this is "nightline." >> tonight the fresh uproar over cecil the lion's killer. new scrutiny on american dentist walter palmer as abc obtains photos from palmer's illegal kill here in the u.s. >> plus, scaling new heights. attempting the impossible climb. three of the world's most intrepid expedition climbers try to conquer one of the world's mountain peaks. braving some of the most extreme weather conditions on the planet. and why this mountain is known as the anti-everest. >> and a look inside the life of country music's newest rise young star. michael ray. kissed by fame by "kiss you in the morning." opens up about the moment that
brought him to tears. ♪ i want to kiss you in the morning ♪ >> but first, the "nightline" five. >> it's macy's one-day sale saturday. earn points during macy's one-day sale. lots of points. lots of places. >> when we began in japan, a single patch created the category of pain relief. now 80 years later, salonpas, perfect for back, muscle joint pain. for targeted relief. >> number one in ju
remains the target of a rising tide of global anger. and now new scrutiny. tonight investigators in zimbabwe insist palmer did not have a legal hunting permit. abc news has also obtained photos showing an illegal kill that palmer made right here at home. here is abc's ryan smith. >> reporter: riding across zimbabwe savannah this week it looks much as it ever did. but the reverberations of the killing of beloved lion cecil by dentist walter palmer can be felt around the globe. here in america, photos first obtained by abc news of palmer back when he got in hot water for killing another animal. in 2006, he was hunting black bear in northern wisconsin here, had a permit to kill a bear in one county. trouble is palmer actually shot the bear in another county 40 miles away. >> they agreed they would lie about it. >> reporter: u.s. attorney john bodry got involved when palmer took the illegal kill across
state lines back to minnesota. >> he was offering to pay, it turns out about $20,000 to keep the others who were in the hunt to have them lie. so that is a fairly aggressive cover-up. >> reporter: but his friend didn't take the bait. palmer eventually pled guilty to a felony charge. paid nearly $3,000 in fines, and was sentenced to a year probation. nine years later, palmer is encountering a beast of a different kind. it began in early july. palmer flew across the world, eager to bag another big kill. so he traveled here to the place cecil called home. zimbabwe. we arrive at the hwange national park. a vast preserve the size of connecticut where cecil lived. palmer ventured into the country, called by the thrill of the big kill. palmer allegedly pays $55,000 to bag a lion. money that was supposed to cover a hunting permit, payment to the
property owner where the hunt was to take place, and for a guide. palmer has also repeatly insisted he thought his expedition was totally legal and properly handled. using a method called baiting, palmer and his guide dragged an elephant carcass behind their truck to lure cecil from hwange to a private farm. >> the tracks are the difference between life and death for this animal. on this side you have a wildlife preserve where he can roam free. take one, two steps on this side. you are on private property. >> it was there on that farm palmer shot cecil and came back the next morning to finish him off. brent staplecamp, a lion researcher with oxford, university, fitted cecil with a tracking collar in 2008 and has studied his movements ever since. >> you have brought this animal to you, delivered to you look a
pizza. >> his lawyer insists nobody knew the slain lion was cecil. >> mr. palmer didn't know he was shooting this famous lion. >> reporter: palmer has written i have no idea that the lion i took was a known local favorite, was collared and part of a study. but authorities have a different version of events. for starters, they say nobody got permits. >> there was no permit. so this is tantamount to poaching. >> and now, staplecamp shares with us what he believes is key to the case. that gps data from cecil's collar. data which he says points to a cover-up. >> we get the impression someone is trying to fool us. >> the tracker mark s cecil's position with a dt eveot every hours. the dots are tightly grouped. afterward they're spread out. >> they're moving it around. looks like the lion is alive. now perhaps the second thought, they move it one last time.
