A worldwide hunting club suspended the membership of the American wanted for the killing of Cecil the lion in Zimbabwe.
Walter James Palmer, a dentist at River Bluff Dental in Bloomington, Minn., used a bow and arrow to shoot the beloved lion in early July, according to authorities.
Safari Club International, a nonprofit dedicated to protecting hunters’ rights, issued a statement on Wednesday, obtained by the Associated Press, calling for a “full and thorough investigation” into the 13-year-old big cat’s death.
The club said, “Those who intentionally take wildlife illegally should be prosecuted and punished to the maximum extent allowed by law.”
In previous statements, Palmer said that he relied upon the expertise of local guides to ensure a legal hunt.
“To my knowledge, everything about this trip was legal and properly handled and conducted,” he said.
Safari Club International also suspended the membership of one of his Zimbabwean guides, Theo Bronkhorst.
The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service said in a statement Thursday that its law enforcement arm has been trying unsuccessfully to reach Palmer.
In the statement, Edward Grace, deputy chief of law enforcement for the organization, said, “We ask that Dr. Palmer or his representative contact us immediately.”
We're investigating the killing of #CecilTheLion. Will go where facts lead. We ask Dr. Palmer or his rep to contact USFWS immediately.
— US Fish and Wildlife (@USFWS) July 30, 2015
The killing and beheading of Cecil — along with an apparent cover-up — has outraged countless people across the world.
Protesters have gathered outside his dentistry office in Minnesota and are flooding his Yelp page with angry messages. There have even been reports of death threats.
Actress Mia Farrow incited the wrath of many people online after tweeting out the address for his workplace, River Bluff Dental. Many mistook it for his home address and worried that the information might put him in danger.
Bob Barker, the former host of “The Price Is Right,” on the other hand, defended Farrow, saying that Palmer “deserves to be made miserable for years to come.”