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Cecil The Lion Killer W. Palmer Speaks Out & Return To Work

RouTe (09 September 2015, 0:09)
The dentist who sparked worldwide outrage after he killed Cecil the lion has finally spoken out about the hunt, insisting he had no idea about the importance of the much-loved animal.
Walter Palmer, who closed his dental practice after becoming a target of a global backlash, maintained his belief that the hunt was perfectly legal.

Yahoo News By Andy Wells | Mon, Sep 7, 2015
Scrum: Walter Palmer arrives at the River Bluff Dental clinic in Bloomington, Minnesota.
REUTERS/Eric Miller

However, he regrets killing and posing for a trophy picture with Cecil and said he would not have hunted him if he had known what he meant to Zimbabwe.

He told the Minneapolis Star Tribune: “If I had known this lion had a name and was important to the country or a study, obviously I wouldn’t have taken it.

”Nobody in our hunting party knew before or after the name of this lion.”
Reports suggested that a wounded Cecil had wandered around for 40 hours before finally being killed - but Palmer said he killed the animal with a second arrow in a lot less time.
When the picture of him standing above the slaughtered animal went viral, the 55-year-old closed his practice after receiving death threats.

However, Palmer insisted he had not gone into hiding.
Not a warm welcome: Protesters voice their anger after Dr. Walter Palmer walks to his clinic. Getty Images

He said: “I’ve been out of the public eye. That doesn’t mean I’m in hiding.
”I’ve been among people, family and friends. Location is really not that important.”

Palmer said his reasons for keeping a low profile were about protecting his family.
He said: “This has been especially hard on my wife and my daughter.
“They’ve been threatened in the social media, and again… I don’t understand that level of humanity to come after people not involved at all.”

Palmer revealed that workers at his practice had also been threatened, adding: “I have a lot of staff members, and I’m a little heartbroken at the disruption in their lives.“

He said he was finally returning to work as his staff and patients “want me back”.
The dentist and regular hunter refused to discuss how much money he paid for the hunt and said he was not sure whether he would ever return to the Zimbabwe for his sport.

Zimbabwean authorities want Palmer extradited to face charges, while his his guide, Theo Bronkhorst, and property owner, Honest Trymore Ndlovu, have been charged with participating in an illegal hunt.

Pics: Rex