Zimbabwe official says extradition being sought for dentist who killed lion

REUTERS/David Bailey
Stuffed animals left by protesters block the doorway of River Bluff Dental clinic in Bloomington.

In the Star Tribune, Paul Walsh and Jennifer Bjorhus write: “Zimbabwe’s wildlife minister says extradition is being sought for Walter J. Palmer, the Twin Cities big-game hunter and dentist implicated in the killing of Cecil, a prized research lion in Zimbabwe. Oppah Muchinguri, environment, water and climate minister, told a news conference Friday: ‘We want him tried in Zimbabwe because he violated our laws. … Police should take the first step to approach the prosecutor general who will approach the Americans. The processes have already started.’”

Great. Let’s see the tourism board make lemonade out of this. WCCO-TV’s Mike Augustyniak says: “There are signs that the mosquito season is actually getting longer. In order to survive, mosquitos need warm and wet conditions in just the right combination. They die off in large numbers when temperatures fall outside of a 50-degree to 90-degree temperature range, and when relative humidity falls below 42 percent. Temperatures in Minnesota have been warming over the last several decades, and the water content of the atmosphere has been increasing as well. Those factors combined have lengthened the mosquito season by six weeks, according to Climate Central, a non-profit organization that researches climate change.”

And while we’re talking surviving mosquitoes. Peter Cox of MPR says, “Canadian police are searching for a man who was last seen earlier this week in the wilderness of Quetico Provincial Park without a canoe. Ontario Provincial Police said 26-year-old Aaron King was last seen Monday in the southern part of the park. Trevor Gibb, the superintendent of Quetico Park, said several lakes in the southwest of the park are closed to visitors because of the search. The closed lakes are Brent, Darkwater, William, Conmee, Suzanette, McIntyre, Scarlett and Cone.”

In the Strib story, by Paul Walsh King is described as “an extreme survivalist”: “Authorities said they are not concerned that King will harm someone but that ‘he has nothing’ in terms of provisions or a canoe, and possibly not even shoes, that are needed in such remote surroundings of rugged terrain and towering cliffs. ‘He’s an extreme survivalist’, LeBlanc said. ‘He doesn’t seem to have the necessary provisions to be undertaking an expedition’. The closed area comprises only a tiny fraction of the park, roughly 6 miles square, said park Superintendent Trevor Gibb, who called the closure a mere ‘precaution’ that was taken only ‘because we don’t know about this guy.’”

This whole thing is moving in an unproductive direction. The AP reports, “One of Minnesota’s medical marijuana manufacturers has raised its prices after less than a month in business. Dr. Kyle Kinglsey of Minnesota Medical Solutions told the Associated Press Thursday the company raised prices on its oils, vapors and liquids by 15 percent to 20 percent. The increase adds to a cost that many patients are struggling to afford. Insurance does not cover the medication, which became legal July 1.”

Apparently they chose not to listen to Our Favorite (former) Congresswoman. The Forum News Service says, “Minnesota’s teenage immunization rates increased in 2014, according to new data released Thursday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Minnesota’s rates are at or above national averages, and the state increase mirrors an overall improvement in rates across the country. Health officials recommend that teenagers receive three vaccines: the tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis (Tdap) vaccine; the meningococcal vaccine; and the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine.”

A little pub for our disappearing river. In the Smithsonian magazine Marissa Fessenden writes, “The Brule River flows through [Judge C.R. Magney State Park], dropping 800 feet in eight miles as it carves its way toward the lake. At Devil’s Kettle Falls, a ‘thick knuckle of rhyolite’ (a volcanic rock) splits the river in two, reports Stacie Boschma for MNN.com. One side streams over the rocks like a normal waterfall, but no one knows where the second half of the river, which drops into a deep hole, ends up. … People have proposed a few possible explanations, but the trouble is that the geology of the area doesn’t support them. Caves and underground channels most commonly form in limestone rocks, which dissolve easily in water. But the park rests on layers of basalt and rhyolite, which erupted when the North American continent started to rift apart 1.1 billion years ago. The rift failed, but left behind a huge curving basin that now holds Lake Superior.”

