Zimbabwe trying to get U.S. trophy hunter extradited

Zimbabwe announced Friday that it would seek the extradition of American dentist Walter Palmer to hold him "accountable" for killing a famous lion, Cecil.

"Unfortunately it was too late to apprehend the foreign poacher as he had already absconded to his country of origin," a Zimbabwean government minister said Friday, adding that authorities there were "appealing to the responsible authorities for his extradition to Zimbabwe so that he be made accountable."

Zimbabwean environment minister Oppah Muchinguri said Palmer was accused of financing an illegal hunt to kill Cecil.

"Police should take the first step to approach the prosecutor general who will approach the Americans. The processes have already started," Muchinguri said at a news conference Friday.

Backlash from the hunting trip has shut down Palmer's practice in Minnesota and U.S. law enforcement is trying to reach him. But some believe the outrage toward him has gone too far.

CBS News correspondent Vinita Nair reports Palmer has been hounded online and off -- with some people calling for his death. His actions have unleashed anger that seems to cut across all demographic groups. Even fellow hunters are keeping their distance.

His personal information has been released on social media, his dental practice shuttered, ravaged in on-line reviews and its website shut down, and now over 150,000 people have petitioned the White House calling for his extradition.

Nick Pinizzotto, CEO of pro-hunting group Sportsmen's Alliance, is troubled by the reaction.

"You see many people putting the lives of human beings behind the lives of animals, and that's a scary proposition for anybody," Pinizzotto said.

He said Palmer's explanation -- that local guides told him the hunt was legal -- seemed plausible.

"You do have to put your trust in these people that are there to get you to the right locations and you have to trust them certainly to guide you towards the animals safely," Pinizzotto said.

Palmer is now in seclusion. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which is investigating the case, said it can't reach him.

"We ask that Dr. Palmer or his representative contact us immediately," the agency said.

Reputation Management Consultants CEO Eric Schiffer said his firm was contacted this week about helping Palmer, but declined.

"He did the unthinkable. He killed an icon that so many around the world looked to... for no good reason, for no reason at all," Schiffer said.

Even while warning against rushing to judgment, many hunters were disturbed by the allegations against Palmer.

"You hear that animals are lured out of protected areas, if that is the case, obviously we wouldn't stand behind something like that. We believe in what would be an ethical hunt," Pinizzotto said.

Big game hunting group Safari Club International has suspended Palmer's membership. Police in his home town in Minnesota said they were keeping a very close eye on his neighborhood to ensure the safety of all residents there.