Within hours of the news breaking that a Minnesota dentist had killed a beloved, protected lion while on a big game hunt in Zimbabwe, Africa. The backlash from people worldwide began pouring in via social media. From Facebook, to Twitter to Yelp, the comments, posts and even reviews of Walter Palmer's dental practice all turned ugly, some even threatening death, as millions weighed in on the hunt and slaughter of Cecil.
Dr. Palmer's office did release a statement on Tuesday from the doctor saying: "I had no idea that the lion I took was a known, local favorite, 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."
However by then the damage had been done. Palmer was already condemned in the eyes of the world and on social media. At one point dozens of people said Yelp was deleting their posts because their reviews were not "relevant to the business." Many posted their comments again. One reviewer, Binshka from Massachusetts stated that "You say that my content is not relevant to the business but I disagree. The public has a right to know that their medical practitioner is unethical and engages in illegal activity. How is that not important consumer information that will allow consumers to make informed choices based on all of the facts available? You ought not to pick and choose what you deem relevant, this is highly relevant."
Also in typical internet fashion, it only took a few hours for it to be discovered that Palmer had previously been on probation in 2008 for a bear hunting incident. He had also been charged with sexual harassment by a former employee and settled it out of court for $127,500 in 2006. Both of those incidents became quick ammunition for online trolls in their reviews. You can see the full text of both those incidents in the Agreement for Corrective Action with the Minnesota Board of Dentistry posted below.
To read all Dr. Walter Palmer's Yelp reviews click here (CAUTION: Many contain graphic language and/or pictures)