Here's Walter Palmer, The Dentist Who Killed Cecil The Lion, Returning To Work After His Two-Month Hiatus — PHOTO
On Tuesday, two months after he notoriously killed Zimbabwe's Cecil the Lion and just days after giving his first interview, dentist Walter Palmer returned to work. Quietly walking through the crowds and news crews outside his Minneapolis office, Palmer refused to comment — he's said that his joint interview with the Star Tribune and the Associated Press would be his last word on the matter — and entered his office, which was temporarily shut back in July after Cecil's death. After details about Cecil's death came out, activists visited his office in large groups, protesting the lion's death and calling for charges to be brought against Palmer.
Right now, no charges have been brought against the dentist, and in his joint interview he indicated he didn't expect them to be. He also noted that he and the hunting team had had no idea that Cecil was famous and wouldn't have killed him if they had. "If I'd known this lion had a name and was important to the country, or a study, obviously, I wouldn't have taken it," Palmer said in the interview. "Nobody in our hunting party knew before or after the name of this lion."
Days before he returned to work, Palmer added: "I have a lot of staff members ... [and] I'm a little heartbroken at the disruption in their lives. 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, clearly, is hoping that his interview and official return to work will be the beginning of the end of the backlash. Many activists, however, are vowing to continue the fight for charges to be brought against Palmer; The Guardian reported Sunday that regular demonstrations were being planned in the coming months in the United States, in cities like Boston, Las Vegas, and Washington D.C. Their goal, Chris Steller reported, is to ensure that nobody forgets about what Walter Palmer did.
Social media erupted in outrage after the July death of Cecil, who was beloved by Zimbabwe and tracked by the University of Oxford for research purposes. Palmer's home address and office address were posted online, and both were spray-painted with hate messages. Many also demanded that Zimbabwe stop allowing hunters to go after endangered animals in its country. On Tuesday, people weren't pleased to see Palmer back to work and resuming his life as normal.
Zimbabwe has vowed to try to extradite Palmer, the Star Tribune reports. In response, Palmer told the paper "everything is fine."