and destroy it in the hope that we can't track it. >> but we know someone is trying to in a sense fool with the crime scene. >> absolutely. you certainly won't get this movement to there and back and there and then there. that's man. not an animal doing that. >> reporter: in a published report, he says that when he and palmer found cecil's tracking collar they were shocked. panicking they removed the collar, leaving it in a tree, and later contacted authorities. >> do you believe that? >> no, absolutely not. i work hand in hand with the authorities. no such contact was made. nothing. >> reporter: back in minnesota, dr. palmer rrnz eer returns to. the world is outraged over cecil's death. >> this is a compound bow. >> reporter: rebecca francis knows the predicament all too well and told her story to colleague deborah roberts. >> here is a good night one. you better pray i dent ever run into you. i will kill you, and cut your head off and mount your f-ing
head on the wall. i hope you die soon. >> this spring francis had a target on her back after this memorable photo from her web page was tweeted out by ricky gervais. what must have happened to your life to make you want to kill a beautiful animal and then lie next to it smiling? her life forever altered. even though her hunt was completely legal. >> people saw it vile that you could lie next to the slain, undignified animal that it was dead. >> it wasn't disrespect. it was to remember this experience. >> oh, my gosh. look at him. >> when it comes to hunting and the shots and the celebration, do you think people don't get it, don't get what your world is all about? >> i think that people are raised in different cultures. and people that were raised in an area like this, it's part of their life. >> what the heck are we looking at here? >> we have buffaloburgers,
buffalo roasts, buffalo steaks, cougar meat. >> you can's the cougar? >> absolutely it is good. some hunters are about feeding their families. and all of them have a love of outdoors and support conservation. >> the money that we put into hunting these animals goes directly back into conservation. awe bought she says if palmer poached he should pay. >> reporter: but with all the vitriol to palmer around the world, to this zimbabwean native. it feels misplaced. he would appreciate it if westerners pay as much attention to zimbabwe's people as they do to zimbabwe lions. >> we have these, use that do exist already that we are not even talking about. hunger. people dying of aid. all of a sudden one lion dies then the whole world blows up. >> reporter: there are those who believe cecil's death could bring about greater change. earlier this month, cecil's face
was projected onto new york's empire state building. and for a moment, even in this concrete jungle, he was still king. >> brought a lot of attention to our work and to zimbabwe and i think that's his legacy. >> reporter: for "nightline," ryan smith in new york. next, braving mother nature's ultimate test of stamina and sheer courage. three mountain climbers attempting the impossible. and later kissed by fame. one of country's stars and his red hot hit "kiss you in the morning." the hospital after a dvt blood clot. what about my family? my li'l buddy? and what if this happened again? i was given warfarin in the hospital but i wondered if this was the right treatment for me. then my doctor told me about eliquis.
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here's abc's t.j. holmes. >> reporter: its mother nature's ultimate test. >> as close to the edge as any had ever been. >> reporter: braving subzero temperatures in extreme conditions. to reach the top of the legendary shark's fin on mount neru in the himalayas, a feat never accomplished before. >> this climb has seen more attempts. >> reporter: the journey the subject of a documentary called meru which follows the lives of three expedition climbers. >> your life is in your partner's hands. >> reporter: whose close bond will play a critical role in their ability to survive the treacherous assent. we caught up with two members of the team as i made my first ever climate mohawk preserve, new york state's largest nonprofit nature preserve. >> all right, let's diet, man. >> reporter: this is a filmmaker and photographer. >> i have your life in my hands. >> wow. >> like that. >> i am pretty good. >> reporter: this is conrad
anchor, one of the best climbers in the world. he conquered everest many times. >> this is our reverse gravity. plays for keeps. doesn't favor anyone. so, when we support each other. my life is in jimmy's hand. you're in the zone. you're in the moment. >> quarter, third of the way up. possibly to where we are hoping to go. as conrad was just pointing out. he is telling me i have all the foot holds in here. i dent see thon't see them. i don't trust them. he will put his foot here. makes sense. conrad makes it look easy. for them it is easy. the climb to mount meru, the peak high in the himalayan mountain range in northern india, above the ganges river will be the hardest ascent they
have ever attempted. >> time to start the route. it's crisp and cold. we're waiting for the sun to move away so it will set up and freeze. this is the best moment that -- that moment where everything comes down and you are really starting. >> this is the apex of my climbing career. >> reporter: a climb conrad has been determined to con tquer fo the last 20 years. >> the shark's fin is something if you are uninitiated to climbing you can see the beauty of it in the draw. we are talking serious injury and death you can get killed doing this. >> is that a part of the draw to it? >> people that say are daredevils and risk takers, they don't climb. to me it is a secelebration of life. you are out there. we are interacting with rock that is millions of years old. and nature. and testing our own limit. and, in my zone. >> reporter: with no sherpa team to set ropes and carry their
