The Minnesota dentist who killed Zimbabwean lion Cecil, sparking a global outcry from animal lovers, returned to work on Tuesday at his suburban Minneapolis office to shouts of "murderer" and "leave town" from a half dozen protesters.
Walter Palmer, 55, arrived at about 7 a.m. to the Bloomington, Minnesota, dental practice that he shut down in late July amid a firestorm of protests after he was publicly identified as the hunter who killed the rare black-maned lion.
Palmer entered the practice without comment.
The practice reopened in mid-August without Palmer, who said on Sunday in a joint interview with the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the Associated Press that he needed to resume his duties at his River Bluff Dental practice.
In the interview, Palmer reiterated a statement he had given in July that the hunt was legal and no one in the hunting party realized the targeted trophy kill was the well-known 13-year-old lion. No charges have been filed against Palmer.
Several messages were taped to the entry door to the building where the practice is located, including "From now on, donate your money to endangered animals instead. Apparently you have plenty" and "Justice for Cecil #extradition."
Veronique Lamb, a 49-year-old tourist from Brussels, was among the protesters waiting for Palmer. She said she was there to protest the dentist returning to work "like nothing happened."
"He did something really bad and he really knows it," Lamb said. "Hopefully this has opened the eyes of people to this horrible business. It's very sad."