White House Must Respond to Lion-Killer Petition

Meanwhile, US Fish & Wildlife Service can't find Walter Palmer
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 30, 2015 10:30 PM CDT
White House Must Respond to Lion-Killer Petition
Kristen Hall leads a group of protestors from Animal Rights Coalition and Minnesota Animal Liberation gathered in front of Dr. Walter Palmer's dental practice, Wednesday, July 29.   (Glen Stubbe/Star Tribune via AP)

A WhiteHouse.gov petition clamoring for the extradition of lion-killer Walter Palmer to Zimbabwe has passed the all-important threshold of 100,000 signatures. What the upward of 150,000 people to have signed it want: "We urge the Secretary Of State John Kerry and the Attorney General Loretta Lynch to fully cooperate with the Zimbabwe authorities and to extradite Walter Palmer promptly at the Zimbabwe government's request." In garnering at least 100,000 signatures, the White House will now have to respond. ABC News reports White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest acknowledged on Thursday that a response would come but gave no time frame.

Earnest did point out that extradition falls under the purview of the Department of Justice. But it's an agency within the Department of Interior that's thus far involved. The US Fish & Wildlife Service is looking into Cecil the lion's killing, with Reuters reporting by way of a source that it's doing so under the Lacey Act, which prohibits illegal wildlife trading. The only thing is, the agency can't find Palmer. Director Dan Ashe today tweeted, "USFWS is investigating the tragic killing of #CecilTheLion. Will go where facts lead. Efforts to contact Dr. Palmer so far unsuccessful." He then followed that up two hours later with, "#CNN reporting Dr. Palmer seeking to cooperate. EZ to do. U or ur representative please contact #USFWS immediately." CNN reports it knocked on Palmer's door in Minneapolis, to no avail. (More Walter Palmer stories.)

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