Dentist Walter Palmer, who shot and killed Cecil the Lion in Zimbabwe, has returned to work. The dentist was seen walking into his office on Tuesday morning in suburban Minneapolis. As he walked from the curb into the building, six protesters held picket signs, called him a murderer and told him he should leave town.
The 55-year-old man did not say a word to protesters or reporters as he entered the Bloomington office building. His practice had been closed since the end of July, after it became publicly known that he was the one who killed Cecil the Lion. The office reopened last month, but the dentist himself did not return to work until this morning.
Dentist Says the Hunt Was Legal
During an interview conducted last Sunday, the dentist reiterated information he released in July. He said that he was on a legal hunt in Zimbabwe and no one was aware that the lion they were trying to kill was the much-loved Cecil, who has become a well-known lion among tourists who visit the region. Palmer has not been charged criminally in the incident.
According to the dentist, he shot the lion with his bow and arrow. Then, he and his hunting group followed the injured animal until it could be shot again with another arrow and killed.
Protesters Want the Dentist Expedited to Zimbabwe
After the death of Cecil hit the news, unhappy animal lovers issued threats and protests throughout the Internet. The dentist's vacation home in Florida was vandalized, and protesters created a memorial with stuffed animals on the door of the dentist's practice. Protesters have demanded that the man be extradited and charged for what they say was a heinous crime.
Last July, Zimbabwe stated that it had requested the extradition of Palmer, whom the country has accused of being a "foreign poacher." However, the man will first need to have criminal charges issued against him before there is the possibility of extradition.
During the dentist's return to work this morning, one of the protesters said, "He did something really bad and he really knows it ... Hopefully this has opened the eyes of people to this horrible business. It's very sad."
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