gear. meru is anti-everest. climbers carry their own 200 pound packs up an icy risky route. saving weight where they can by taking only the bare minimum. >> the percentage of success on a route look this is so thin. that everything counts. >> for jimmy filming this expedition along with the third member of the team, that means adding another 15 pound of camera equipment to an already heavy load. >> when you are up there. there is like two thread. there is the climbing aspect. managing the risks and making good decisions as a climber. and i am a climber first up there. then there is this other thread. where you are thinking about your shots and your framing and your composition and the narrative. and that combination for me is -- an incredibly gratifying process. >> night time ops. out climbing. the screws are solid. >> reporter: with temperatures dropping to 20 below they set up
camp inside a tent that hangs directly on to the rock face, thousands of feet above the ground. it is their only protection from the elements. >> basically eating everything that you have left. next week. we'll be eating our boots. >> reporter: in the himalayas, the weather can change at a moment's notice. the team is stuck inside this portaledge for four days. before the storm comes ripping through. >> do you find yourself thinking about your family when you are up there? >> my family is there, front and center. my wife jennifer. three boys. can't afford to make a mistake. knowing i ned to be there for them. climbing is a great thing. but it's not worth dying for. >> you know, when conrad goes away. i know what can happen i think you just have to kind of let go as much as you can. >> reporter: finally the weather clears. and the team presses on. >> another 500 feet to the summit. >> reporter: but the unexpected delay combined with the brutal climate proved to be too much.
>> i was already borderline they're mick t hyperthermic. i had to barareak down and tell them i was going to lose my toes if we kept going up. >> given the resources we had and physical state we were in. it would have entailed sitting on the side of the mountain, 20,000 feet, practically starved with no sleeping bag or tent t it just wasn't worth it. >> the team has no choice but to make the heartbreaking desequestration to tude -- decision to turn back. it's over. 100 feet of the summit. we don't have a safety margin to make it. it's not easy turning around. maybe it just wasn't meant to be climbed you. have to put aside the emotional end of it. and the decision making has to be very, very objective. that's, that's sometimes harder than you think. especially when you have thrown yourself at this mountain for 1
days. >> reporter: battered and beaten. they don't make it. and the climbers return home. but three years later, the story of their final attempt at the shark's fin of mount meru becomes the focus of the end of their documentardocumentary. >> it's a good pull up. >> yeah, yeah. >> reporter: 8,000 miles from meru on the mohawk preserve i get just a glimpse of what drives them. >> woo! >> yeah. what was that? pushing me to accomplish what i never could have imagined. >> how is it feeling? >> yeah. >> ha-ha. >> reporter: for "nightline," tj holmes in gardner, new york. >> and meru is out in theaters coast to coast right now. next he is one of country music's hottest young stars, hitting number one with "kiss you in the morning." michael ray opens up about being kissed by fame. ♪ i'm going to kiss you in the
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finally tonight he may not be a household name yet. give him time. one of the hottest new acts in country music today, what you call a triple threat. good guy, good heart, strong faith. here's abc's rebecca jarvis. for country music's fast rising star, michael ray, this has been an unforgettable week. between his debut single "kiss you ein the morning" hitting
number one on the country charts. performing on "good morning america," and making time for his ever-growing fan base. >> take a selfie. >> reporter: this newcomer bare low has a chance to catch his breath. >> you have had a huge week? >> it's been a whirlwind. >> reporter: just part of his new routine. life on the road for his first headline tour. >> reporter: you have been now traveling around the country. i heard you are using a george foreman grill to make most of your meals? >> yeah, tough to try to stay in some what eating good shape, you know? so i was like, screw it, i will get a george foreman. >> some people should start sending him recipes. it wasn't always big stages and luxury dining. >> i always dreamed of the record. it would be cool to play grand ole opry. i didn't know it would happen in five months. >> you have done it. you played grand ole opry. what was that like?
>> prsh ecious ground. >> how did you keep from crying? >> i did cry. before i went on. during, after. >> reporter: the rise is not lost on the guy at the center of it all. >> did you expect any of this. just unbelievable. >> reporter: for "nightline," rebecca jarvis in new york. >> a good guy doing well. nice way to start the weekend. thank you for watching abc news. tune in to "good morning america" tomorrow. as always we're online, 24/7. our facebook page. and at abcnews.com. good night, america.