The infamous killer of the much beloved lion received another dose of karma on Tuesday when a neighbor stole and crashed his boat while the disgraced trophy hunter schmoozed the Trumps at the Republican Convention.
A stolen boat crashed off the southern end of Marco Island in the Gulf of Mexico off of Southwest Florida on Sunday afternoon belongs to Walter Palmer, the Minnesota dentist who created a humanitarian firestorm last summer for boasting about his killing of Cecil, a popular African lion, police confirmed in a statement Thursday.
26-year-old Andrew Derwin, of Marco Island, was arrested Tuesday on a felony charge of grand theft. Police arrested Derwin after he stole and crashed Palmer’s boat off Caxambas Pass.
Marco Island Fire Rescue and Collier County EMS performed first aid on Derwin and a second passenger who suffered serious injuries when struck by the vessel’s propeller.
During the investigation, police learned that the boat was stolen and registered to Palmer, Derwin’s neighbor. The thief took the boat keys from the rear porch of Palmer’s home Sunday, according to Marco Island police.
A housekeeper at Palmer’s home informed officials that the Minnesota dentist had left the keys on the back porch for a boat maintenance person to service the vessel, but he forgot to remind her to bring the keys into the house.
The destruction of the $61,175 boat is not a major setback for the multi-millionaire dentist and infamous lion killer, according to the Collier County Sheriff’s Office.
Palmer is best known for killing Cecil the Lion, a protected male Southwest African lion that lived in the Hwange National Park in Matabeleland North, Zimbabwe. Cecil was the major attraction at the park and was being studied and tracked by the University of Oxford as part of a larger study on endangered big cats.
Palmer, who prided himself as an American recreational big-game hunter, wounded Cecil with an arrow and then tracked the lion for 40 hours before shooting and killing him with a high-powered rifle on July 1, 2015.
Two men in Zimbabwe are facing prosecution in connection with the hunt, but Palmer was let go by authorities after they learned that he received a permit from officials that he should never have been granted.
In the court of public opinion Palmer is guilty. Animal rights activists spray-painted “Lion Killer!” on his $1.1 million home, while others left pickled pig’s feet on the driveway of his home. The animal-killing dentist faced intense social media condemnation, as most view him as a symbol of wrong thinking.
Palmer was not at his residence during the theft as he is in Cleveland, an honorary guest of trophy-hunter Eric Trump, and was seen sitting with the Trump family during the opening night of the Convention.