Troubles for Community Action of Minneapolis are not over. Says Tom Scheck at MPR, “The Minnesota Commerce Department says a now defunct Minneapolis nonprofit owes the state $245,000. The Commerce Department released an audit that found Community Action of Minneapolis misspent $143,000 on unauthorized consultants and thousands of dollars more on spa visits at board retreats, unnecessary out of state travel and improper administrative expenses.”

You understand why there’s talk of a special session over Mille Lacs walleye when you read Matt McKinney’s Strib story on simmering tensions. “In the bait shops and bars, fishing docks and resorts that make up the world of Mille Lacs fishing, the collapse of the lake’s walleye fishery has inflamed age-old tensions between white sport anglers and local Indian bands who share the lake. One resort owner said some ‘loose ­cannons’ have suggested taking up arms, while a commentator on a popular fishing forum said ‘chuckleheads’ would cut American Indian nets if Indians netted walleye during the open water fishing season. ‘Sooner or later someone would end up dead over a damned fish,’ wrote ‘Bandersnatch’ on the Lake State Fishing forum.” The walleye population may have collapsed, but there’s no shortage of chuckleheads.

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Comments (5)

  1. Submitted by beryl john-knudson on 07/31/2015 - 07:42 am.

    …”and the lion sleeps tonight”…

    What is it about the Lion story that grabs and releases the ‘Trophy Hunter spirit’ lying dormant, just beneath the surface, in our own psyche at times… demanding some kind of retribution – as in grand standing outrage beyond the pale yes. Like Peta…hanging? One scary group in its blindness?

    Do we become the same fiery killer displaying that blood thirsty instinct? Be it a tooth cleaning animal walking ‘on all twos’ or a dentist arrogantly fulfilling the power and money ‘gods’ we too often respect in our own arrogance; too often displayed on the global stage?

    Will we renounce the real or often spotted lion big cat observed recently roaming loose in Milwaukee who may eat someone’s pet puppy?

    Fickle is a word:
    We will change our minds quickly I suppose and the Cecil story will be replaced possibly by the puppy victim?

    Justice is a slippery slope:
    And yet, gotta say the unacceptable attitudes of trophy hunting must be in us even as we act in outrage to one vicious incident; one bully Palmer who activated hate and loathing that we may in other situations ignore; those victims of our war and oil conquests; our ‘trophies’ we have supported with too many deaths? Do we become quasi-trophy hunters in the process? Neither scenario is acceptable don’t we know?

    Jewish philosopher Martin Buber quoting..’As in a mirror face to face so is the heart of man to man.”..got to remind myself on that one often, yes indeed…the hearts of men, fickle at times I suppose?

    • Submitted by Ann Spencer on 07/31/2015 - 12:32 pm.

      I think Frued would have called this…

      the return of the repressed. Those professing kindness and love for all their fellow creatures see no contradiction in calling for Dr. Palmer and his guides to meet a bloody end, then “rot in hell”.

      I’m not condoning what he did, or trophy hunting in general. But where is our sense of proportion? Frankly, I find the phenomenon of personal destruction through social media frightening. Witch hunts are witch hunts, whether in Salem, Massachusetts in the 1600’s or on the Internet in 2015.

      • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 07/31/2015 - 04:31 pm.

        “Witch hunts are witch hunts”

        Except that this time, the witch is guilty.

        Dr. Palmer must weigh the same as a duck.

  2. Submitted by Robert Gauthier on 07/31/2015 - 08:52 am.

    A bit of history

    The walleye issue initially was intended to be a negotiated settlement with the tribes getting of 10% of the fish.
    Our “sportsmen” led by Bud Grant, launched a hard hitting counter and ended up with the tribes keeping 50% of the annual catch. The tribes initially were trying to be helpful but got angry when insulted and threatened.

    So, today we have a depleted fishery damaged by runoff pollution, climate change and overfishing.

    Again sportsmen are demanding a legislated solution and blaming the Indians. Sounds like history repeating itself with a little climate change and pollution thrown into the mix.

  3. Submitted by Richard O'Neil on 07/31/2015 - 11:57 am.

    Walleye: “,,, blaming the Indians,”

    Well, if we didn’t blame the Indians, who would we blame? Certainly not us!

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