Lion-Slaying Dentist: I'm Going Back to Work

Walter Palmer says he hasn't been in hiding
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 7, 2015 4:57 AM CDT
Updated Sep 7, 2015 7:03 AM CDT
Lion-Killing Dentist: I'm Going Back to Work
In this frame grab taken from a November 2012 video made available by Paula French, Cecil strolls around in Hwange National Park, in Hwange, Zimbabwe.    (Paula French via AP)

Six weeks after the killing of Cecil the lion made him America's most controversial dentist, Walter Palmer is ready to get back to work. In what advisers say will be his only interview, the Minnesota dentist tells the AP and the Minneapolis Star Tribune that he plans to return to his Bloomington dental practice tomorrow because his staff and patients support him and want him back. The 55-year-old says he has been keeping a low profile since killing the famous lion in Zimbabwe and has been disturbed by threats to his wife and adult daughter, but he hasn't been in hiding. "I've been out of the public eye. That doesn't mean I'm in hiding," he says. "I've been among people, family and friends. Location is really not that important."

Palmer, who brought a lawyer and a PR consultant to the interview, wouldn't discuss how much he paid for the hunt, but says if he "had known this lion had a name and was important to the country or a study obviously I wouldn't have taken it." He says reports that it was shot 40 hours after he injured it with an arrow are incorrect and he finished Cecil off with another arrow much sooner than that. Zimbabwe says the lion was poached and it wants to extradite Palmer, though his lawyer says neither Zimbabwe nor the US has made a legal claim and he doubts they are going to. Palmer's River Bluff Dental office reopened without him a few weeks ago and, after the killing of a safari guide last month, tweeted that lions are "very dangerous/deadly." (More Walter Palmer stories.)

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