Two Zimbabweans guides who assisted dentist, Walter James Palmer, in luring Cecil the lion out of his protected compound in order to kill the animal, were arrested Wednesday.

Cecil was beheaded, skinned and left of the side of a road to rot. Anger over the slain lion have reached a fevered pitch worldwide, spawning a petition demanding “Justice For Cecil.” The rapidly growing petition has received a staggering 450,000 signatures.

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Walter James Palmer DDS cecil lion

“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

… he needs to be extradited, charged, and, preferably, hanged,” People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said in a statement Wednesday. The statement, emailed to The Associated Press, came from Ingrid Newkirk, president of the animal rights organization.

 

The Zimbabwean men are accused of assisting Palmer hunt the lion. Zimbabwean police said they are currently seeking Palmer, who reportedly paid $55,000 to track and kill the beloved animal. Palmer has insisted he believed the kill was legal.

 

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