Updated 01:13 PM EDT, Thu, Jun 17, 2021

Cecil the Lion: Minnesota Dentist in Hiding, Jimmy Kimmel Gets Choked Up [Video]

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By now, almost everyone has heard the story of how Cecil the lion, a protected and collared lion in Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe, was allegedly illegally baited and killed by an American big game hunter who paid local guides to assist him in the hunt.

Dr. Walter Palmer, of Bloomington, Minnesota, has reportedly gone into hiding now that he faces negative attention from thousands of people around the world on social media, The Telegraph reports.

The website for his practice, his Google+ profile, the Facebook page for his practice, and the Yelp page for his practice have all been inundated with people's ire and are reportedly flooded with comments from netizens who disapprove of the hunter's actions, reports ABC News.

Several individuals have even gone so far as to leave notes and signs variously rebuking and condemning the dentist on the door to his practice, River Bluff Dental, where he has not been seen since the media attention spiraled out of control these last few days.

Dr. Walter Palmer has released a statement alleging his innocence, defending his actions by claiming he only participated in what he believed to be a legal hunt:

"In early July, I was in Zimbabwe on a bow hunting trip for big game. I hired several professional guides and they secured all proper permits. To my knowledge, everything about this trip was legal and properly handled and conducted," he said.

"I had no idea that the lion I took was a known, local favourite, was collared and part of a study until the end of the hunt. I relied on the expertise of my local professional guides to ensure a legal hunt.

"I have not been contacted by authorities in Zimbabwe or in the US about this situation, but will assist them in any inquiries they may have. Again, I deeply regret that my pursuit of an activity I love and practice responsibly and legally resulted in the taking of this lion."

It remains to be seen what kind of fallout the doctor is facing in the United States, and he is reportedly being investigated by Zimbabwean police for poaching, reports ABC News.

Jimmy Kimmel criticized the man's actions on his show last night and got a bit choked up as he was sharing the website for the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit at Oxford, encouraging people to donate and make a difference (quote from ABC News):

"If you want to do something -- if you want to make this into a positive, you can, uh, sorry, OK, I'm good. Make a donation. Support them. At the very least, maybe we can show the world that not all Americans are like this jack-hole here."

Watch him talk about the killing of Cecil the lion below:

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