Cecil the lion killer returns to work

Dentist reaffirms the hunt was legal


Cecil the Lion: Hunter's Reopened Office Is Calm But Protesters Vow to Fight On

The office of Dr Walter Palmer, the dentist who sparked international outrage over his killing of Cecil the lion, has returned to doing business.

River Bluff Dental in Bloomington, Minnesota, which has been closed for weeks, had seen hundreds of protesters gather outside in late July, carrying signs that dubbed Palmer the 'butcher of Bloomington'.

Palmer, who has kept a low profile for more than a month, is to return to work on Tuesday, reports The Guardian.

The 55-year-old, who has not been charged with a crime, also reaffirmed that the hunt was legal and that he and the others in his party had no clue that the lion was the much-loved 13-year-old.

"I have a lot of staff members, and I'm a little heartbroken at the disruption in their lives," Palmer said. "And I'm a health professional. I need to get back to my staff and my patients, and they want me back. That's why I'm back."

Palmer added that the ordeal had been especially hard on his wife and daughter, who both felt threatened.

Away from the public eye

As for himself, he feels safe enough to return to work. "My staff and my patients support me and they want me back," he said. But he but declined to say where he has spent the past weeks or describe security steps he has taken.

"I've been out of the public eye. That doesn't mean I'm in hiding," Palmer said. "I've been among people, family and friends. Location is really not that important."

Cecil, a fixture in the vast Hwange national park, had been fitted with a GPS collar as part of Oxford University lion research. Palmer said he shot the animal using an arrow from his compound bow outside the park's borders but it did not die immediately.

He disputed accounts that the wounded lion wandered for 40 hours and was finished off with a gun, saying it was tracked down the next day and killed with an arrow.

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