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Before my reputation, like Palmer’s, is destroyed via social media, in mitigation I’d like to point out that I did both of these hunts for journalistic assignments rather than sheer fun.

First in 2005 I went wolf hunting in Belarus and met an Italian man who bears a spooky resemblance to Palmer, and then in 2008 I watched a man kill an alligator in Florida simply because he wanted it to be made into a pair of cowboy boots.

So we were treated to Palmer photographed topless in a Putin-esue pose with a Zimbawean leopard he killed in 2010.

Another showed him perched behind an enormous California desert bighorn sheep.

I’d heard rappers, who’d taken to wearing ,000 alligator skin jackets as status symbols, were taking things further – they wanted to hunt alligators and then literally kill their own jackets.

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He then finished off the job a full 40 hours later when Cecil was shot, skinned and decapitated for trophy purposes.For Mario – as it is clearly with crossbow-wielding Palmer – the more noteworthy the species and bizarre its method of death, the better.This one-upmanship took on new heights of absurdity in 2008 when I went alligator hunting in Florida.Our pilot flushed a pack of startled wolves from the undergrowth and Mario and I began firing. As I stooped over the dead wolf, I wrote at the time, “I feel a deep sense of shame, of revulsion.I can still see that dead wolf cartwheeling through the snow. This magnificent creature has been snuffed out and for what? ” But my sadness wasn’t shared by Mario, who seemed exhilarated by the kill.

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