETA president Ingrid Newkirk said:

Hunting is a coward’s pastime. If, as has been reported, this dentist and his guides lured Cecil out of the park with food so as to shoot him on private property, because shooting him in the park would have been illegal, he needs to be extradited, charged, and, preferably, hanged. To get a thrill at the cost of a life, this man gunned down a beloved lion, Cecil with a high-powered weapon. All wild animals are beloved by their own mates and infants, but to hunters like this overblown, over-privileged little man, who lack empathy, understanding, and respect for living creatures, they are merely targets to kill, decapitate, and hang up on a wall as a trophy. The photograph of this dentist, smiling over the corpse of another animal, who, like Cecil, wanted only to be left in peace, will disgust every caring soul in the world.

Palmer has issued a statement that said he relied on professional guides to ensure a legal hunt, and had no idea the lion was collared and part of a study.

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