Yawn. Sorry, but I have to report on Dr Walter Palmer’s first day back at work after six weeks off because it is quite interesting in a boring, repetitive kind of way!
Dr Palmer’s dental practice reopened, in fact, in mid-August without him. You may remember too that he had given an interview, recently (under strict conditions), in which he explained that he had no idea that he was killing a well-known lion (as if that makes a difference). Dr Palmer has also said that he is heartbroken by the treatment of his staff by protesters….
“I have a lot of staff members, and I’m a little heartbroken at the disruption in their lives…”
Dr Palmer also said that he was upset about the effect that the whole affair has had upon his wife and daughter who felt threatened. He said:
“I don’t understand that level of humanity to come after people not involved at all.”
There were a sizeable number of animal rights advocates and protesters at his workplace to welcome him! They jeered and cried “extradite Palmer” while he walked briskly to the front door of his River Bluff dental surgery at about 7 am (an early start). Perhaps he thought that an early start would help avoid protesters who are determined to continue. Their anger motivates them.
Dr Palmer’s first patient had arrived a few moments earlier and was sitting in the waiting room as Dr Palmer entered his workplace. I have to say, by the way, that Palmer looks slimmer than he does in the photographs that we have seen of him with the animals that he has killed. He appears to have lost quite a lot of weight. Perhaps this is due to the stress that he has been under over the past six weeks. That stress is not over. I expected it to continue for many months.
Dr Palmer’s receptionist was overjoyed to see her boss after such a long absence. After his first day’s work from his extended and enforced break, Dr Palmer headed home with a guard under the full glare of media attention and protesters. Dr Palmer was driven home by somebody else as he was in the passenger seat of a black Chevrolet truck.
His first patient after this extended break was interviewed by the media but the 40-year-old white male refused to cooperate! He did however confirm that he was a patient and it would seem that this particular patient was also a lover of hunting because he appears to possess a black Ford F-150 pickup truck with customised camouflaged upholstery (see picture). Perhaps all his remaining patients are trophy hunters or at least approve of it.
On the front door of Dr Palmer’s workplace there remained a series of stickers which appear to have been placed there by protesters. I’m surprised that they are still there.
You may remember that Dr Palmer’s office at his workplace is decorated with his stuffed trophies (tasteless and a memento of his cruelty, I’d say). Although the police in Bloomington are not involved in criminal matters with respect to Palmer they were involved in closing off the street and ordering reporters to keep their distance from him. They were not, they said, providing protection for Dr Palmer.
There were five officers and several police guards stationed nearby. Apparently cars from the parking lot opposite were towed away by a privately owned tow truck. I have no idea what that’s about but clearly there are people helping Dr Palmer to avoid, as best as possible, disruption to his life by protesters. I wonder if it was illegal to tow the vehicles away.
One of the protesters was Cathy Peers who had driven more than hour in order to be present at the dental practice. She said:
“I’m here to stick up for the animals who can’t stick up for themselves… Cecil was killed for nothing more than his skin and his head… His carcass was just left there to rot. It’s disgusting. We’re not here to pick on his patients or his staff – we are here to pick on him.”
It appears that nobody wanted to comment which includes the patient mentioned above, his staff and private security team. A private security guard warned journalist to keep off the dentist’s property while Dr Palmer remained inside his practice refusing to face the massed ranks of the media!
There were a good number of protesters at the site while stony faced Dr Palmer with a fixed gaze marched purposefully towards the front door of his establishment. The protesters declared that they would carry on their fight until big-game hunting was illegal.
Kristen Hall, 44, brandished a poster proclaiming “Justice for Cecil – Extradite Walter Palmer”.
“He thought that if he’d just waited a while he could return to work like nothing ever happened and everything would be forgotten… He’s not contrite at all. He kept using the words “took a lion” in his interview – he didn’t take anything, he killed that lion.”
Dr Palmer has a hunting lodge about a three-hour drive away in northern Minnesota. Neighbours to this lodge say that he has a barn which is full of stuffed exotic animals including their heads, a moose, a walrus, a lion and a bear. When journalists drove onto a plot of land surrounding the property they were met by men who told them to get off private property.
What can we make of all this? Walter Palmer has not changed, in my opinion. He’ll trophy hunt again. The protesters are still as strong and as angry as ever and I hope that they have the passion and commitment to continue. Palmer’s life should not settle down to the way it was. I hope that his life has changed forever. Justice needs to be done.
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