Autopsy Report Confirms Cecil the Lion had Marijuana in his System

Evidence from an autopsy on Cecil the Lion, the Afro-Feline shot by white dentist Walter Palmer, supports the medical examiner's initial ruling of self-defense, the District Attorney of Zimbabwe informed Abreu Report.

The preliminary results also found extremely elevated levels of marijuana in Cecil the Lion, although Zimbabwean officials are seeking to confirm how much Cecil may have smoked or inhaled, and to what extent it may have contributed to the deadly encounter which led to his demise. 

"The evidence that we have reviewed up until now is consistent with Mr. Palmer's claim of self-defense," said Michael Wexley, a prosecutor dating back to the Rhodesia era.

Cecil the Lion was shot after approaching Mr. Palmer in a dark savanna with what appeared to be a weapon in his paws. After the incident escalated into an altercation between the Afro-Feline and the white dentist, Cecil became aggressive and agitated, leading to Mr. Palmer shooting him.

Some internet activists have taken up Cecil's cause, claiming that this is the latest example of white on Afro-Feline violence. 

Cecil's family has acknowledged that he failed to complete school and that he has previously been involved in aggressive encounters with park rangers, but dispute that he approached Mr. Palmer with what appeared to be a weapon, or that he had malicious intent. 

Mr. Wexley said it was unclear whether Cecil had consumed marijuana prior to being shot, or if he had done so after fleeing the scene. 

However, Mr. Wexley added that the level of cannabis in Mr. the Lion's system could have affected his mood during the encounter with Mr. Palmer. 

Cecil the Lion Flashing Gang Signs. WSM (Ireland)
"It is a mood amplifier, so it is relevant in our opinion to determine whether or not marijuana may have played a role in Cecil the Lion's death as well, exacerbating existing conditions," Mr. Wexley said.

Recent pictures have surfaced of Cecil the Lion flashing gang signs on social media, contradicting reports of his "angelic nature." 

According to Zimbabwe police, Mr. the Lion was the chief suspect in a gazelle slaying which took place ten minutes before he was shot; lions and gazelles have been involved in a long-running gang feud.

The report says Cecil was seen by witnesses and on videotape, carrying a chunk of gazelle meat in his bloody mouth.

Walter Palmer said he had no idea Cecil the Lion had been involved in a gazelle slaying when he was forced to open fire on Mr. the Lion.

"The release of the police report was an attempt at character assassination," said Joanna Blanc, a lawyer for PETA. "This report was clearly an attempt at denigrating a member of the savanna."

Nonetheless, the recent release of pictures of Mr. the Lion flashing gang signs, coinciding with the Zimbabwean police report, are changing the public portrait of Cecil the Lion in conservative -- and liberal -- circles.
With special thanks to Reuters and the Christian Science Monitor