Much loved Zimbabwean lion, Cecil, in Zimbabwe on Oct. 21, 2012
Zimbabwe National Parks—AFP/Getty Images
By Eliza Gray
August 1, 2015

The American dentist who killed a lion that was lured out of a national park in Zimbabwe has contacted U.S. federal wildlife authorities.

On Friday, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Office of Law Enforcement said they had been voluntarily contacted by a representative of the Minnesota dentist. Before he reached out to the service on Thursday, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Director Dan Ashe urged him to contact authorities over Twitter.

Authorities in Zimbabwe are calling for the extradition of the dentist, Dr. Walter Palmer, who killed a lion named Cecil that was beloved in Zimbabwe on July 1. Palmer’s guides face fines and jail time. The penalty for poaching in Zimbabwe is a $20,000 fine and imprisonment for up to 10 years, according to NBC News. Palmer has not been charged with a crime.

On Friday, U.S. State Department officials told the Associated Press that, as far as the department knows, the U.S. has not extradited anyone to Zimbabwe and Zimbabwe has not extradited anyone in the U.S. since the extradition treaty took effect in 2000.

Palmer has been the subject of public outcry over the past several days, as angry comments have flooded the Yelp page of his dental practice.

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