Cecil the Lion Killer: Walter Palmer Illegally Killed Black Bear Pled to Felony

8/14/2015 6:11 AM PDT

Dr. Walter Palmer is no stranger to posing with illegally killed animals ... new photos have surfaced of a black bear he illegally shot and killed ... years before he took the life of Cecil the Lion

Palmer shot the bear in an area where the animal was protected ... 40 miles from where he was allowed to hunt. According to ABC, which obtained the photos, Palmer was not only aware of his misdeed, he offered 3 guides who were present $20,000 to lie and say he shot the bear in the permissible area.  

The guides wouldn't play ball, and Palmer pled guilty to the charge of making false statements to an official ... a felony. He was placed on 1 year probation.

Palmer has not been seen since news of Cecil's death became public.