The mind of a hunter - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

The mind of a hunter

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - The killing of Cecil the lion has turned an international spotlight on big game hunting.

Some are asking, why do trophy hunters travel so far, and spend so much to bag a big cat, and why is there so much outrage?

"We all know that he [Dr. Palmer] had guides with rifles around him. It's almost as if it was a Napoleon complex so he could feel like he's the conqueror. In really, it wasn't fair," said psychiatrist Dr. Michael Lardon.

Dr. Lardon has many professional athletes as patients, and he understands the desire for an adrenaline rush through activities that truly put lives at risk. That includes hunting.

"It was the extreme sport. Except back then, the animal had a chance. This is really a charade. Pay a bunch of money, $50,000, and you can pretend you're Teddy Roosevelt hunting big game," said Dr. Lardon.

Dr. Walter Palmer, the dentist accused of killing Cecil, learned the hard way that conservation is strongly encouraged. It is no surprise the killing of Cecil for nothing more than a trophy on a wall has created backlash.

Dr. Palmer has gone into hiding, while pictures have been made public showing Cecil was not his first big game kill.

"Now, it's not about his ego. Bringing home big game, it's really more about what have I done? Why does everyone in the world have this visceral response against me? So he's going to have to get out of his head, and really think about the world at large," said Dr. Lardon.

Reports indicate that Dr. Palmer also wanted to kill an elephant on his trip, but could not find one that was big enough.

On Friday, Zimbabwe officials said they have started the extradition proceedings against Dr. Walter Palmer.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said it have been in contact with a representative for Palmer, but declined to further comment.

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