Walter Palmer, the dentist who killed Cecil the Lion during a hunting trip in Zimbabwe, recently announced that he will be returning to work at his dental office this Tuesday after laying low for more than a month due to the global outrage (video below).
ABC News notes that Palmer's practice in Bloomington, Minnesota, closed down in July after protesters swarmed outside and called for him to be prosecuted.
"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," Palmer told the Associated Press and the Minneapolis Star Tribune in a joint interview on Sunday. "Nobody in our hunting party knew before or after the name of this lion."
Palmer recalled that he shot Cecil with a bow and arrow outside the Hwange National Park, where the treasured lion lived as part of a Oxford University research project.
Palmer claimed that Cecil was tracked down the next day and killed by another arrow, but would not go into specifics about the kill.
Palmer would not say how much money he paid to be part of the lion hunt or other lion hunts. No photographs or video were allowed during the interview.
Palmer reportedly referred some questions to Joe Friedberg, a Minneapolis attorney who was said he was present as an unpaid advisor for Palmer:
I'm not Walter's lawyer in this situation because Walter doesn't need a lawyer in this situation. If some governmental agency or investigative unit would make a claim that he violated some law then we'd talk about it.
Ben Petok, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's office in Minnesota, did not comment about the interview, and referred questions to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which has not yet replied to press inquiries.
Palmer said that he and his family have been threatened, and added, "I don't understand that level of humanity to come after people not involved at all."
However, it's not clear if the threats were made strictly against Palmer and his family was exposed to the threats because of their proximity to him.
"I've been out of the public eye," Palmer stated. "That doesn't mean I'm in hiding. I've been among people, family and friends. Location is really not that important."