NEW INFORMATION: Man accused in African lion death thought hunt was legal

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BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (AP) -- An avid Minnesota hunter accused of illegally killing a protected lion in Zimbabwe says he believed everything about his trip was legal.

Walter Palmer released a statement Tuesday saying he hired professional guides for his Zimbabwe bow-hunting trip and had no idea "until the end of the hunt" that the lion was a well-known animal being studied.

Palmer, a suburban Minneapolis dentist, says he regrets the hunt resulted in the lion's death.

Authorities in Zimbabwe say he's facing poaching charges. Palmer says he hasn't been contacted by U.S. or Zimbabwean authorities.

In the U.S., Palmer has a 2008 federal conviction related to shooting a black bear in Wisconsin. Court documents say he had a permit but shot a bear outside an authorized zone, then tried to pass it off as being killed elsewhere.
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BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (AP) -- A Minnesota hunter accused of illegally killing a protected lion in Zimbabwe has a federal conviction related to shooting a black bear in Wisconsin.

Walter Palmer, of Eden Prairie, pleaded guilty in 2008 to making false statements to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Court documents say he shot the bear outside the authorized zone, then tried to pass it off as being killed elsewhere.

He was given probation and fined nearly $3,000.

The 55-year-old dentist is accused in Zimbabwe of the crossbow killing of a well-known, protected lion. Palmer was identified as the American involved by the Zimbabwe Conservation Task Force, the Safari Operators Association of Zimbabwe and police.

Palmer told the Minneapolis Star Tribune "some things are being misreported" and he may have more to say later.



 
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