Cecil the Lion Walter Palmer Hunt Was Legal ... Says Zimbabwe

10/12/2015 7:41 AM PDT

Walter Palmer's Hunt for Cecil the Lion Was Legal ... Zimbabwe Officials Say

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Walter Palmer's slaying of Cecil the lion was fully on the up and up, and he will NOT be charged ... according to Zimbabwe officials who investigated Palmer's hunt.

Zimbabwe's Environmental Minister says the Minnesota dentist's papers were all in order and he had legal authority to conduct the hunt.

Palmer has said he would not have killed Cecil had he known he was iconic and part of a study.

Early on, after Cecil was killed, Zimbabwe officials said they wanted to extradite Palmer to face charges, but since he took the proper steps ... he's in the clear now.